It’s Ok To Be Sad About Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis
“I get really sad when I think of the ‘normal’ childhood my kids have missed. I have no tolerance for parents who complain about having to drive their kids to ballet and soccer and all of their other activities. I wanted to be that mom, and I always envisioned my life would be that way. But now I realize how blessed I am to avoid dealing with drinking, drugs, promiscuousness, social-media bullying and all the other typical teenager problems.”
Alicia Hardigree, Greenville, South Carolina
Act On How Your Friend Or Family Member Says She Feels Not On How You Think She Ought To Feel
This seems kind of obvious and I think itâs good advice to apply to everyone you know, whether on the autistic spectrum or not. If your family member says doing a certain thing makes him uncomfortable, it makes him feel uncomfortable even if you think it shouldnât. If your friend or family member says she is fine with something, she is probably fine with it even if you think she ought not to feel fine with whatever it is. However, many people learn to say they are fine with things they are not fine with because theyâve learned that they can avoid the much more painful embarrassment of other people dramatically overreacting and making a scene.
With very little effort, you can choose to be polite and act like the autistic person means exactly what he or she says.
Please do not make a scene or attract attention in public when you decide to not believe what your friend with Aspergers says about how he or she feels. Insisting that that person act offended or acting loudly offended on his or her behalf will probably only make your friend or family member intensely uncomfortable, embarrassed, and ashamed. The more often you make scenes in public, the less he or she will want to do with you.
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What Are Life Skills
Life skills are sometimes referred to as;independent living skills or;daily living skills.;Basic life skills include self-care activities,;cooking, money management, shopping, room organization and transportation. These skills are learned over time, beginning at home at a;very young age and developing further throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Learning a wide range of life skills that apply to many areas of life is critical. It is also important to include executive function skills or thinking skills such as organizing, planning, prioritizing and decision making related to each life skill being taught.;Categories of life skills include:;
- Health and safety
- Peer relationships, socialization and social communication
- Community participation and personal finance
- Home living skills
Make Time For Downtime
We all need time to recharge and decompress, but my brother thrives on spending a ton of time alone, something that can be true of people on the spectrum. While at times I felt like it might be a good idea for him to be more social, I realized that even family dinner demanded a lot from him, and he would need downtime afterward.
It’s Hard To Change Routines
Some people like to switch their day-to-days up, but for those with autism, it’s very important to have a consistent routine. If anything goes off-course from the norm, a meltdown could be triggered due to the panic they feel about an unexpected change, even as small as it may be. If there is a change that needs to be made, it needs to be communicated in a clear, descriptive way in order to make them feel comfortable and calm throughout the process.;
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Help For Parents Of Children With Autism
If you have a child with autism, it is important to get support. The day-to-day care of children with autism can be stressful. Making sure your child get the help they need can also pose a challenge, depending on whether quality support services are available in your area. At the same time, you are likely to have ongoing worries about your child’s prognosis and long-term well being. For all these reasons, you need to take care of yourself, as well as your child. Make an effort to reach out and find the support you need.
Bright Lights And Noises Are A Challenge
When you’re walking through a store or sitting in a restaurant, you might not think twice about what’s going on around you. For those with autism who have sensory issues, that’s a different story. Hypersensitivities to sights, sounds, smells, taste, and touch are commonespecially bright lights and loud noiseswhich can make someone with autism feel very overwhelmed. That also includes hyposensitivities due to under-responsiveness to signals that help control balance and coordination, which can lead to clumsiness.;
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Showtunes I Relate To As An Autistic Person
Since I was a little girl Ive loved musicals. My parents are both big musical fans, so I was exposed to them a lot. I also happen to live just outside the Twin Cities, one of the best areas in the country for musical theater. The amount of small local theaters here is ridiculous and it gives me a chance to see so many shows, including ones few people have even heard of . Just a couple weeks ago I saw The Toxic Avenger, and by the time this is published Ill have seen Assassins.
Now, Im not the type of musical fan wholl gush about actors or whats new on Broadway. What I love most about musicals are the songs. I love words. I love lyrics. I always have. And one thing musicals have going for them is great lyrics. Unlike some other genres, where lyrics are just thrown together to sound good , musicals need good lyrics. Oftentimes the lyrics are necessary to keep the plot moving, or at least to add to the plot. Because of this, and the sheer number of musicals out there, I firmly believe there are showtunes out there for everyone. Everyone has a song that could become their personal anthem if they give musicals a chance. Below Im sharing a few songs that I love and relate to, and why.
1. Why Not Me? from Carrie: The Musical
Oh I anticipate the snickers,And I expect the kids will stareBut they wont rattle meNo matter what they do
I know I may not be welcomeBut at least I will be thereAnd if other girls belong then I do too
2. What Would You Do? from Cabaret
Dont Worry About What Other People Are Thinking
The most freeing moment of this journey for us was when we stopped worrying about public appearance. Your child needs for you to be 100 percent in tune with them and what they are experiencing, not worried about how you are perceived.
Sarah McKamey, Manchester, Tennesseee
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Dealing With Differences In Communication
Life Skills And Autism
For people with autism, learning life skills is essential to increase independence at home, at school and in the community.;By introducing these skills early and building block by block, people with;autism gain the tools that will allow him or her to increase self esteem and lead to more happiness in all areas of life.;
Our life skills strategies;and ideas will;help our community get started;and provide tools to support continued learning through the transition from school to adult life.;;
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Know That Medical Issues Can Be Involved
I wish I had known about the invisible medical issues of autism right from the start. For years, I had no idea that gastrointestinal dysfunction, including constipation, acid reflux, inflammation and pain, could dramatically affect my sons sleep patterns, mood, irritability, aggression, attention, and even communication. Our son had to power through those problems all by himself on a daily basis, and it breaks my heart that we never suspected the cause of many of his struggles.
Janet Lintala, West Virginia
Turning 22 With Autism
The relative lack of information for and about adults on the spectrum means that a lot of parents suddenly find themselves scrambling when their childnow a young adultreaches the magical age of 22.
That’s because, on their 22nd birthday, people with autism suddenly lose their entitlement to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and enter the much chancier world of adult services.
While the IDEA actually requires schools to offer “free and appropriate education” to all children, there is no such requirement for adults. As a result, funding and programming for adults may or may not be available at any given time.
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Ways To Support A Person With Autism
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder, and according to the latest Center for Disease Control research, 1 in 59 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism. Autism is also four times more common in boys than girls. Itâs challenging to acquire exact statistics about autism in children because many adults not diagnosed with autism in early childhood go undiagnosed into adulthood. Itâs estimated that there are about 3.5 million Americans living with a type of autism, but all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups worldwide are impacted.
Given these statistics, thereâs a high likelihood that you know someone that has autism or a family that is caring for someone with autism. Autism is a complex condition with a variety of signs, symptoms, and severity levels. Currently, there is no blood test or cure for autism, so early detection and intervention with treatment and services are key to improve a persons development and functionality for a lifetime. Given the prevalence and complexity of autism, itâs important to be aware of ways you can support people that dealing with the condition.
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Creating An Environment Conducive To Sleep For Autistic Children
The beginning of school is a time notorious for upending lax sleep schedules and reinstituting new elements of structure. However, for autistic children, sleep can be hard enough to come by without adding routine changes to the mix. According to Autism Speaks, as many as 80 percent of children with autism have sleep problems such as having a hard time falling and staying asleep. Lack of sleep can cause sleepiness during the day, as well as behavioral and learning problems. Theres no one-size-fits-all plan for helping your child enjoy more restful sleep, but the following tips from Living Autism are definitely worth trying.
What Does Independent Living Look Like For Adults With Autism
Independent living looks different for each adult with autism. Depending on the severity of ones symptoms, there are various independent living options, including independent living, supported living, and supervised group living. In some cases, this path is not linear. If your loved one has moved out but is not quite ready to live a fully independent life, they may benefit from supported living. This will allow them to receive the tools and therapy they need during this period, so they can reach key milestones.
The Adult Autism Center offers programs that encourage greater independence and personal growth. During our decades of experience within the autism community, we realized that there was a gap in the services and resources offered to adults with autism. We are here for you and your family!
Healthy Habits For People With Autism
Its just a matter of incorporating physical activity into the day, slowly and gradually, so the change doesnt seem too abrupt and uncomfortable.
It can be difficult for people with Autism to cut back on screen time especially if being on a computer is a necessary component of their job. Instead of cutting back, someone could wear yellow-tinted glasses to refract some of the glare and protect their eyesight.
Request a standing desk or sit on an exercise ball instead of a swivel chair. Incorporate desk yoga into the workday. Take your handheld gaming system around the block with you on a walk. Little changes go a long way!
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While Living With Someone Who Has Autism May Have Plenty Of Challenges Overall The Experience Can Be An Absolute Gift
Growing up with a brother who is on the autism spectrum meant a lot of compromises. My brother is high-functioning, but there were still a lot of things we had to do to adapt. Though we felt like it at times, we werent alone: According to the Autism Society, the disorder occurs in one in every 59 births in the United States. Autism can impact a persons ability to communicate and interact with others, as well as their fine motor skills, coordination, and even their basic senses in some cases.
As a child, I had to make concessions for my brothers condition, and there were more than a few situations that led me to say thats not fair! or you would never let me get away with that. But, as we all grew and evolved, I realized I had to help the family work as a cohesive unitand this continues to be the main priority for everyone in my family. Learn about the 18 autism myths that doctors wish you would stop believing.
How To Live A Healthier Life With Autism
Special Strong>How to Live a Healthier Life with Autism
An Autism diagnosis is not a death sentence. Plenty of people on the Autism spectrum can live fulfilling, happy, successful lives. Well cover how to live a healthier life with Autism, but first, its likely that you have a few questions. Dont worry; well answer those too.
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When You Change Your Expectations The World Will Grow
I wish we knew that autism just means different, not less. Instead of baseball games in elementary school we would have sensory integration programs. I wish we knew then that it will be OK some days will be hard, some days will be beautiful and at the end of each of them when we tuck our son into bed, the most important thing we can do is make sure he knows he is loved.
Tabatha and Tony Rainwater, Knoxville, Tennessee
What Is Adult Autism
Adult autism is similar to autism found in children. People who are on the autism spectrum tend to have social difficulties that can lead to problems in their personal or professional life. Adults with autism are usually able to function very well in their profession, but the lack of social skills may cause issues for them none the less. The cause for autism is not yet known though there are several speculations that it stems from additives in foods and vaccinations. Read on to learn some adult autism tips that may prove useful for you.
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As A Neurotypical Dating Someone With Autism You May Need To Play The Role Of An Interpreter
Does this mean people with autism cant become better partners? No, thats not the case, they can grow a lot. But, as a neurotypical partner, its important to acknowledge you can grow, too. Your autistic partner is spending most of their waking hours in a world biased for neurotypical people and trying to interpret your neurotypical messages. However, their brain was not wired to process neurotypical messages easily. So as a neurotypical partner, you can help by playing the role of interpreter and explain what youre trying to tell them by saying what you mean.
Group Homes Create Families
Barbara Fischkin also helped create a home for her son Dan. She first shared the story of his miracle group homefunded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and run by the Nassau County Chapter of AHRC, a nonprofit grouptwo years ago. Then, she described it as a newly renovated house on Long Islanda place I call the frat house. Actually, it is a beautiful and smartly designed home that could be a model for such endeavors nationwide. And the guys, who are in their 20s and 30s, are all at the age when leaving home and family and striking out on your owneven if you need lots of staff to helpis something one yearns to do.
Two years later, she reports that Dan, now 24, and his three housemates become more like a family all the time. The guys look out for one another. Dan is still not verbal and has an aide most of the time but is making great progress with independent typing.