Tag Archives: Good Job

Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Mark asks…

experiences with Autism?

I am writing a story based on a girl with Autism
for an assignment for english.

I want to get quite close into how people relate to autistic others
So if you know anyone autistic, or are or have an autistic sibling
can you please tell me about your relationship to them
or any habits they may have etcerta etcetera
information from the net can only tell you so much,
but something personal means so much more.
Thankyou guys =D

admin answers:

My 4 y.o. Son has autism. Many days I think, Why him? Why me? But I have to always remind myself that my son’s condition is so much milder than most cases.

He looks typical, he doesn’t drool or flap hands. He speaks quite moderately, can tolerate people whistling, noises, or getting his lined cars messed. That’s why when he has a tantrum over his frustration of failing to deliver the right message, people just stare at him, labelling him as spoiled and then look at the mother who’s not doing a good job as a parent. Or when he suddenly barks at children or attempts to push them, people’s eyebrows are raising.

He’s very visual, sometimes that means a problem. I can’t go to supermarket because he thought our stuff was gone once we put it in the locker. He’s quite rigid sometimes, and we’ve had fights over how he wants to have things done his way.

I saw the symptoms at 15 months old. He ran away from other kids and covered his ears as if in pain while the kids screamed in delight. He wasn’t verbal until almost 3. We got the diagnosis at 3 years and 2 months. Before that, I’d evolved myself into guessing what he wanted, I made every decision for him and didn’t even bother to ask him anything anymore.

Many days I’d spent in tears, my spirit was broken. I hated guessing his inaudible words. I’d poured my love into this boy, and I never got a hug and a kiss from him. “He’s still a toddler, he doesn’t understand yet!” I’d told myself. Then I saw kids younger than him, rushing to their Mommies and chatted about the slides and swings.

Deep down inside, I knew something’s not right. I’d decided to do something about it. His reluctance to socialize drove me to drag him out of the house 3 times a day. We’d go to playgrounds, park, lakeside, hiking, swimming, crossing a bridge, city centre, supermarkets, shops, bus rides, ferry, every place I could think of. Within a month, I noticed a change. He’s not that scared of loud noises, crowds or buses. He’s looking forward to have these daily trips. He still hates people, but it’s a start.

As soon as we got the diagnosis, we jumped straight into the intervention. We’re doing ABA therapy for 9 months now, and it’s like cracking a shell off him and the real personality emerges. He’s charming, funny, a fast learner, eager to help people, and that cute dimpled smile always melts even the coldest heart.

He now has a playdate whom he likes. The tremendous progress he has in such a short time is nothing but miraculous. I’m in awe at how much he wants to learn and know.

My life is much easier than before ABA. His vocabulary skyrocketed and he can express his wants and needs, not specifically, but it eliminates the guessing game. In fact, he likes to play with words and came up with his own joke: “What’s so furni? The funny-ture!” and “Eleven Elephants”

I’m his mother, his therapist, his carer, his friend, his guide, his teacher. I’d do everything for him because he is my world. If there’s a magic spell that can make Autism disappear, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But, in the meantime, I’m content with what we have. My boy is healthy, my boy has Autism. And that gives him extra challenges. But we’ll overcome them. His many hugs and kisses give me strength and hope.

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Question?: Treatment For Autism In Adults

Chris asks…

Society is concerned with children who have Autism, but is there not enough attention to children whose parent?

or parents might have Autism? Would this greatly affect the children’s upbringing, if a parent had Autism, which was undiagnosed, and caused them to act strangely

admin answers:

Society does not pay enough attention to adults with autism, period. Adults with autism are a forgotten and underserved group, as if people think autistic individuals grow out of it or disappear from the surface of earth when they reach adulthood. Diagnosis, treatment, research, articles, educational material etc. Is pretty much all focused on children with autism and their parents.

Many autistic adults are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and some have been diagnosed in adulthood but still have nowhere to turn for help.

Some of those adults have children and some of them do not. Some of those who are parents have done a good job raising their kids, with or without support from others, and some have not been able to handle it as well. Autism varies so much between individuals that the upbringing by parents with autism varies a lot too. I know a few (diagnosed) adults with high functioning autism who have children and are doing a fine job raising them. I’m sure that there exist others who don’t deal with it as well though and I’m not sure what (if anything) is being done about that.

While the upbringing of children whose parents have autism may not necessarily be affected in a negative way, I do think society should pay more attention to it and be more prepared and willing to help if necessary. I think there is need for more supportive services for adults with autism, both those who are parents and those who are not.

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Question?: Adhd In Adults

Steven asks…

What is the process a general physician would use to diagnose adult ADHD?

I’m have an appointment with my primary care physician to be screened for adult ADHD. Does anyone know what he will do in order to test and diagnose me?

admin answers:

Many things can look like ADHD so if he does a GOOD job evaluating you then he will do an extensive evaluation to rule out other possible causes. Unfortunately, MOST PCP’s don’t do extensive evaluations and are quick to give a pencil/paper self-report scale, write a prescription and call it a day.
I went to a specialty clinic with a psychiatrist who is trained in mental health and knows what to look for and what to rule out. For mine they did a really long self-report scale to make sure that I didn’t have any other mental health things going on like depression or an anxiety disorder. I took a computer test that gauged several things (impulsivity, attention and I don’t remember the rest). They should have you submit questionnaires to family and/or friends because they often have information about you that you don’t know yourself.For example, you may not realize tat you are tuning out in conversations because it’s normal for you, but others might recognize it!
Good luck!

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Question?: Schizophrenia In Children

Robert asks…

Is it wrong to have children if you have schizophrenia?

Hello, my situation is this I am in my late twenties, and I have 4 beautiful healthy children. I was diagnosed of having schizophrenia in 2007. I since been on medication and have been seeing a psychiatrist every three months. I have been a stay at home mother since then and have get money from disability. I was married recently and I am pregnant with my 5th child, I would love to have 6 in total. Do you think I am crazy for wanting more? LOL

My husband does have a good job that pays well.

What does society think?

admin answers:

I think if you’re able to financially and emotionally care for these children, even if you need a bit of help at times, there is no reason a person with schizophrenia would be less able to effectively raise children.

When it comes to the genetic possibility of passing schizophrenia along to another generation, this is where it becomes a slippery slope. Is it wrong to have children if you have depression? Is it wrong to have children if you’re diabetic? Once you declare it’s wrong for people who have schizophrenia to have children, what next?

I personally think an individual with schizophrenia has the same right as anyone else to have children. The two arguments against this would be you aren’t able to care for your kids fully because of your illness and you could pass it along. However, you seem like you’ve got your illness treated to a point where you are able to care for your children. And like I said with the genetic argument, it’s really an unethical and unrealistic standpoint considering the millions of genetic diseases that we can pass on to our children.

So no, I don’t think it’s wrong to have children if you have schizophrenia. 6 is a lot of kids for anyone and may be a handful even if your illness is well treated. Don’t be afraid to admit you need the help of a relative or friend if you start getting overwhelmed. Utilize your resources, monitor your illness, and I don’t see why there would be anything wrong with the situation.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome In Adults

John asks…

Is there anyone else that has Aspergers Syndrome?

I ONLY WANT PEOPLE WITH ASPERGERS TO ANSWER THIS
I have Aspergers Syndrome and I am the only person at my school with it… as far as I know.
I want to get an idea of how many people there are with Aspergers and what’s it’s like for them living with it. I DO know that one in one thousand people in the world have Aspergers.
Anything will do… I’m keen to know.

admin answers:

I’m an adult with Asperger’s syndrome. I have poor social skills, which makes it hard to make/keep friends, participate in social interactions or relate to other people. I am noticeably different from the people around me, but I still live a pretty normal life. I’ve been through college, I have a good job, I’m married (to someone who I suspect has Asperger’s syndrome too, although he has never been diagnosed), we live in our own apartment etc. I have few friends though and don’t socialize much, because I’m quite terrible at it. Asperger’s syndrome has its good and bad sides and I have learned to use the good sides to compensate for the bad ones. That has worked well for me and gotten me ahead.

There exist many online discussion forums for people with Asperger’s syndrome. Maybe it would be helpful for you to visit some and get the chance to talk to other people with Asperger’s syndrome, so you won’t feel like you’re the only one. I can recommend the forums at http://www.wrongplanet.net , they’ve been very useful for me.

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Using Praise to Unleash Your Child’s Possibilities

Are you confused by all the information out there in cyberspace regarding the use of praise with children?

Is there a best way to praise a child and should a parent of a child with Autism distribute praise differently? If you look at the literature on using praise with children over the past 20 years or so, experts have been on both ends of the spectrum.

Many experts have claimed that praise is necessary to enhance a child’s positive sense of self and others have stated that we have overinflated their self-esteem.

So how is a parent to know what to do? Is praising our children a good thing to do or not?

As parents we all want to do what is ‘best’ for our offspring. When the self-esteem of our children is at stake, the ‘best’ has less to do with whether or not we use praise but more to do with HOW we use praise. Praise can be a very effective parenting tool to use with ANY child, and the best way to apply praise is the same for ALL children – typically developing or not.

What is the most common praise you hear parents (and teachers and coaches) give kids at home, on the playground, in class, and on the sports fields? Usually it sounds like, “Good job!” and other variations such as “Way to go,” and “That’s great”. These have become knee-jerk reactions, what is called DEFAULT PRAISE – remarks that parents dole out almost unconsciously whenever their kids do something worthy of acknowledgment. Using praise in this manner is not much different than the automated response of “I’m sorry” we teach our children to say which often results in an almost robotic and insincere apology.

So what is the secret to dispensing praise appropriately? How does a parent avoid artificially inflating their child’s self-esteem but boost it to an appropriate and healthy level instead?

If you want to produce a child that is curiously confident enough to be successful and internally motivated to do his/her best, here are some strategies for using praise to unleash your child’s possibilities.

• Praise needs to be specific: Avoid global statements such as, “You’re a smart boy.” Or “You’re a good girl.” Let’s think for a minute, what exactly does such a statement convey to a child? What picture does it paint in your mind? Are you getting a clear vision or is it kind of vague? Do you know what you did to deserve it? Do you need more details? Strive for statements such as “I like how you keep trying to solve that problem.” or “You did a nice job picking up your toys.” or “That was a good choice you made to tell the truth.” Keeping your praise specific, rather than general, allows a child to discover exactly what he/she did to earn the praise and how to get more in the future. Many children on the Autism spectrum are very literal therefore detailed descriptors work best.

• Praise needs to be thoughtful, meaningful and sincere: When praise is doled out automatically its value is often diminished. Children are very perceptive and they can tell when praise is insincere, conditional or full of hidden agendas. If insignificant or unauthentic, many children will begin to tune the praise out similar to constant nagging. Eventually, as children consistently hear praise they feel is unworthy, they begin to dismiss all praise, including praise that is well deserved.

• Praise effort and persistence, not just IQ: Praising effort helps build persistence. Once a child acquires the ability to respond to failure by exerting more effort they become more adept at rebounding from failure. Sustaining one’s motivation through long periods of delayed gratification is key to becoming persistent. Recent brain research has shown that persistence can become an unconscious habit by training certain circuits in the brain. These circuits monitor the reward center of the brain that will respond appropriately by reinforcing the ability to delay gratification when it is not immediately present. Just like other habits the process needs to be repeated in order for it to take hold – practice is important!

• Develop strategies for handling failure and mistakes: It is important to discuss mistakes out in the open in order to normalize them. Mistakes need to be acknowledged so we can learn from them. If you failed once, what did you learn from it that can be employed for next time? Being a good role model by discussing some of your own mistakes also lets children know that failure and mistakes are part of life and therefore vitally important to learn how to cope with. With any mistake there is a positive piece to be acknowledged – find it and use it to make your praise productive.

• Curtail the use of external rewards: When one always gets rewarded or bribed to get things done, the motivation to complete the task disappears when a reward is not in the picture. This produces an externally motivated child whose only concern becomes, “What’s in it for me?” If you want a child to become internally motivated, the brain needs to be conditioned to the fact that difficult and frustrating tasks can be worked through and the accomplishment alone is rewarding in and of itself. Trust that praise alone without a reward attached is enough and find ways to slowly cut back on your child’s expectation of tangible rewards.

Remember, children with Autism respond to positive reinforcement in the same way their neuro-typical counterparts do. So DON’T stop praising your child but DO pay attention to the manner in which you deliver it. Once you learn to distribute praise more effectively you can ignore all warnings that too much praise will ruin your child. Instead you can take great satisfaction in knowing that you are unleashing wonderful possibilities within your child.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com/ to get your FREE resources – a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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A Successful Transition to Adulthood for My Child With Autism

All parents worry about their child’s future. Many of us wonder what our children will be like when they grow up. Will they go to college, join the military, find a good job and be financially independent? Will they have healthy relationships and become parents themselves?

Are the concerns of a parent of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) any different? Except for some young adults who come back home to live with mom and dad (temporarily one hopes), parents of neuro-typical children don’t usually worry if their child will be able to live independently. Unfortunately, worrying that your child will be able to live an independent life as an adult is a very big concern for parents with children on the Autism spectrum.

How will my child transition to adulthood?

How do I make sure my daughter can manage on her own when she is an adult?

What will happen to my son when I am not around anymore?

These are not the cries of parents whose children have ordinary needs but those of moms and dads whose children have the special needs that come with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Our assignment as parents is to prepare our children for a life of independence, regardless of our child’s level of ability. This is not a job that we can or should postpone. This is a task that should begin early on, like the bank account or college fund some parents are able to set up at birth. But we all know that every child’s independence extends beyond the financial aspect and has more to do with acquiring basic life skills and mastering daily living tasks.

This journey begins with having a positive vision for your child’s future.

What kind of person do you want your son to be as an adult?

What opportunities would you like to make available to your daughter?

Seeing your child as capable of all possibilities is an important mindset to have because what we focus on grows.

Once a dream for your child’s future is drafted in your mind, the next and most important step is to determine how you are going to help your child get from point A to point B as you focus on your child’s unique talents. This is a process that can begin at birth and will be tweaked along the way as your child helps you shape it.

Here are some things parents need to pay attention to when planning and working towards an independent future for their child.

– Start now to expand your child’s social skills. Knowing how to relate to others is a better indicator of success then a person’s IQ according to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Social skills groups and social thinking classes are great for children with Autism but never underestimate the power you have as a parent to enhance your child’s ability to socialize appropriately.

– Help your child develop self-advocacy skills. When our children are young we need to be their advocate but as they grow the balance needs to shift into their court as much as possible if they are to achieve and maintain independence. Every day provides numerous opportunities for teaching self-advocacy skills and it begins with encouraging your child to make choices – choices for dressing, meals, play activities, and even choices for which chores to do around the house. Role modeling advocacy skills for your children will also help.

– Educate your child about Autism Spectrum Disorders and where he falls on the continuum. The more informed your child is about her uniqueness, the more empowering it is – especially when done in an empathic manner, always being mindful of where she is developmentally and what she is able to understand. If you start taking baby steps in this direction now your child will grow to be better able to embrace herself as is and access the amazing potential that exists beyond the label that has been given to her.

– Get to know the laws inside and out. If your child receives special education services don’t wait until she is in high school to familiarize yourself with the laws that can empower her. There are three laws that overlap to protect you and your child with an ASD that you need to become familiar with right away: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You also want to stay informed of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002, which expands the federal role in education by improving the educational lot of disadvantaged students.

If nothing else, remember to hold on to hope. Don’t judge or make assumptions about your child’s potential to live independently based on other children with Autism. As the saying goes, “Once you have met one child with Autism, you have met ‘one’ child with Autism.” Your child is unique and his journey to adulthood should be customized to his abilities, not his disabilities.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com/ to get your FREE resources – a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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Potty Training An Autistic Child With 3 Easy Tips

Potty training an Autistic Child doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you are the parent of an Autistic child, you are already accustomed to having your patience tested regularly.

Potty training an Autistic child can be a extremely tough test even for the most patient parent.

With consistency, rewards, add even a little fun, goals can be met in potty training an Autistic child with the following hints:

1.  Consistency is tantamount. Pick a specific time to get your son or daughter to try to use the potty.  Try to elect a time that the child commonly goes in the diaper.  Routines are very critical to Autistic children, and going to the potty is no exception.

Come up with a signal to let your child know what is expected of them when it is time to use the potty.  Regardless of what the signal is, make sure you use it every time you want your child to attempt to use the potty.

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As I have mentioned before, consistency is tantamount when it comes to children with signs of mild Autism

2.  Keep it positive. When it comes to potty training an Autistic child, you have got to to applaud the victories and disregard the defeats.

When your child effectively uses the potty, praise them to tell them they did a good job.  This will also make them feel proud to use the potty.

At times when they don’t want to use the potty, don’t get discouraged and irritated.  Simply wait about 30 minutes and try again.

Remember, autistic children have short attention spans, so the longer the whole potty process takes, the less likely it is that they will actually learn from it.

3.  Make an Effort to bring a little fun into potty training. There are many factors of potty training that can intimidate autistic children.  It’s a change from going in thier diaper.  It makes a funny sound when you flush.  The water swirls.

A Parent can ease many of a child’s fears by making potty training a fun thing that the child looks forward to.

You could try putting some of the child’s favorite objects by the potty to make it more comfortable.  As your child gets more comfortable with using the toilet, you can begin to gradually remove the objects from potty time.

Remember, you want the child to leave the bathroom feeling proud that they went on the potty.

Jparrish is a teacher and a direct support professional. He has many years experience working with people who have disabilities. More information about symptoms and signs of Autism. He enjoys helping others to experience success and to achieve things they didn’t think were possible.
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