You Cant Always See Autism
There is still a shocking amount of ignorance among the general population when it comes to the Autism Spectrum. Many people assume that children with autism have certain identifiable facial features or particular habits. But as it has already has been mentioned, every single person with autism is different and mild cases of autism are common. These stereotypes and lack of understanding often make things difficult for parents. Its especially hard in the case of schools, coaches, or other organizations who deny a diagnosis because it is not easily seen.
Be Grateful For The Strong Connection You And Your Child Will Forge
In reflecting over the last 24 years of our journey, I will say this: My son gives me 100 kisses and hugs every day, he is always happy to see me and he will always be with me. He doesnt lie and he doesnt judge. He is welcoming to anyone that wants to enter his world. On the other hand, my father sees me about twice a year since we live 1,000 miles apart. So which dad is better off? Its not better or worse, its just different. Once you understand that, your road will be smoother.
Scott Sanes, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Struggles With Language And Perception
Sometimes it is extremely difficult to talk to people, or to write. It takes me roughly three to five times the amount of time people normally take to write say, an essay. Sometimes I simply cant talk because there are so many words, so many thoughts that I want to express and I have no idea how.When I talk, I often use odd language conventions, such as unusual sentence structure, analogies and metaphors that dont directly relate to the feeling or sense that they are describing. Its a bit like synesthesia, but also with thoughts, and to a lesser degree regarding the five senses. I perceive everything at once, and therefore nothing. It is very difficult to focus, relax, or calm my self down because at any given moment I am aware of all of my senses at once. TintedMonocle
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When It Comes To Autism One Size Doesnt Fit All
If you put a PlayStation game into an Xbox, would it work? Of course not. So does that mean the Xbox is broken? No. The same thing applies for a child with autism. Just because they dont learn the way typical children do doesnt mean there is something wrong with them. It means that we as parents, caregivers, friends, neighbors and teachers need to find different ways to try and make a connection.
Laura Jones, Lambertville, New Jersey
Can You Be A Little Bit Autistic
It is not uncommon for people to ascribe certain behaviors or moods to medical conditions or suggest that they are driven by a diagnosable psychological disorder. Examples might include:
- “Oh, I know I’m picky. I’m just a little obsessive-compulsive.”
- “Yes, I’m moody. I guess I’m sort of bipolar.”
- “I’m in a crappy mood. I think I’m;depressed.”
All of these statements, which are used all the time, equate a passing mood or mild preference with a major mental illness.
But of course, picky eating is a far cry from obsessive-compulsive disorder , which can make it impossible to fulfill the demands of daily life. And, a passing feeling of unhappiness or moodiness can’t be compared in any meaningful way to the extreme challenges of bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
Some people may truly believe that spending 20 minutes choosing a color scheme for a party is akin to true OCD, or that a rotten mood is the same thing as major depression.
Others know better but will still use these terms as a colorful way to describe a passing emotion or;a behavior that’s not quite appropriate. This has extended to behaviors that some have haphazardly labeled as “autistic” or being “on the spectrum.”
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Bluntness Can Be Misinterpreted As Being Rude
Sometimes those with autism are mistaken for being rude, just because of how brutally honest and blunt they are. Even though they’re just saying what they’re thinking or feeling, the directive nature of their communiques can be interpreted as insensitive and possibly offensive, even if that’s not at all what they meant to do.;
Repetitive And Restrictive Behaviour
With its unwritten rules, the world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to autistic people. This is why they often;prefer to have;routines;so that they know what is going to happen. They may want to travel the same way to and from school or work, wear the same clothes or eat exactly the same food for breakfast.;
Autistic people may also repeat movements;such as hand flapping, rocking or the repetitive use of an object such as twirling a pen or opening and closing a door. Autistic people often engage in these behaviours to help calm themselves when they are stressed or anxious, but many autistic people do it because they find it enjoyable.;
Change to routine can also be very distressing for autistic people and make them very anxious. It could be having to adjust to big events like Christmas or changing schools, facing uncertainty at work, or something simpler like;a bus detour;that can trigger their anxiety.;
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You Become Very Fixated On One Thing
People with autism often become fixated on one thing, and in that moment, nothing else mattersit’s the most important thing in their life. “It could be how the towels are foldedone of my big onesor how the pencils are aligned, or putting all the little cars in a row, or only eating the vowels out of the Alphabits cereal,” says;Swain.
Training 2 Cares Unique Experiential Training Provides Users With A Glimpse Of What It Is Like To Live As A Person With Dementia Or Autism Managing Director Glenn Knight Spoke To Health Europa To Explain More
From charities and organisations to celebrities and social media influencers, many people are continually working to increase awareness and understanding of syndromes and disorders such as dementia and autism. When it comes to professional training, admiral nurses, specially trained in dementia, are becoming a common feature in hospitals and care homes, and autism specialists are frequently utilised in establishments such as schools and community services.
Even with resources like this, however, how far can our understanding stretch if we do not personally experience living with a syndrome or disorder like autism or dementia? One organisation challenging this question is Training 2 Care, which delivers experiential training designed to provide people with the closest possible representation of what it actually feels like to have dementia or autism.
Launched in early 2010, Training 2 Care first formed as a mandatory training provider for the care sector. After several years of working solely within this focus, the company made the decision to expand its offering.
Glenn Knight, Managing Director of Training 2 Care, explained: About four or five years in, we realised that we did not really have a USP and were doing pretty much the same as what everyone else was doing.
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Our Home Is Safety Proofed
Youre probably familiar with baby proofing a house. But while most families can take down the safety gates and doorknob locks once the child ages, families with children on the Autism Spectrum often have these items and more protecting their child from their homes inherent dangers. This is because many children on the Autism Spectrum are prone to behaviors that can bring about self injury.
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
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When Facts > People
I was diagnosed with an Autism spectrum disorder back in 2002. Up until that point, I would tend to fixate on subjects, such as paleontology, mineralogy, botany and mathematics, and learn everything I possibly could about them, as a distraction from not being able to fit in with other people.
The easiest way to describe that? Its like, my social life and social skills were just another small and unimportant piece of life, and werent something that I could master, so they didnt matter. People werent very important, but damned if I didnt know what the dinosaur with the thick skull plating was or the spiky one with a club tail . In a world full of interesting facts, whats the point in trying to understand arbitrary and impermanent concepts like sadness, anger, joy or fear? Theyre too complex and conditional, and at least to my mind, learning how they worked for other people wasnt as big an achievement as nailing my times tables out in year 1. Geminiilover
Causes And Risk Factors
We do not know all of the causes of ASD. However, we have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD. There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors.
- Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.4, 19
- Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. 5-10
- Individuals with certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis, can have a greater chance of having ASD. 11-14, 20
- When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.15-16
- There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth. 17
- Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD. 18
ASD continues to be an important public health concern. Like the many families living with ASD, CDC wants to find out what causes the disorder. Understanding the factors that make a person more likely to develop ASD will help us learn more about the causes. We are currently working on one of the largest U.S. studies to date, called Study to Explore Early Development . SEED is looking at many possible risk factors for ASD, including genetic, environmental, pregnancy, and behavioral factors.
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Theres No Need To Tag Us In Every Facebook Article About Autism
Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum are research junkies, and do their best to stay up-to-date with each and every advancement in the autism community. Certainly, they know more than the average person. As one parent put it, Theres literally no Facebook article we havent seen. So, before you share it and tag us because were that friend with the child with autism, take that into account.
Having A Special Interest Is Common
Those with autism are known for being single-minded, and something that typically comes hand-in-hand with that is zoning in on a special interest. This could be a hobby they love, a career they enjoybasically anything that captures their attention and makes them want to spend all their time on it. According to Ambitious About Autism, these interests can also turn into obsessions.
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What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorder
No one knows exactly what causes ASD. It probably has something to do with DNA the genes passed down from your parents; and other things, like infections or toxins that change the way the brain develops. Problems during pregnancy and around the time of birth raise the chance of getting autism.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
Please Let My Child Play With Your Child
A study done in Australia found that 42% of teens and adults on the Autism Spectrum do not feel comfortable leaving their own home because they often feel others treat them negatively. Not only is this heartbreaking for the affected individuals, it also leads to further misunderstanding and stigma about autism by the general public. Children with autism like to play with their peers, and largely benefit from being included in things like play dates and sports teams.
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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.;
Autism Causes The Brain To Process Things Differently
Children on the Autism Spectrum process differently things others often take for granted. Crowds, loud noises, and bright or blinking lights, among countless other things, can often lead to extreme anxiety or a total meltdown on the part of the child. As one parent of an autistic child stated, If you are in a supermarket and your child is getting overwhelmed and maybe making a scene, it makes it ten times worse when people around you are giving you dirty looks or making comments.
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We Cant Just Get A Babysitter
Generally, when parents need a night away, they hire a babysitter. Simple right? Well, not if youre the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum. Kids with autism exhibit different behaviors than do neurotypical children. For one, parents leaving isnt just annoying, its disturbing on an emotional level. That makes it very hard for an autistic child to settle down while a babysitter is running the house.
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference. The sooner treatment starts, the better. With therapy, people with autism learn language, improve in school, and build social skills. Many kids with ASD are in special education classes or get special education services.
A treatment program might include:
- speech therapy to help with talking and language skills
- occupational therapy to help with everyday tasks, like dressing and playing
- behavioral therapy to help improve behavior
- social skills training to help with relating to others
- special education to help learning
- medicine to help with things like sleep, paying attention, and hyperactivity
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As Parents We Arent Looking For An Autism Cure
Parents of neurotypical children are often surprised to hear that parents of children on the Autism Spectrum arent really looking for a cure. Autism is part of their childs life and identity, and they wouldnt be themselves if they werent autistic. These parents might research to find management tips and tricks , but they understand that finding a magical cure to get rid of autism altogether is, for lack of a better word, just silly.
My Autistic Child Has Feelings
A common challenge children on the Autism Spectrum and their parents face is the assumption that because an autistic child cannot verbalize or express their feelings like a neurotypical child might, those feelings must not exist. But nothing could be further from the truth. As one parent bluntly describes, Even children who dont speak can still hear you. Dont talk to me over my children like they arent there, especially if youre going to sympathetically tell me what a saint I am for dealing with a horrible situation every day. Im not a saint. Im their mother. And she HEARS YOU and understands that youre saying shes a burden to me.
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Please Be Patient With My Child
Children on the Autism Spectrum often have a slew of sensory issues and meltdowns in common. Because no one would expect a family with autistic children to stay home all hours of the day, these meltdowns often happen in stores, at parks, and in other public places. Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum simply want others to understand that these meltdowns are not brought on by bad behavior, and to please remain patient with both the parents and the child. Rolling your eyes or mumbling snide comments are not helpful. It will not change the immediate situation and can even add further stress to both parent and child.
After The Diagnosis: How Families Experience Autism
I explained everything my focus problem, the fact that I had never read a book of 200-plus pages , on and on. I was quite surprised when she told me that my symptoms “screamed of Asperger’s.” I went through six-plus hours of evaluations. Reading comprehension, strange social questions, open-ended explanations, drawing tests, etc. I thought I did well. Interestingly, it was a mix.
The last part of the evaluation was input from my parents. I gave my mom a questionnaire and she appropriately filled it out. Six weeks later, I was called to make an appointment for the final evaluation. I went in, and there it was a diagnosis: autism spectrum disorder.
I was a little emotional this explained a lot. I thought, why couldn’t this have been uncovered, you know, a decade prior? This would have helped so much! Why couldn’t anyone except me see this?
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