And Finally Theres An Extension To This Article Containing Points 6
Yeah, I originally planned to just extend this article, but instead Ive doubled it.
Writing for Autistic Not Weird has now become my job, thanks to those who support me via Patreon. The extension to this article is a thank you to anyone who thinks my work is worth $5 per month or more, and allows me to spend my time helping the autism community worldwide. To those interested:
Rude Things Autistic People Do
There are many things which are unequivocally rude: Being let out on a busy road and not giving a nod of thanks: rude. Resting your sweaty feet over a theatre chair when someone is sitting in front of you: rude. Casually mentioning that someones newborn looks like a potato cross-bred with Gollum yeah, speaking from experience, its probably best to not go there.
However, while in some cases its easy to identify what is and isnt rude, autism can be a different kettle of fish. This is because, whilst autistic people are entirely capable of being purposefully impolite, there are also many aspects to our quirks which can be misconstrued in this way. As such, here are 10 examples where an autistic person might seem rude and how you can help.
Additional Resources For Autism And Sensory Overload
Autism Speaks, the worlds leading autism science and advocacy organization, along with other prominent organizations, provides resources to help autistic individuals and parents of children with autism or a sensory overload disorder, including the below:
Autism is a lifelong condition for which there is no definitive cure. As a society continuing to learn more about autism, there are more and more ways to help support people who have it. Through early detection, as well as structured support and strategies to minimize symptoms, you can successfully manage the condition so that you or your family member can live a fulfilling life.
Through this guide, we hope that youve increased your understanding of the world of an ASD person, particularly in the areas of noise sensitivities and other sensory overload challenges. We hope that you find the tips, advice and noise solutions for autism presented above to stop sensory overload helpful in managing the condition for yourself or your loved one.
Soundproof Cow team member to learn more about soundproofing a home for individuals with autism.
I have emailed a lot of different manufactures and I have to say your customer service is head and shoulders above all of them. I emailed your company at about 9pm my time and when I woke up the next morning you had already answered my question and then the follow up was a few hours later. I am impressed. Thanks a lot for the quick turn around!
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Nature As A Salve For Children With Autism
The intense focus that some kids bring to video games can carry over to being captivated by minute details in the natural world: the sound of a single insect or the texture of a blade of grass.
Erin Laraway and four of her students were pulling radishes from raised growing beds in a vest-pocket garden tucked into the side of the Brooklyn Occupational Training Center, a public high school for adolescents with special needs in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn one recent Friday morning.
How many radishes do you have there, Javier? Ms. Laraway asked an 18-year-old who was rocking back and forth. He was stimming, a repetitive behavior many people with autism use to soothe themselves. He put up five fingers.
Good job, the teacher replied. How do you feel working in the garden today? she asked, holding out a tablet-like communications device. Javier pointed at the icon of a boy labeled proud.
The students get a great sense of success in the garden, of actually accomplishing something, Ms. Laraway said. Javier will pick up the wheelbarrow, or water the plants without being asked, whereas inside the classroom he has difficulty even taking the cap off a water bottle. Im always being surprised by what he is capable of out here.
It appears to be helping. Her students interact more with their peers in the garden than they do in the classroom, Ms. Laraway reported.
An increasingly common form of natural therapy for children on the spectrum is work with horses.
Let Them Find Out That You Love Them But Hate Their Autism
This point is a step up from #4, only far more personal.
And yes, I am well aware that lots of people feel this way, parents in particular. Some have even written articles and blog posts entitled;why I love my child but hate his/her autism. And I get it- watching vulnerable children struggle is a dreadful experience, and even more so if theyre your own. Hating the condition that holds them back is quite a natural response.
But bloody hell, it can be damaging.
Why? Well, imagine that a childs mother makes the mistake of saying the sentence I love my child but hate their autism in a place where the child can overhear her. The child will take one very significant message from that, and one which;will definitely stick with them:
Wow a part of me is;so dreadful that even my mother cant love it.
Everyone struggles with their personal demons. Everyone.;And some people only cope with their demons based on how well other people let them cope.
When someone knows you hate their;autism, you are bringing those;demons to life. You are giving their demons a name, and you are giving those demons authority.
More than anything, you are saying that the child is right to be fearful and hateful towards a large part of themselves.
If youve reached the end of this and still love the child but hate their autism, thats your right to do so.
But please, for the childs sake, please never let them find out.
Instead of talking about them as if theyre not in the room:
- Love the child.
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Handling Autistic Childrens Obsessions Routines And Rituals
Some autistic children and their families can live with daily obsessive behaviour, routines and rituals. Others might want to find ways to handle the habits differently.
If youre thinking about doing things differently, it can help to ask some questions about the habit and how it affects your child and family. For example:
- Is your childs behaviour affecting their ability to learn?
- Is your childs behaviour affecting their social life?
- Is your childs behaviour affecting your familys ability to carry out day-to-day activities, or to go on holidays or trips?
- How would you feel if this behaviour is the same in a few years?
- Is your childs behaviour causing harm to themselves or others?
Your answers to these questions might help you decide whether its worth trying to change things. And if you decide you want to work on your childs obsessions and routines, your answers might help you work out what to focus on.
Before you develop a plan to manage your childs obsessions, rituals and routines, its a good idea to think about your childs developmental level and communication skills. For example, does your child have the communication skills to understand your instructions?
Working out whats causing your childs behaviour might also guide your next steps. Is it sensory? Or does your child feel anxious when faced with the unknown? You might be able to manage the sensory issues or the anxiety, which could lead to a decrease in the behaviour.
Creative Ways To Help A Child With Autism Enjoy The Water
How does your child react in the waterwith pleasure or with pain?; Does your child respond to water play with interest and excitement, or does the very mention of water create stress? Lets look at the reasons why kids with autism spectrum disorder react differently from one another in the water, along with some tips for making water play a safe and enjoyable experience.
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Build Trust Break Down Fear; Share Vulnerabilities
Another reason why one-on-one lessons are best; they let trust be built between the child and the instructor as well as;you and your child. Its important that your child trusts the instructor as much as they trust you, the parent. Whether or not youre neurotypical, trust is a huge component of learning how to swim. Especially important is the ability to share vulnerabilities. For example, if your child is scared of submerging their face under water even for a few seconds share that vulnerability. Also ensure the instructor is co-operating in the same way. If your child witnesses you or the instructor submerging they will feel more comfortable following suite. When theyre ready, do it again with them. It doesnt matter what the step is; whether its getting into the pool, splashing, holding their breath, you name it be a role model for your child.
Too many instructors will force a kid under but will not go under with them. We share this experience with them and celebrate every small win. Say, Lets do it together! Vulnerability is a powerful tool when used properly.;
Drowning Remains A Top Cause Of Death For Children With Autism
- University of the Sciences
- Many families beat the summer heat with trips to swimming pools, beaches, and water parks; but water safety concerns are particularly heightened for families of children with autism. In fact, drowning remains a leading cause of death in children with autism because they often become overstimulated with crowds and escape to unsafe environments.
Many families beat the summer heat with trips to swimming pools, beaches, and water parks; but water safety concerns are particularly heightened for families of children with autism, said Varleisha Gibbs, OTD, OTR/L, occupational therapy professor at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. In fact, drowning remains a leading cause of death in children with autism because they often become overstimulated with crowds and escape to unsafe environments.
“Among the plethora of concerns for families dealing with autism, includes addressing water safety practices as early as possible in a child’s life,” said Dr. Gibbs. “Although water safety is a concern for all parents, children with autism are especially at a higher risk for drowning because they may seek isolation by fleeing to unfamiliar territories.”
Dr. Gibbs compiled the following summer safety tips to help parents relax and enjoy the summer with their children with autism:
— Learn to swim. Enroll your child in swimming and water safety lessons as early as possible.
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How To Help Children Connect With Nature
Dongying Li, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University who studies landscape and health, suggested being flexible and letting children enjoy unstructured play in nature in their own way. Take advantage of a puddle, a tree, a pocket park or even a photo of a garden, and plan for incremental steps, starting from where you feel most comfortable, she said.
Other suggestions, which may be adapted as needed:
Allow children to find their safe place in nature, Mr. Bénard suggested. If parents have a backyard or land, build them a wooden house, a safe shelter, where they can go and be silent.
Look around and observe different species, Ms. Laraway said. Families can make a game of it by counting the number of birds or butterflies they see each day.
Let children play freely without being directed, Ms. Galbraith suggested. Allow them to spend ages staring at a tree trunk if thats what they want to do. Let them have the space and time to experience nature in their own way. If they live far from nature, set up a bird-feeder or windowsill garden.
Plan a trip to a local ranch to pick apples, strawberries, pumpkins or fresh vegetables, Ms. Torres said. They may enjoy scavenger hunts or stargazing. Keep exposing your child to new things so they can find the things that really excite them.
Best Toys For Autistic Children Of All Ages
November 13, 2019gift guide
As a company that creates toys and weighted items popular with autistic children, were often asked for recommendations regarding Christmas, Hanukkah, and birthday gifts. For example, one of our favorite practical tools for nonverbal communicators is our Tiny Talker, which can become essential for daily life.
We love having these discussions with customers and friends, and thought that perhaps others would have similar questions. With no further ado, please enjoy what we believe are some of the best toys for autistic children of all ages.
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Mendability Water Games And Self
Although the challenges with self-awareness for children with autism mean that they might not drink enough, water is often a great element of play and discovery for children on the autism spectrum. Mendabilitys therapy program includes specific exercises that help children with autism and developmental delays to improve their self-awareness by focusing on body posture or tactile processing. One example of these exercises is called the Water Game.
Autism And Water: The Supreme Sensory Stimulus
It is thought that this autism and water fascination is due to the supreme sensory stimuli that water presents us. Water gives us many different stimuli- visual, tactile, auditory, and even olfaction . Water provides an extraordinary visual experience: from the great waves of an ocean, to the stillness of a peaceful lake. In a pool setting, the skewed colors and wiggly painted lines of the bottom of the pool provide an interesting experience for any child. Everything looks off due to the refraction of light and movement of the water. When reflecting on the visual aspect of water, its easy to understand the link between autism and water attraction.
Theres also all the other senses. The sounds of a flowing river or the crashing ocean are appealing to anyone; the smell of the salty sea or that distinct smell of a chlorinated pool make you think of how fun it is to be around water. The feeling of physically being in water is also an incredible sensory stimulus. The gentle sway of water against you, the weightless feeling that water gives you, as well as the feeling of waves spraying you as they crash at your feet- can you feel it? For a child with autism with hyperactive senses, these feelings can;greatly increase to create one overwhelmingly amazing experience. Its easy to see why children with autism have an innate fascination with water.
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An Appropriate Response Plan
Meanwhile, no one at Connors school had called his mother or the police. He could have been struck by a car, raped, abducted, McIlwain says. When the police saw people at Connors school searching for him, they realized he belonged there. Only then did someone at the school notify her. The advocate notes that had the school had a proper emergency response plan or if Connor had been wearing an ID the situation could have been resolved quickly. Instead, he was still in the cop car when they called me, she says.
I got him out of that school as fast as I could, McIlwain says. She then enlisted a lawyer to help add a 1:1 aide to his Individualized Education Plan to escort him during transitions, such as when he leaves the classroom to go to a therapy. With the added support, Connor is able to attend a school for typically developing children. McIlwain feels the code will help keep the aide should her son continue to need one, so in October shell have his pediatrician provide an updated letter noting the diagnosis for the school and his IEP.
While some adults with autism worry that a medical code could be used to justify the restraint or seclusion of a student, or place him in a more restrictive school environment, McIlwain says her experience with Connor demonstrates how the exact opposite could result. If more parents can use the code to get their wandering child the supports he or she needs, the child could enter a less, not more, restrictive setting.
Science Fiction And Fantasy
Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to people with autism. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular “universe,” write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend cons, or even build their own costumes.
There is a whole world of opportunity for hobbyists out there, at all levels. Find your inner caped crusader, and get involved.
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Everyone Has A Role To Play In Keeping Kids Safe
Supplied: Autism Swim/Gavin Little
Erika says it’s one thing to say, “Have eyes on your children all the time”, but that’s sometimes easier said than done, and blame helps nobody.
“The kids we work with are such high risk and there’s so many layers of complexity there,” she says.
“At the end of the day, everyone is just trying to do their best.
“I know a little boy that can pile eight phone books on top of each other to get the keys.
“They are such clever little escape artists and it’s nothing to do with the quality of parenting a lot of the time.”
And once they are out and about, these kids are so vulnerable. More than a third of autistic children who wander are never, or rarely, able to tell someone their name, address or phone number.
That’s Patch at the moment and it is a chilling thought, imagining my little boy wandering the streets with no way of telling someone where home is.
Erika says the wider community has a role to play in keeping autistic kids safe. If someone sees a child on their own near water don’t just assume they are OK.
Instead, go up and ask them what they are doing, and if they can’t answer you, don’t walk away. Stay with them and call the police. You may just save a life.