Mothers And Sons: Being A Godly Influence
Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.
Where To Start If You Suspect You Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
If you think you may have autism spectrum disorder, the best place to start is with a self-assessment test. These informal questionnaires allow you to explore your symptoms and help you prepare for a discussion with a healthcare provider.
Once youve taken a self-assessment test, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. You can also contact a local ASD center, such as your nearest Autism Speaks treatment network location. These organizations may have a consulting psychologist on staff who can help you if a formal assessment is too expensive.
You can also pursue the following alternatives if you suspect you have autism spectrum disorder:
- Contact the psychology/psychiatry department of a local university or teaching hospital.
- Ask members of an adult autism support group where they received their diagnoses.
- Request doctor recommendations from your therapist or ask them to diagnose you.
- Reach out to the governing body for psychologists and ask for the names of doctors in your area familiar with ASD.
- Obtain a diagnosis from a supervised graduate student at a local university or teaching hospital.
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Autism In The Teen Years: What To Expect How To Help
What parent doesn’t watch their “tween” become a teen without a twinge of anxiety? Factor autism into the equation, and parents may well wonder how the physical and hormonal changes of adolescence will affect their child on the spectrum.
How will typical teenage rebellion look in someone who struggles with behavioral control? What will it be like traversing the social minefield of high school for someone with a social disability?
Many a teen boy has had to be convinced of the need for daily showers and shaving. How do you convince someone who has sensory problems to stand under water or drag a sharp razor across his face?
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Advice For Parents From A Teen On The Autism Spectrum
Parents, have you ever experienced a feeling of helplessness when you know that your son/daughter is upset, or in pain, and you dont know what to do? Have you been frustrated because you feel like everything that you try either doesnt work or backfires on you? If you are anything like my parents, you wish that you could experience the pain instead of your kid.
I have an advantage that many autistic kids dont have, and for that I am very thankful. My mother has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology , and my dads major for his Bachelors Degree was in Psychology. From seeing them, as well as watching other parents help their kids, I have compiled a list of a few tactics that I believe work well.
As someone with autism, I cannot tell you how many times I have been extremely frustrated when I am on a rant, or venting, and my parents interrupt me. To a typical person, this action would seem just like a normal conversation. In a normal conversation, people go back and forth with dialogue. But, sometimes I cant understand this. When I am talking with my parents, they see this as a back and forth conversation, where I see it as an interruption. So, when your autistic kid is on a rant, my advice is to let them vent and get all of their thoughts and feelings out first!
Whats It Like To Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD affects different people in different ways. Some people canât speak or learn. Their behavior may seem strange they may avoid other people they may pace and move their bodies in unusual ways, like flapping their hands. They may repeat lines from TV shows or movies.
People with less severe ASD are able to talk and learn. But they may have trouble:
- expressing feelings. They may seem cold and distant.
- understanding the feelings of others. They may ignore or misunderstand how other people might feel or behave in a situation.
- reading social cues. They might not understand body language or facial expression they stand too close they ignore signs of boredom or frustration.
- handling sensory information. Loud noises, bright lights, or crowds may bother them.
- handling a new routine. It might be hard for them to sit in a different seat or having a substitute teacher.
Some might get get super-focused on a single topic or hobby, some of which may be unusual .
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Changes To The Program
Ontario is implementing an autism program that is comprehensive, needs-based and family-centred. During this transition, we continue to offer services and supports to improve outcomes for children and youth on the autism spectrum, promote quality care from autism providers and help as many families as possible.
Giving Up Sugar Tasting God’s Goodness
As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still pedaling away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.
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Help Them To Stay Organised With School Work
As your teenager moves through high school, the demands and pressures placed on them will increase, which can be difficult to manage. New schools, busy timetables and a multitude of assignments can leave your autistic teen feeling anxious and overwhelmed. As a parent, the best thing you can do is give your support: help your teen to ensure that they have the right books, talk through their timetable with them each morning and communicate with their teachers so that everyone stays in the loop. If they have lots of homework, try breaking down the assignment into lots of smaller tasks and make yourself available should they need assistance.
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Help Her Find An Autistic Community
My wish for young autistic women is that their parents listen to them and facilitate friendships with whomever they want to hang out with. But I think it is so important that these girls are given opportunities to build relationships with other autistic girls. There is so much that autistic women and girls can give to each other. Navigating the complicated social rules of girls and women is so very difficult. Doing it with a friend or two who truly understands and likes you for who you are make it if not easier at least less painful. Autistic peers and older role models can do so much to help young girls with their self-esteem, self-awareness, and feelings of safety. Jean Winegardner
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What To Do When You’re Not Okay
Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.
Empower Your Teenager With Social And Coping Skills
A lot of the stress of being a teenager with autism may be related to social and coping skill deficits. Dealing with disappointment and navigating the real social world requires some skills that many of us find difficult. Dealing with difficult situations that may have disappointed us and figuring out what to do in different social situations can be quite complex. One of the ways that I help the teenagers with autism that I work with is with a program that I refer to as the things I can say and do. It involves working with specific scenarios that may come up in our day-to-day interactions and the things we can say and do in those contexts. For example, what do we do if someone is using our computer that we wanted to use and have been using consistently? Or, what do we do if something does not go our way . The key is to come up with strategies that he/she can do in those moments and compile a list. Once we have an appropriate list, then we can practice choosing one of those strategies. For example, one of the teenagers that I work with has compiled a list of things he can say or do when his Internet connection does not work. In the past he would have put a hole in the wall however, now he will stop what he is doing and think of strategies that are available to him.
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What Should Parents And Caregivers Do If They Are Concerned A Teenager With Asd May Be Depressed
If parents suspect their teenager with ASD is depressed, they should try asking about his/her mood. Some teenagers with ASD will be able to say how they are feeling, while others may have difficulty with this. It is common for teenagers with ASD to respond by saying they feel hungry, tired, or bored. If parents remain concerned about depression, a pediatrician or mental health clinician can conduct a more in-depth evaluation.
It can be helpful to prepare your teenager for an evaluation by telling him/her that the goal of the visit is to develop a treatment plan that will help him/her feel better. The assessment will include an evaluation of mood, a discussion of recent life changes or stressors, a review of past medical and mental health conditions, family history of mental illness, and a safety assessment. Since some people with depression many have thoughts of death or of wanting to kill themselves, it is very important for the evaluation to assess for these types of thoughts, so that the treatment team can work with your teenager and family to decrease the risk of self-harm and suicide.
If You Have A Question
If you have a question about your childs special education programs and services, your first step is to contact the person most involved in you childs education: the classroom teacher or the special education teacher.
In addition to talking to a teacher, you may also wish to speak with the principal of the school who can help guide you through other school board resources.
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In All You Do Remember How Much Youre Loved
This is another bit of advice Id give to anyone going through hard times. If all else fails, remember the people who value you. Because their love for you is so, so, so important.
Anyone who really values you will offer you a shoulder to cry on when you need it. Find the people who are there for you, the people you know you can trust, and dont be afraid to rely on them.
Not everyone will say how much they care about you, of course. Some people only save those words for special occasions, or others are just too shy to say it. That doesnt mean that they dont care about you. Different people express their love differently, but mean it just as much.
By the way, if there are any readers here who honestly dont think theyre valued, not even by friends and family, dont lose heart. There are thousands and thousands of people out there who would care about you if they knew you. The secret may be finding new people. As tough as you might think that is, there will be good people out there. Maybe try a club that youre interested in , or even your local church if thats your kind of thing.
What Are The Common Signs Of Autism In Teenagers
The outward signs of ASD arent the same from person to person.
But the signs of autism in teens arent all that different from those in children or adults.
Heres a brief summary of the diagnostic criteria for autism according to the DSM-5:
- having difficulty with social interactions and communication, such as having conversations or misunderstanding gestures
- having intensely focused or restricted patterns of behavior, such as repetitive motor functions like hand-flapping, or a strict adherence to a daily routine to the extent of feeling distressed if these patterns are disrupted
- outward signs of autism are identifiable early in development, even if theyre not easy to spot, as they may become more apparent when the child gets older
- autism signs result in noticeable challenges adjusting to functions expected in social or workplace norms
- autism signs arent more clearly part of a different intellectual disability or developmental disorder diagnosis
These signs are also diagnosed according to their severity.
Some autistic people may show only mild forms of these signs. But others may experience severe forms that disrupt their ability to adjust to neurotypical social and communication norms.
This is why many people think its critical to get a diagnosis and get treated as early as possible.
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The Spiritual Battle For Your Marriage
God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy Gods beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemys lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that theyre not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.
Diagnosing Autism In Teenagers
The process of getting diagnosed with autism during the teenage years is no different from that of getting a diagnosis at an early age, but it will involve more questions about the teens behavior in school and how he/she interacts with peers.
A formal diagnosis might involve one or more experts in the field of autism such as developmental pediatricians, psychiatrist, psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists.
The diagnostic procedures can include:
- An interview with parent or caregiver
- Actual observation of all interactions with others
- A physical exam to rule out other medical conditions
- A developmental screening
Once a teen has been diagnosed, a qualified pediatrician can recommend how to move forward with beneficial behavioral therapies and treatments.
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When Do These Signs Typically Begin To Appear
Signs of ASD can change from childhood to adulthood. In many cases, autism cant by definition be diagnosed unless its signs are present when your child is young so that a pattern of behavior can be established.
Of course, theres no exact time when these signs of autism will become noticeable in your teen.
But as with many teens, you may start to see behavioral and emotional changes happen when they hit puberty, usually at 11 to 13 years old.
Signs of autism may also become more noticeable when they start attending middle and high school, where social relationships often become more central to a teens life.
School Board Applied Behaviour Analysis Experts
Every school board in the province gets funding to hire at least one expert in applied behavioural analysis and conduct ABA training.
ABA expertise professionals support principals, teachers, educators and other school staff by:
- providing and coordinating ABA coaching, training and resources
- facilitating school boards collaboration with community service providers, parents and schools
- supporting the Connections for Students model and other student transitions
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Learn Everything About Your Teen
Most parents do this anyway . But if your teen is autistic and youre not sure what to do, ask them!
Keep an open conversation going with your teen. Ask them to tell you what theyre thinking or write down their thoughts.
If your teen may not have the verbal or writing capacities to share their thoughts or emotions with you, its crucial to observe their behavior and take note of what might trigger certain behavioral responses.
Find what does work to help minimize behaviors that may be disruptive or challenge their ability to get the most out of the resources they have access to.
If you believe their behavior is disruptive or hindering their ability to succeed in ways that theyve expressed interest, try to minimize those triggers or help your teen find coping mechanisms.
Here are some ideas:
- Bright lights a trigger? Keep the lights dim in your home.
- Loud noises disrupt their focus or overstimulate their senses? Buy them some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.
- Is your teen feeling intense emotion? Give them space, and be understanding. Dont yell, make them feel ashamed, or respond with hurtful language or violence.