Many parents with autistic children are afraid to let their child be a child. They get so wrapped up in their child’s treatment they forget to let them have fun. They focus on keeping them safe and become too protective. The child’s life becomes full of doctors, or therapy appointments. They get little time to just enjoy being a child. While it is important to keep your child safe it is also important to give them time to do things they like. Here are some things you can do to make sure your child gets to be a child.
Do not lower your expectations for your autistic child. Teach them to always do their best. Having a medical condition should not give them a reason to not try. If they do not try they will never know their full potential.
Children get hurt. They get dirty. That is all a part of being young. They will be much happier. Do your part and watch over them, but allow them to have some freedom. Even though your child has special needs allow them the chance to be a child.
As with anyone with a physical or mental disorder, autistic people deal with a wide range of reactions from others, from full support to uncaring ignorance. Unfortunately, even those who support autistic family members, co-workers, and friends may not understand autism very well. This leads to stereotypes, which can result in hatred, embarrassment, or other unhappy situations. By becoming educated about autism, you can help others in your community cope with this disorder.
It is most important to note that not all autistic people are the same. Other diseases and disorders have their own sets of rules, but autism is such a complex medical condition, that everyone reacts differently to it. Autistic people are usually rated on a functional scale, with high-functioning people being able to hold jobs and low-functioning people needing 24-hour-a-day care. Symptoms include behavioural challenges, uncontrollable movements, speech and communication difficulties, and emotional inadequacies. Some show all symptoms, while other show few, and still others may have most under control to the point where you cannot tell they have autism at all.
Because every person is different, no one thing can be said about autism and be true overall. However, most autistic people have trouble communicating emotions. This does not mean that an autistic person does not feel. He or she simply cannot express this feeling. It also does not mean strong relationship bonds are not possible. On the contrary, many autistic people are happily married and in love. Forming relationships is more difficult for most, but can be accomplished over time.
Many people believe that being autistic coincides with being a genius in some aspect. While it is true that some autistic individuals have extraordinary math, music, and art skills, this number is nowhere near the majority in fact, relatively few autistic people function outside of the normal range in any skill. This stereotype is perpetuated in the movies and on television, because the story of a talented person fighting disadvantages (such as autism) makes a good plot. However, this is not the norm, so nothing more than the best they can personally do should be expected from an autistic person. However, it is important to note that autism is not a form of mental retardation. Some autistic people are mentally retarded as well, but most are not and should not be treated as such.
In the end, the most important lesson to take away from your studies on autism is one of tolerance. You will probably need to be patient when dealing with autistic people, but by understanding a little more about the disorder, perhaps this will be easier. Learn what you can and spread the knowledge to those you know to help create a more tolerant setting for autistic individuals in your community.
As with any illness, disease, or disorder, there are a number of medicine options available to help control these symptoms. It is important to remember that none of these medications will “cure” autism; they simply help control some of the effects of the disorder. There are advantages and disadvantages to each drug, as they all have side effects as well as benefits. When choosing medicines to effectively treat autism, your doctor can make recommendations, but since autism is a disorder which varies from person to person, you should use drugs very carefully, watching to see how the body reacts to the treatments.
First, consider the safety of the drug. Some cannot be used in children or in people under a certain weight. Make sure the dosage is easy to understand and before you choose one medicine or another find out how it is administered (pills, injections, liquid, etc). This is important if you are not comfortable with certain methods, such as injecting yourself or your child. Also find out how safe the drug is to individuals who do not suffer from autism. If you have small children in the house, you’ll want to be sure that the drug is not lethal if it gets into the wrong hands. Find out what to do in case this happens, just to be on the safe side.
Also consider the side effects of the drugs you are considering. While they may be very good at controlling aggression, responsiveness, hyperactivity, or other autistic tendencies, they may also cause sedation or other side effects such as nausea or dizziness. Weigh your options carefully before beginning one of these treatments, or you could find yourself with ten bottles of pills, each taken to counteract the side effects of another. Also remember that medications may have long-term effects. Will you or your child become dependent on the drug? Will you be tolerant? How else will it affect the body over time? These are all important questions to ask your doctor before beginning any medication.
You can research the many studies on these drugs at your local library or on the Internet. Publications such as journals and healthcare magazines are probably most current and most reliable, whereas you may get some altered information on the World Wide Web, so be careful about following advice you find without first consulting your doctor. He or she may also be able to provide you with literature about the medication options available for autistic patients. Do your researching on the many choices before making any decisions, and you’ll be able to better control your health.
Autism is a popular topic in the news right now. Several celebrities have come out and told the world about their Autistic children. This is causing more people to be aware of Autism, and to question whether their child is Autistic. Nobody wants to think that something could be wrong with their child. Then they watch a news report or hear someone talking about a child that has Autism and they start to question their own child.
The symptoms of Autism are many, and they vary in each child. Just because you see some symptoms of Autism in your child does not mean they are Autistic. There are other medical conditions that have the same symptoms. Some children are late on their developmental milestones. Each child develops at their own rate. Just because your child is not talking by the time they are one does not mean for certain they have Autism.
If you have concerns about your child’s development speak to their healthcare provider. They can tell you if further testing should be considered. A lot of parents try to self-diagnoses their children. This can be a big mistake. It takes several qualified medical professionals to diagnose a child with Autism. This will not be done with one appointment with the paediatrician. You will have a team of health care providers in evaluating your child. The earlier you have your child evaluated the better the chances of treatment helping the child.
Try not to compare your child with other children. Each child is an individual. They grow and develop at their own rate. While they may be late for some milestones, they may excel at others. Sometimes a parent has a gut instinct that tells them there is something wrong. If you feel that your child is having problems and the doctor does not agree, get a second opinion. Parents have to be the voice for their child.
Finding out if your child is Autistic can take time. It can be an about experience for both the child and the parent. Once you find out if your child is Autistic you can begin the process of treatment, or finding out what is causing your child’s problems if it is not Autism.
Signs that your child needs to be evaluated further include.
1. No eye contact
2. No communication. This can be sounds, or words.
3. Shows no emotions.
4. Does not pretend play.
5. Uses repetitive movements.
6. Have a hard time with schedule changes.
7. Do not respond to you when you are talking to them. This can be with looks or words.
8. Does things over and over again.
9. Loses skills they knew.
10. Develops an attachment to a certain food, or smell. These are sensory issues.
If you see these signs in your child talk to the doctor about them. Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan is very important. At the same time do not worry over every little thing. Some children just take a little longer to reach their milestones.
The signs and levels of Autism vary in each child. This can make getting a diagnosis difficult. Children on the higher level of the Autism spectrum may go years without being diagnosed. There are many factors that go into an Autism diagnosis. We will go over some of the criteria being used to diagnose a child with Autism.
Doctors have a checklist that must be met before the possibility of Autism is suspected. Some of the signs on the checklist include poor relationships with friends, focusing on one thing for very long periods of time, poor communications skills, and insisting on certain routines, or rituals. When these signs are shown in a child the doctor will want to evaluate the child further. The doctor will question the child’s parents or any other people that have close contact with the child. They may send home a form for you and the child’s teacher to fill out. Once the doctor has the forms back they will compare the forms and look for similar results. If the results all are pointing to something being wrong further testing will be considered.
Children also develop at their own rate. So a parent has concerns about their child not reaching developmental milestones on time may question the doctor for further testing. The doctor will ask a series of questions to the parent. If the answers match the criteria for Autism the doctor will order further evaluations to be completed. Remember each child grows and matures at their own rate so they may just be a late bloomer.
There is not one test that can say definitely the child has Autism. It will require several appointments with different health professionals to rule out other conditions that could be causing the problems in your child. Often a child who is late to talk is suspected of having a hearing issue first. After this is checked then the doctor can move onto evaluating for Autism. Several health conditions can mimic the symptoms of Autism. Children always need to be evaluated for any other medical conditions that could cause the same symptoms as Autism first.
To receive an Autism diagnosis the child will be evaluated by a team of medical professionals. They will include the doctor, a psychologist, a speech therapist, a neurologist, and a psychiatrist. Once the child is evaluated by the team they will meet and compare their findings. Then they will have a meeting with the parents to discuss their findings. If the diagnosis of Autism is made a treatment plan will be set in place.
Each child will show different symptoms of Autism, and the levels they experience it will be different. So it may take longer to get a diagnosis of Autism in some children. Once you have the diagnoses the most important thing is to start a treatment plan. The treatment plan will help make the life of your Autistic child better. While there is no cure for Autism, the treatments available can help to lessen the symptoms.
Understanding how autistic children learn is key to teaching them with the same intensity as you teach other children. This may seem like a straightforward idea, but autistic children learn so differently that understanding autism itself is a must when you teach autistic children. By becoming educated in the disorder, teachers can effectively learn to deal with autistic children and adults both in and out of the classroom, creating a more understanding world for everyone
Autistic children are often visual thinkers. Thus teaching by speaking will not be entirely effective. Teachers should combine pictures with words for the autistic child to fully comprehend the lesson. For instance, if you are teaching about the animals of the world, you should have a flash card with the word “mouse,” say the word aloud slowly and clearly, and show the child a picture of a mouse. Perhaps even bring a live mouse in for show and tell. Nouns may be easier to teach autistic children since verbs require action and can be more difficult in illustrating. If you are teaching autistic children words such as “sit” or “stand,” you should complete these actions when you teach the word. Also, because of the tendency to be visual, autistic children are often unable to follow long sentences. They cannot decipher the sequence and become confused. Thus, writing instructions can be very helpful when proctoring tests or quizzes.
As visual thinkers, autistic children can often fixate on a particular object or picture. If this is the case, try incorporating that object or picture into lesson plans. If the child likes planes, try using planes for visuals wherever you can in the lesson. For example, when teaching math, create word problems about planes to interest the child. Autistic children also tend to be artistic or musical, producing highly original drawings and showing above average abilities with instruments or voice. Set aside time in the day for the arts and encourage activities that the children enjoy.
Autistic children may also have trouble writing because of the control over their hands and movement. This is frustrating for both the child and the teacher. To reduce frustration, allow the child to use a computer. If you can do this, make sure that the keyboard and monitor are close together as the child may have difficulty remembering what he or she has typed recently.
By being open to teaching an autistic child to the best of your ability, you are not only giving him or her the best opportunities in life, but you are also being a good role model to the other children in the class. Do not allow an autistic child to ruin the learning experience for others, but rather incorporate his or her oddities into your lessons as much as possible. Creating a more prejudice-free classroom is the best gift you can give this child.
The news that a child in the family is autistic is most often met with a number of reactions. While all family members, even extended, would be supportive in an ideal world, the sad truth is that many are disgusted or disappointed. Does a family member scold the autistic child often? Does he or she look at your autistic child unfairly?
Does this family member insist on treating your autistic child the same way he or she treats all the other children in your family, even when it is inappropriate? These are signs that this relative is not receptive to either your autistic child or the situation. This may often be the case when discovering a child is autistic, so as a parent, be aware and prepared for this to happen.
Often, unreceptive relatives simply do not understand what autism is or what it means for your child and your immediate family. Though many see autism as a mental retardation, many autistic children and adults are highly intelligent; they are just unable to communicate this in the same ways that others would. Try explaining what autism means to this family member, and have him or her spend some time with you and your autistic child. Allow them to see the effects of autism and the methods you can use to cope.
If the family member continues to be unsupportive or refuses your explanation, ask why this family member is so unreceptive to the situation. Are they scared of hurting the child? Are they worried about the added responsibility when spending time with the child? Perhaps they feel guilty or are embarrassed. If you can pinpoint why a family member is unreceptive, you can better address the issue and hopefully help him or her overcome their original perceptions.
Perhaps no amount of talking or spending time together will help this family member overcome their prejudice. If this person has stubbornly made up his or her mind, you will never be able to show him or her how beautiful your son or daughter is-autism and all. If this is the case, eliminating this person from your life may be difficult, but it will also rid you and your child of this family member’s negative energy and personality.
In this developing situation, you need the best positive support available. Remember that other family members have been supportive; that your children are adjusting well and are a source of strength for you. Strengthen your support network by participating in parent support groups for autistic children. And remember that you can surround yourself with those who do accept and love your child-family or not.
Autistic children will have special needs when it comes to schooling. Many children with Autism go to public school and do just fine with some special modifications. There are laws pertaining to kids with disabilities. Here are some of the things you will need to know about Autism and school.
The Individuals With Disabilities Act
The Individuals with Disabilities act was passed to make sure all children receive a free and appropriate public education that meets their needs. The act requires children with special needs to have special education service as long as they meet the requirements. Autism meets that requirement.
Free and Appropriate Education
This is an education that meets the special needs of your child. It is one that allows them to make progress learning.
Least Restrictive Learning Environment
This means that your child will be placed in an educational setting that is right for their special needs while allowing them to socialise with kids that do not have a disability. The school will do what it can to meet the needs of your Autistic child while keeping them in regular classrooms.
To figure out what special needs your child will need the school will evaluate your child. This evaluation can be requested by the school or the parent. If you think there is a problem write a letter to the school asking them to evaluate your child. They will send a paper home for you to sign that gives permission for the evaluation to take place. During the evaluation your child will be tested for learning disabilities along with any mental, or behavioural problems. After the evaluation is complete the school will have a meeting with you to discuss their findings, and what can be done to help your child.
An IEP is used when a child has a need for special education services. The group that evaluated the child will be part of the team that creates the IEP. The parents will also have a say in what is included in the IEP. An IEP will state the needs the child has to get an appropriate education. They will also list the services the child is going to receive in the IEP. The IEP can be evaluated at any time if the services are not working for the child. An example of some services that might be included in an IEP are extra time when completing class work, have tests read aloud to the child, or an aide is provided for the child. Each IEP will be different for each child. The IEP will be evaluated on a yearly basis unless the parents request it sooner. The parents have the right to be at every IEP meeting held.
You are your child’s best advocate when dealing with the school system. Some schools will try to give you the run around. They will do whatever they can to keep your child from having any special services in school. You have to be the one to stand up for your child. You are their voice. If you do not feel comfortable dealing with the school alone there are lawyers and advocates that are there to help.
Although planning a family vacation with children may make any parents pull out his or her hair, it can be a rewarding experience for everyone in the end. It is no different if you have an autistic child in the family. The important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared for whatever life throws your way. To an autistic child, vacations can be scary and confusing, or they can be a great learning experience, leaving behind wonderful memories the entire family can enjoy.
First, choose your location based on your autistic child’s needs. For example, if he or she is sensitive to sound, an amusement park is probably not the best idea. Quieter vacations are possible at small beaches and by going camping. Overall, you should be able to find a location that everyone in the family enjoys. Once there, plan out your days accordingly. For example, you may want to see attractions very early or late in the day to avoid crowds. You also might want to consider taking your vacation during the off-season, if you children’s school work will not be disrupted. These give your autistic child more comfort if he or she is nervous in crowded situations, and provides you with a piece of mind. When choosing a location, also note how far it is from you home. How will you get there? If you have to deal with an airport, remember that security may have to touch your child and be prepared for this.
Choose a location and activities that everyone can enjoy, but also that provide learning and social interaction opportunities for your autistic child. For example, a child that does not like touch sensations may enjoy the soft sands of a beach, and the waves can provide a very different kind of feeling for him or her. Being outside, a beach is also a great place for your child to yell without disrupting others. Children who are normally non-responsive may benefit from a museum, where they can ask questions and you can ask questions of them.
Remember that most people on vacation at the location you choose will have never dealt with autism before. Try to be understanding of their ignorance but also stick up for your child if he or she is being treated unfairly. Know your child’s constitutional laws, and also be willing to compromise. For example, if a restaurant is reluctant to serve you after your child caused a scene there last night, explain the situation and ask if it would be possible to take your food to go, even if this is normally not done. Try not to be rude to people; staring often happens, but instead of snide comments or mean looks, ignore them as much as possible and focus on having a good time with your family