Tag Archives: Fingers

Question?: Angry Autistic Kids

Thomas asks…

Need help if my three year old sounds autistic?

Hello I have a three year old, that has recently been tested for autism, but came back inconclusive for a number of reasons i.e. When asking me about my sons communication skills, I didn’t know what they meant by Joint attention or gestures ( I know I’m stupid) so I would say ‘no’ that he doesn’t do those things… even though judging by my son’s speech therapist and the psychologist and developmental ped that assessed him could see that he could do those things. So anyway, my son is going to have a second assessment and when they ask me questions, I want to make sure that I get it right. Here are a list of things that my son does.
1. Uses joint attention…. to much intact.. he would look at me..point.. and look at me to show me a thing he’s interested in i.e. this could be images in a book, showing me he’s drawing… showing em something he’s interested in etc etc.
2. My son has a speech delay
3. My son uses a lot natural gestures ( That I HAVE NOT TAUGHT HIM).. so this could be ” brushing his teeth” would be in gestures, using his fingers, showing his teeth and animating with his finger the motion to brush his teeth…..” wash hands” would be the two of his hands clamped together doing the motion of washing his hands…..” upset’ would be shrugging shoulders would be or folding arms. ” open” would be animating different ways with he’s hands to open with an object.
3. Plays toys appropriately and has good pretend/imaginary play skills i.e. flying helicopter or rocket, cooking, feeding baby etc.. although occasionally he would lie down sideways and build he’s blocks ( which is a concern
4. If he does not get what he wants this would go into a tantrum
5. doesn’t seem to understand patience some of the times *sigh*
6.Flaps arms when angry
7. Plays with kids and knows how to share
8.Has no routine issue whatsoever, but remembers the places which I treat him too e.g. Mcdonalds…toy stores and if we walk past these ” special treat stores” wants to go in *sigh again*
9.Toilet trained.. sleep is fine
10. Can be too hyperactive, running around ( which is tiring)
11. Always wants to play with me ( which can be annoying sometimes) this could be him making me want to out on our 3D glasses and him pointing to the mirror so that we can pull faces… our sleeping game, so he would gesture sleep, and I have to fake sleep and he would diliberalty make noise and I’ll have to wake up and tickle him…. also with games too.
12. Self care needs are advanced
13. Really good at imitating
14. Can be shy
15. seems to understand more, even though speech is limited
16. seems to always want my attention…through crying… wanting me to cuddle him… playing
17. Has a good sense of where I am, e.g say like if I am out of his sight, he would always look back to s where I am or where I have gone too.

I think the main thing for me is his tantrums, he may have an allergy too. Also, he is quite shy and does not show his true self to people.. most of the things have mentioned on this list..only me, his speech therapist, family and close friends have seen this side of him, to strangers he doesn’t open up easily which is sad. Anyway, does my list sound like he has autism and what concerns should I bring up to the psychologist?
@Alicia- Thanks for your comment, when actually listing things which my son does, autism sounds less and I am actually thinking that it could be ADHD..OR ADD.. his dad has said this, that it sounds like ADHD not autism. Although, It can be argued that the fact because he is speech delayed, this adds to frustration..if it is ADHD and not autism, I would be worried that it may result for him to take medication.. which I would not result too. I am aware that ADHD cannot be diagnosed under the age of 5.

admin answers:

Autism is the inability to understand other people as being people with their own wants, needs, and emotions. Something that three-year children also tend to be bad at. Like what has been said before, most of what you are describing sounds a lot like a normal three-year old. The speech doesn’t seem to be important, as your son seems to be able to communicate. Most children learn to talk well because baby talk just gets a “What did you say” response from adults, so children learn to enunciate so as to be understood and get what they want from adults. You’re sons gestures sound like he has found a way of getting out of having to talk properly (if you have ever learned a second language, then you would know how difficult this is). I am curious as to what what would happen if you refused to acknowledge his gestures and insist that he talk more to get what he wants.

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Question?: Autism Signs In 3 Year Olds

Donald asks…

Anyone out there have a child with autism?

I am so worried that my 3 year old son has some kind of form of autism. His dr. wants him to be evaluated. Could someone out there tell me what life is like having a child with autism, and how did you first know something was out of the norm with them?

admin answers:

My nephew is autistic, and i believe he was dignosed about the age of 3. He is an extreme case. He is now 5. He still talks very little, and he has a lot of difficulty with change. For example, he has pinkeye right now, and it has been a madhouse here just trying to get eyedrops in his eyes.

He is very bright, however. He is very stubborn, and cries for hours on end if he doesn’t get his way. He is not antisocial, but has a lot of trouble sharing things like toys. He sometimes daydreams so deeply that even loud noises don’t shake him from them. He seems to function rather well most of the time. Just doesn’t deal well with things he’s not used to. He picks up on some things faster than most kids. Like the fact that he no longer calls his mother mommy. He calls her by her first name, because that is what we all call her.

He sees a speech therapist and and an occupational therapist, and it was his OT that originally pointed out signs. He said the first clue was that when he looked at something new, he held it close to his face and wiggled his fingers on it. Sometimes he just waves his fingers in front of his face like he’s holding something we can’t see. Another sign (or so his mother tells me) is that he seems to “talk” in his own language. Seems like babble to me, but he also seems to have his own certain words or noises from certain things.

May not be a lot of help in your own situation, but this is what I have observed.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Pictures

Susan asks…

Please dont make fun of me – I’m very worried about this?

Okay this is probably a stupid & its’ kind of hard to explain so please bear with me.

I’ll start by saying I believe in signs ,
When I was pregnant I was cleaning up at work & found a heart pendant that had the words “its a girl” engraved in it & something inside of me “just knew” it was going to be a girl – I did have a girl (okay 50/50 chance but still),

Also when my husband & I met 5 years ago it was an incredibly rainy summer season & the day we met was one of the only sunny days we had & my fortune cookie that day said “the sun is shining & love is in the air” (we would have never of met if it had rained that day)

5 years later we now have a beautiful baby girl who will be 14 months in a couple of days. She seems to be developing normally & is doing great but I can’t seem to shake this uneasy feeling that everything’s not so great with her. I should also mention that I am a first time mom & I worry ALOT. I was reading an article on autism & learned about a rare (1 in 15000 girls) condition called Rett Syndrome where a female baby appears to be developing normally the first 6-18 months but then due to a mutation in the X chromosome their skills regress – often to the point of not being able to walk, cant talk, cant control hand movements, ect…

This is where the “signs” come in. My husband & I recently purchased a sailboat & we spent the day cleaning it -in the cabin I found a shirt for a Rett Syndrome Strollathon Event. It’s such a rare disorder it just seemed like it had been waiting there for ME to find it. Since finding the shirt I can’t shake the feeling that this is a bad sign (I was worried about autism even before this-so finding the shirt just intensifies my worry)

Also, now I notice every time my daughter sticks her fingers in her mouth or claps her hands for no reason or holds her hands together for more then a few seconds (the “first stages”) & some days she seems a lot more clumsy then other days or she doesn’t babble/talk as much (also considered “first stages”)

Am I looking into this to much? Is my mind playing tricks on me b/c im so scared?

admin answers:

Hey there,

You are going through very normal stages of 1st time mom syndrome. If I were you, and had the thoughts and concerns and belief in signs and then stumbled across that shirt, I’d probably have lost it, too. I don’t know if it helps you to know this but pretty much every mom I know spends the last several months before age 2 watching at some level for any sign of regression that may signal an autism spectrum disorder, and one by one, our kids have all been okay.

But that isn’t the kind of information that helped me. What helped me was sitting back, taking a deep breath, and thinking, IS THIS in any way under my control? Other than cutting out some common allergens a few weeks before his 2 year needle so that his body doesn’t have to be fighting too much at the time, there is nothing at all I can do.

The next thing I do is think, Would I love my son any less if he were autistic or if anything else happened to him? Nope. I’d just have a lot more research to do about what supports are available in our area, and what exercises I would need to do with him.

That’s my way of trying to control the uncontrollable… I try to picture if it did happen… End of the world? No. Just different. More challenging. But, out of challenge comes strength and wisdom, which are two pretty good things.

No one here can say whether your daughter will develop Rhett’s. I can say for absolute certain that the odds are very highly against it, and that it is very normal around this age for kids to regress a little in one area of development while they focus on another area. And that is probably what you’re seeing with your daughter.

Try not to worry too much. No matter what happens, you have a beautiful little girl, who is clearly at the centre of your heart.

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Katie once told me that the ice is where she feels most like herself. Where she is the most free.

For years she skated with a team. The coach could not have been sweeter, but the team itself was chaotic. No one ever quite knew which end was up nor where to be and when. There never seemed to be time to work on individual skills or for Katie to create and practice the solo routine that she so desperately wanted.

Frustrated, she told us at the end of last year that she was ready to leave it behind.

She asked if she could try a gymnastics class this summer. I was a competitive gymnast for years. She knows how much of my childhood was spent inside a gym.

She’d seen the detritus of my athletic career hidden away in my ancient hope chest – she’d looked at the pictures, run her fingers across the dusty trophies, asked to hear the stories. She wanted to try the sport that had such a big part in shaping her Mama.

I asked if she was sure. She said she was. “I just want to see what it’s like,” she said, “since I’m not skating.”

She tried it. She liked it. But in the end it was her Mama’s sport, not hers. I would have bet the ranch on that, but she needed to come to the conclusion herself.

The girls she knows play basketball. They play softball and soccer. My girl isn’t a basketball player. She’s not a softball player. Her favorite part of soccer was snack. My girl is a skater.

As fall drew closer, Luau and I noticed that her language had begun to change. In conversation “since I’m not skating” became “while I’m on a break from skating.” We waited. She had to get there on her own.

Eventually, she asked if perhaps we could find her a private coach. “I don’t care about competing right now,” she said. “I just want to skate.”

Luau found a coach. She’s good so she’s not cheap. We figured out how to make it work. We had to get creative. Once a week she’ll have a full session. Once a week will be a half session, then she’ll stay on the ice to practice alone.

Half is a Social Prags group. Full is a speech session.

On Saturday morning, I gave Luau directions to the ballet studio. Katie had some things she wanted to show me.

Jumps I will undoubtedly sound completely clueless trying to name — A toe loop, a half loop, a loop-dee-loop combo (I made that one up), a half flip (which thank God doesn’t actually involve flipping) and a Salchow.

And there was this.

My kid, my beautiful kid, doing what makes her feel the most like herself. And free.

Oh, and the lesson, of course. Isn’t there always the lesson?

That if it’s not working – whatever ‘it’ may be, that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t work in a different setting.




The end.

Ed note: In case you missed it over the weekend, Katie is the Sibling of the Month in SHOUT OUT Online Magazine For Siblings of Kids with Autism. She’s interviewed by the magazine’s nine year-old editor, Gracie, which is awesome like seven ways to Sunday. Check it out HERE.

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when the stars burst

A completely gratuitous shot of my girls from a really long time ago just because



Tuesday, July 10th


Dinner’s wrapping up. Well, mostly. Brooke has apparently decided that she’s done. We know this because she’s done the fake burp which she now uses to convey the fact. Unexpected, perhaps, but pretty damned funny, especially given that it’s not really a burp as much as a croak.

She runs from the table into the den without another word.

“Excuse me, young lady,” I say to her back. “What are we forgetting please?”

She comes running back to the table. I never cease to be amazed by just how much this child runs. Someday I’m going to put a pedometer on her. I’m guessing a marathon a day.

She puts one cheek back in her chair and cocks her head toward me. Sort of. “Meeeeeeeee I be excused please? Cause I’m all full. *Burp*”

I smile at her and say that she may.

Before I know what’s happened, she’s crawled up and over me and is sitting on my lap. Her long, lean legs hang over the sides of my chair. She is straddling me and we are facing one another. Taking advantage of the proximity, I deposit a kiss on her nose. She grins.

She reaches for both of my hands and laces her fingers through each of them. I will never take this for granted. She holds my hands up on either side of my head, just below my ears, and begins to sway us side to side. And then she sings.

“When the stars burst

The moon says, Hi

And the sun says, Bye

And everything is OK

When the stars burst

Up in the sky

Then it’s nighttime

And you have to go to sleeeeeep.”

We are intertwined – a messy tangle of hands, legs, eyes. God, those big brown eyes. Locked onto mine. The second time in a matter of days. We’re so close I can smell the spaghetti on her breath. The moment is so sweet, so intense, I nearly lose it. As soon as she finishes the song, she tells me that it’s my turn to sing it to her. I happily oblige, adding my own little twist.

“When the stars burst

The moon says, Hi, Brooke

And the sun says Good night, Brooke

And everything is OK

When the stars burst

Up in the sky

Then it’s nighttime

And you have to go to sleeeeeep.”

This goes on for so long that I finally scoop her up in my arms and move us both to the comfy chair in the den. For what has to be a solid fifteen minutes – a lifetime in our world, we interact this way. Alternating singing to one another, changing the words ever so slightly each time. Hands clasped, inches apart.

Eventually we stop singing and she leads me into a series of scripts. I follow happily as she makes her way through Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot! to Ugly Pear Lop Ala Kazool and then a hard right into the Land of the Knock Knock Jokes. “Knock knock,” she says. “Who’s there?” I answer. “Pooch,” she says. “Pooch who?” I ask. “Pooch your arms around me, baby!” she says as we roll into a hug on the chair. Her giggle melts into my hair. I will follow her as long as she will have me.

The moment is divine.

Wednesday, July 11th


It’s getting late. Brooke should already be in bed, but we’re still puttering around getting things ready for tomorrow. No one’s in a panic. It’s summertime, after all.

I reach into Brooke’s drawer to grab a pair of shorts and find one of Katie’s favorite pairs tucked in there by mistake. I grab them and head off to Katie’s room to put them where they belong.

Ten minutes later, Katie’s door creaks open. Luau looks down and finds me on the floor in front of her dresser. I’m holding the shorts, laid across the top of the open drawer where they belong. I am sobbing.

I miss my girl so much that it’s physical. I feel like I left not just my heart at that camp, but my left arm along with it. I’m OK – sort of – until I come in here. Here, in her room, where she isn’t, I don’t have a prayer.

I know I should have run in, dropped the shorts and run out. But I wasn’t strong enough. And here I am, as Katie would say, a big ole blob of Mama mush on her floor.

Brooke appears in the door behind Luau. I know I should do something. Say something. Be stronger than I am. There’s no time to process what I should be doing or how I should do it.

In one fluid moment, Brooke crosses the room, straddles my lap and grabs my hands. Before I can think about what’s happening, we are swaying. And she is singing.

“When the stars burst

The moon says, Hi

And the sun says, Bye

And everything is OK

And you feel better now because the stars burst

And it’s nighttime

And you’re all done crying

And the stars burst

Up in the sky

And then everything is OK now

And you have to go to sleeeeeep.”


She has the voice of an angel.

The moment is so sweet that it aches.


Those of us considered neuro-typical – what do we do in that situation? We wait. We watch. We look for clues. We assess. We ask inane questions. “Are you ok?” (Obviously not, no.) We dance around each other. “Is there anything I can do?” (A tissue, I suppose.) We wait for our cue to enter from stage right. Maybe she needs a moment. When she stops crying, I’ll go talk to her.

Brooke does not.

She doesn’t stop to process, to wonder, to hem, to haw, to ask, “Is this the right thing to do?” She isn’t hampered by convention nor bullsht social construct. She saw her Mama hurting and she reacted in the best way that she knew how. She came to tell me that everything was OK.

And in that moment, it was far, far better than OK.

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How Can Your Autistic Child Improve With Handwriting?

Children with autism may find it difficult to focus, concentrate on teaching method’s or learning new skills. One of the difficulties for many individuals with autism, is their handwriting. How can he or she improve their handwriting?

I have experienced by watching autistic children in the classroom, especially in our traditional classrooms, most of the students who have autism, display a difficult time with handwriting, how to relate to it or what to do with it.

The length of keeping your autistic child to stay focused, capture new approaches or new techniques, is sometimes a challenge for children to learn and improve with their handwriting.

In addition, the teacher, other students who have their attention on learning and going forward with the next step, involved in making progress, can be hindered.

Handwriting for autistic children may make a difference by using the correct tools, imagination, techniques and knowing what the individual is capable of doing and not doing. For example:

* Use a wide pencil for a better grip.

* A larger tool for writing, such as, a crayon, lumber pencil, darker lead in the pencil, colorful lead, etc.

* If desired, you may want to use a smaller writing tool, for a better grip for your child.

* Use larger paper to start with.

* Use a slant board for comfort.

Remember, handwriting is an imperative skill and is used for basic communication, worldwide.

Being able to write well encourages a child to, write articles, take notes, write essays, poems, reviews, book reports, summaries, prepare for lectures, etc.

To teach a child handwriting who has autism, a plan should be created for the entire class. This plan should include, being aware of various motor skills for each individual. This is extremely helpful to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each child.

If you, or your teacher know of certain activities that may strengthen the muscles in the fingers and hands, of the child who has autism, try to initiate those activities, so those areas become stronger. This is a great help for gaining confidence to improve handwriting. For example:

* Stringing beads.

* Playing the piano or typing.

* Finger painting.

* Playing with finger puppets.

* Squeezing a hand ball.

* Paint by numbers.

* Activities that involve weaving.

* Stringing yarn to make a picture.

* Connecting dots on paper to make a picture or form.

Improving handwriting skills in your autistic child, may require you to take notice of the grip, your child is using for a tool. Sometimes, children push down too hard, hold the writing tool too tight. This may cause it to break or become too wobbly and out of balance to write with.

Encourage your child to improve his or her handwriting, if he or she is having a difficult time. I have experienced, when teaching an autistic child something new, and it requires skill, be patient. Be creative. There will be positive results for your child and you.

Bonita Darula operates a web sight==> http://www.autismintoawareness.com/ SIGN up to RECEIVE your FREE WEEKLY AUTISTIC NEWSLETTER on current TOPICS which will include updated links for you to review and learn from. Take action and learn how to improve handwriting for your autistic child.

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