Don’t Perpetuate Stigma And Misunderstanding Around Autism
That said, there’s one thing you should never do.
Taking any of the words used to describe autism to say something negative about a person is incredibly disrespectful. You are taking something that should be celebrated and making it an insult.
The same goes for words previously used to describe intellectual disability getting thrown around as insults.
These words carry with them a history of misunderstanding and stigma. And if you use them in this way, you are helping perpetuate that.
Signs And Symptoms Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
If autism is caught in infancy, treatment can take full advantage of the young brains remarkable plasticity. Although autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.
The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of typical behaviorsnot the presence of atypical onesso they can be tough to spot. In some cases, the earliest symptoms of autism are even misinterpreted as signs of a good baby, since the infant may seem quiet, independent, and undemanding. However, you can catch warning signs early if you know what to look for.
Some autistic infants dont respond to cuddling, reach out to be picked up, or look at their mothers when being fed.
When Parents React Negatively
Regardless of the childâs diagnosis, refer to Social Exchange Theory and Autism at the web site: http://groups.msn.com/TheAutismHomePage/socialexchange.msnw to read about a way to understand and deal with behaviors. If you have regular contact with the child, follow these general rules: expect the best from the child, donât lower your expectations. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Ignore behaviors you donât want to see repeated and pay attention to and reinforce behaviors you want to see repeated. You can do a lot with good, solid behavioral intervention. Also read A Way To Think About Autism.
Finally, and most important of all, pray. God knows autism, He knows the human heart, and He can open doors when they are closed. Be a support to the family, be a help to the family. Hopefully, your fears will be unfounded and the child will not have Autism â donât worry about this possibility â just share their joy. You are not a professional diagnostician â you are a concerned friend.
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How Do You Speak Up As A Parent
I’ve lost count of the number of times I want to call someone out on the language they’ve used around autism or disability.
How do you do this calmly and politely, especially if they’re talking about your child?
Shannon Des Roches Rosa has been writing about autism since her son Leo was diagnosed on the autism spectrum in 2003 and she is the senior editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism.
Shannon says it’s hard for anyone to change habits, especially when it comes to language.
“If people don’t know any better and you say ‘Did you know that this is considered harmful?’ and they say ‘I am so sorry I will try and change my usage’, even if they make a couple of mistakes because it does take time, I understand,” she says.
“I only have a problem with people who have been told that specific words are harmful and then they insist on using them anyhow because then they are disrespecting Leo and his community.”
The flip side of that is that through Patch and autistic community I’ve learnt some beautiful words which are important to them words that celebrate difference, like neurodiverse and neurodivergent.
I use them loudly and often in public, in the hope others adopt them too.
Learn To Deal With Some Social Awkwardness
Autism comes with some difficulties with social interaction, so you may find that dating an autistic man or woman means that you have to be present for some embarrassing moments when socializing in groups.
They may behave in a way that is not considered appropriate for a certain social situation, or they may not pick up on social cues from others. Learn to be supportive or find humor in these situations instead of being critical of your partner.
They are probably doing the best that they can, and if they have agreed to go out and socialize with you, they are already stepping outside their comfort zone as it is.
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How Do You Tell A Friend That You Are Autistic
Its more than likely that the first person/people who you will tell that you are autistic will fall into the category of friends. And why not? They are the people you see most often. They are the people you trust. Theyre reliable. Theyre relatable. Theyre there for you when the chips are down. But with all things considered, do they even care if you are autistic? And how do you tell someone you are autistic without making them look at you like you just announced youre carrying the T-virus from Resident Evil?
Todays article begins the How to tell someone you are autistic series, and it deals with the most common question: how do you tell a friend you are autistic?
‘autistic Not Weird’ Survey Results
- One survey conducted in March 2022 by Autistic Not Weird received more than 11,000 responses.
- Just over 76% of autistic respondents indicated a preference for IFL, or that they always wanted to be referred to as an autistic person rather than a person with autism.
- Just under 4% indicated a strong preference for person with autism.
- 15% indicated that either term felt appropriate, and about 5% declined to answer the question.
- Overall, this data points to a community preference for IFL in relation to autism.
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How Parents Can Spot The Warning Signs
As a parent, youre in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. You know your child better than anyone and observe behaviors and quirks that a pediatrician, in a quick fifteen-minute visit, might not have the chance to see. Your childs pediatrician can be a valuable partner, but dont discount the importance of your own observations and experience. The key is to educate yourself so you know whats typical and whats not.
Monitor your childs development. Autism involves a variety of developmental delays, so keeping a close eye on whenor ifyour child is hitting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is an effective way to spot the problem early on. While developmental delays dont automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.
Take action if youre concerned. Every child develops at a different pace, so you dont need to panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, theres a wide range of typical. But if your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, share your concerns with your childs doctor immediately. Dont wait.
Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign
Autism In School Aged Children
When a child with autism makes it to school the problems with social interaction are going to become more noticeable because they are forced to interact with their peers every day.
Ive heard people say before that having autism is like playing a social game where no one has taught them the rules and many of my students who have Aspergers agree with this. It is very difficult for them to infer meaning of words from the tone of voice or facial expression.
Most people tend to do this so naturally that we dont even notice. If you pay attention during the next conversation you have you will see that there are many misunderstandings to be had if you simply take the words at face value and dont consider anything else.
Also at this stage children are probably going to enjoy a sense of strict order to their daily routine. This makes them more comfortable because then they can know what to expect from their day.
If anything interrupts this timetable then they may be liable to become upset.
These are a few of the thing that you should look out for if you suspect that you child might have autism.
If you do think that your child is exhibiting some of these characteristics then please take them to see a psychologist because every child is different and it is hard to diagnose someone from a list of symptoms.
About Alexander Burgemeester
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Dont Interpret Their Behavior To Mean That They Are Apathetic Or Unemotional
Autism relationships may sometimes be confusing because your partner can come across as lacking in emotion. This is because autism leads to difficulties with expressing oneself through communication.
A person with autism may speak in a monotone voice, lack eye contact, or appear emotionally blank. This does not mean that they do not experience emotions or empathy they simply have a harder time expressing it.
If you are dating someone with autism and are unsure of how to navigate your way, watch this video.
How Do You Tell Someone That You Have Autism
It is up to you how you choose to broach the subject of your diagnosis with people. You may find it useful to explain what autism is in a simple way, so that people understand what you mean by autism. For a simple definition of autism go to our what is autism page. You may also find it useful to seek help of an autism advocate, who can assist you to speaking to people such as your teachers, boss, colleagues or friends about autism, and how it specifically relates to you, your relationships and environment.
One of the main things I like to explain is that people with autism have varied abilities and character traits, theres not one single experience of autism.
I have Aspergers syndrome and that means Im sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower.
I would play with numbers in a way that other kids would play with their friends.
People on the spectrum experience the neurotypical world as relentlessly unpredictable and chaotic, perpetually turned up too loud, and full of people who have little respect for personal space.
Everyone has a mountain to climb and autism has not been my mountain, it has been my opportunity for victory.
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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
Common symptoms of autism in adults include:
- Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling
- Trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, or social cues
- Difficulty regulating emotion
- Trouble keeping up a conversation
- Inflection that does not reflect feelings
- Difficulty maintaining the natural give-and-take of a conversation prone to monologues on a favorite subject
- Tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
- Only participates in a restricted range of activities
- Strict consistency to daily routines outbursts when changes occur
- Exhibiting strong, special interests
Autism spectrum disorder is typically a life-long condition, though early diagnosis and treatment can make a tremendous difference.
Autism Symptoms In Adults At Work
Symptoms of ASD vary greatly from person to person based on the severity of the condition. These or similar manifestations of ASD may be apparent at work:
- When youre having a conversation with your boss, you prefer to look at the wall, her shoes, or anywhere but directly into her eyes.
- Your co-workers say that you speak like a robot.
- Each item on your desk has a special place, and you dont like when the cleaning company rearranges it to dust.
- You are really good at math, or software coding, but struggle to succeed in other areas.
- You talk to your co-workers the same way you talk with your family and friends.
- During meetings, you find yourself making involuntary noises, like clearing your throat over and over.
- When talking with your boss, you have difficulty telling if he is happy with your performance or mad at you.
In addition, autistic individuals may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of autistic individuals have average or above-average intelligence.
If you experience these or similar symptoms of ASD, consult a doctor or mental-health professional for a formal autism evaluation and learn more about treatment options for autism symptoms in adults.
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How Do People Flirt On The Spectrum
Other Signs Of Autism
You may also have other signs, like:
- not understanding social “rules”, such as not talking over people
- avoiding eye contact
- getting too close to other people, or getting very upset if someone touches or gets too close to you
- noticing small details, patterns, smells or sounds that others do not
- having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
- liking to plan things carefully before doing them
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The Significance Of Identity
In research and clinical work, PFL is typically used when taking a recovery orientation to treatment. For example, a doctor refers to patients with cancer rather than cancerous patients because the goal is to treat and eliminate the cancer.
Groups aiming to cure autism tend to use PFL when referring to autism and are generally considered to be a form of eugenics and elevate the voices of non-autistic people while being unresponsive to feedback from the autistic community.
Many autistic people have written and spoken about why IFL is important to them and why it is generally preferred over PFL. PFL implies that the person is the same with or without their diagnosis, and the majority of the autistic community agrees that their autism is a fundamental part of who they are.
Neurodivergent conditions, including autism, are brain differences, meaning that they impact who the person is.
Some autistic individuals prefer PFL or state that they have no preference, so when addressing them, use what they prefer. But when referring to the autistic community at large, the best practice is to determine what the majority of community members prefer because true allies value community voices.
Multiple surveys conducted over the past decade have shown that, while context plays a role in what language is most appropriate to use, IFL is generally preferred by the autistic community.
Be Sensitive To Sensory And Developmental Needs
People with autism are often sensitive to sensory information . In addition, sometimes developmental delays can accompany autism . This is NOT the case for all people with autism and you can help your loved one by asking thoughtful questions to learn more about their needs.
People often say: I got him this gift I know its technically a little young for him, but I thought that it might be more his level.
Better to say: Call ahead and ask what the child would like, or, when in doubt: gift card.
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Why Tell Someone They Might Be Autistic
So, given how complicated telling someone that they are autistic can be, you might now be wondering why bother?. Its a fair question and the answer is, well, for so many different reasons.
For adults, a late diagnosis can mean that some of the many doors which were once sealed shut are now open to help and support that person. These include certain benefits from the government, reasonable support at work but, more to the point, a diagnosis can mean that a person who might have felt lost in themselves now has an explanation for why they do what they do and a greater understanding of their identity.
Children, on the other hand, also have many reasons why they should want to pursue a possible diagnosis as, discovering the condition early, can mean that, when at school, they will be open to life-changing support schemes which allow them to make the hardest years of life that bit easier. Additionally, an autism diagnosis can take a long, long time so having someone step in as early as possible could make a huge difference as far as timing is concerned too.
So, with all this considered, whether you are the husband of the obsessive train lover, the wife of the eccentric organiser, the friend of the socially awkward chum or the colleague of the literal workaholic, I hope the words you have read today can support you in supporting someone else as all it takes is one short conversation and you could make permanent change to that persons life for the better.
Can You Tell If Someone Has Autism Just By Looking At Them
i dont know. probably not. Sometimes you can tell if a child isa little quirky and doesnt quite understand others verbal andnon verbal cues. Some people have autistic tendencies yet donthave autism, and some have autism which is a little harder todetect. If you are worried it is best to consult a paediatrician orother professional. A person with autism does not differ inphysical appearance compared to people without autism, although ithas been suggested that as they grow older they might look slightlymore youthful than others their age. Autism cannot be detected byphysical appearance it is detected by behaviors.
No, you cant tell that someone is Autistic just by looking at them.
Generally speaking there are no physical symptoms of Autism, thus a persons appearance alone is not an indication although an Autistic person may dress differently, and have unusual looking body language such as issues making eye contact. As an Autistic person I can often tell Autistic people within a few minutes of being with them, not from social interaction but because although we learn social skills like body language as it doesnt come naturally to us its always ever so slightly off. Ive never known a neurotypical person who was able to consciously pick-up on this.
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