Tag Archives: Mommy

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?: Autism Symptoms In 3 Year Old

Betty asks…

How do i know if my 2 year old has autism?

I am curious because since he turned 2 his speech development has slowed down tremendously, he pretty much knows mommy, dada, ball, and bye, and will continually repeat them. I have been doing some of my own research but it is hard for me to really know because of the fact that i am his mother. He has a younger brother who turned 1 in August and at first his doctor said that it was because of his brother that he wasnt talking, but the 1 year old says more than my 2 year old, i just dont understand. If anybody can help me it would be greatly appreciated!

admin answers:

School districts do not assess children under the age of 3 years old so that is not an option yet. I also would not rely to heavily on a peditrician as very few are aware of the early signs and symptoms of autism and will say things like it will come with time or he is just a boy so he is a late talker etc. Besides language what are your other concerns. Does he use the limited language he has functionally? When he syas ball is it becaue he sees a ball or wants a ball? A child can have a simple language delay that is easy to fix and is usually totally fixable. Signs of autism include not playing with toys appropriately, not using gestures, facial expressions to communicate, not showing shared enjoyement or joint attention. When your child is playing with his favorite toy does he look at you to see if you are watching? If something funny, silly or scary happens does he look at your face to see your reaction? IF you play peek a boo or some similar game does he try to get you to do it again or do more of something fun. Also you can look for stereotypic behavior, hand flapping rocking, spinning objects over and over again, watching just the wheels on the car or truck instead of the whole toy?
These kind of social pragmatic indicators are more important for discerning autism compared to perhaps a simple speech delay. IT is not too early to investigate speech services. A speech person who specializes in working with young children does speech all with toys on the floor and play based so the kids don’t know they are in therapy and they give you wonderful ideas about how to bring out language in your child in daily activities and routines in order to further develop speech. Seek out other professionals. A developmental pediatrician or psychologist might be able to do a formal assessment. NOw adays many area have autism clinics at the children’s hospital or through MR/DD service providers taht serve children with disabilties birth through death. Where I live it is called the regional center but there are similar providers with different names depending where you live. Good luck.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Carol asks…

Who here has had their families disrupted by an autistic child?

My daughter is almost 9 and we love her very much, but she has become almost too much for the family to handle. She started her 4th different medication this morning, we have tried Ritalin, Adderal, Risperdal (an anti-psychotic) and today Strattera. I am at the doctor with her every month and we still don’t even have a firm autism diagnosis (and they have been working with her for SIX YEARS). She is in special ed. classes year-round in the lowest functioning classroom, and operates at about a 12 month level…I realize as a parent you do what you have to do, but the emotional strain of having a child that does nothing but SCREAM day and night has taken its toll on all of us. I know about respite care but that scares me b/c of the chance someone could be mean to her or molest her or anything like that, and she wouldn’t be able to tell us that it happened. She is very clumsy and has hurt herslef twice this past year, and CPS just LOVES to visit my home and give me grief about it.
As I said we love her very much but the starin has become too much to handle. If anyone has similar experiences I would love to hear your story and make chat for some support…Thanks…Mommy 38 weeks with number 6

admin answers:

Hello…my daughter has an autistic spectrum disorder (Rett Syndrome) and if you haven’t had her tested for this please do! It mostly affects girls as autism mostly affects boys, and girls with it are usually misdiagnosed with autism or CP. Www.rettsyndrome.org

Yes, it is very stressful and has a huge strain on the family. But there are a lot of support groups out there. You always have to be careful about caregivers. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and scared to death to EVER leave her alone with anyone. If I do use respite, I will make sure it is a female. My daughter is only 3 and will enter school soon…I will keep a very close eye on them! I will drop in whenever I can unannouced. Why does CPS visit you? I have never even talked to them. What are the meds for?

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Autism: Children in Their Own World, Parents in the Dark

About two years ago, our oldest child was diagnosed with Autism. Without knowing it for sure but suspecting it, my husband tried for about a year to prepare me to the possibility of our son being Autistic. He read and did a lot of research on Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a teacher, I refused the diagnosis as I was afraid of labeling him. As I was a late bloomer myself, I thought that he just needed a bit more time to learn how to walk and talk but as the time went by, I started to have concerns of my own.

During the summer of 2003, I have noticed some negative comments about my son’s behavior by people in the park or at the pool. One mother even approached me about the possibility of Autism. At first, I refused this possibility but since then, the idea of Autism started to eat me alive. After all, I knew so little about Autism but just the thought of it sounded just like a prison sentence.

Was it possible that my son’s lack of speech was not related to timidity but to Autism? What kind of future would my baby have? What did I do to cause him to possibly be affected by this disorder? Did I do something wrong during my pregnancy? As time went by, questions drowned my mind to the point where I could not take it anymore.

For my son’s sake, I needed the help of medical specialists to discover why my son never said the word: “Mommy” to me yet. Either way, I needed to know what was going on and how to help him and make him happy, no matter what the diagnosis would be. I owed that much to my child.

As he had his annual check up with our family physician, I shared my husband’s concerns and mine with her. A few weeks later, we received a long and detailed questionnaire about our son’s behavior, weaknesses, habits, etc. Then a month or so later, the appointment was given to us. From then on, both my husband Kevin and I went on an eternal roller coaster ride until that day, not knowing what to expect, how to deal with it and more importantly, how would it affect our son’s life?

On December 17, 2003 I went to the appointment with my son as Kevin was caring for our young daughter at home. Both my mind and my emotions were a mess. What would this specialist on Autism tell me? How would she test him? When would I find out the results of her tests and observations? Little did I know that on this day, both my son’s and family life would change forever. Following a series of tests and observations, done through play while being observed by other medical staff and advisors, the doctor shared the results: “Mrs. Leochko, your son has Autism.”

My first reaction was to break down in tears. What had I done to cause my son to be affected by this disorder? The only things that I knew about Autism were that children live in their own world, losing touch with reality and also, like most people, I had seen the movie. Was my son a little “Rain Man”?

Realizing that I needed to know more about this disorder, my next question was: “What is Autism?” This question was then followed by: “What can we do to help my son?” and “What are the services that can be put in place for him and how do we proceed?” Like any parents newly hit by this diagnosis, several questions followed as well as a shower of answers which were not all assimilated as well as desired since my mind was racing at high speed.

The next step was to inform my husband. He was not surprised and was a lot calmer than me. He comforted me and asked me to look at our son while he was playing, enjoying himself and laughing out loud. He made me realize that we could help our son and that our main goal was to ensure his happiness. On December 22, 2003 two ladies came to meet us to start things rolling to get the services in place as soon as possible for Dasan. As they explained to us, early intervention is crucial as it gives our son better chances in life.

As time went by, services were slowly but surely put in place. Little did we know that our one year old daughter would be also referred and a year later, also diagnosed with Autism. Kaylee is situated higher on the spectrum because of her milder level of Autism while our son Dasan ranges from moderate to severe. It made us realize the difference on the spectrum. In a way, Dasan’s diagnosis, help us identify our daughter’s Autism at an earlier age: two years old. This way, the services have been put in place even earlier which gives her better chances of progression and a higher quality of life.

Since our son’s diagnosis, I must say that both my husband and I have learned a lot about the Autism Spectrum Disorder also known as ASD. As parents of Autistic children, we did not only learn but also have decided to share this precious information with other parents, relatives, teachers or other people involved with individuals affected by the Autistic disorder. How did we do that? By researching information, ideas and also by using our own experience, ups, downs and tips on blogs and websites.

We are no experts and we certainly have no medical degree but as parents which have been living with Autism twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, we thought that at the beginning of this “adventure” all we knew and felt was: “Children in their own world, parents in the dark…” and now we see the light as there is one for everyone.

Autism is a disorder and affects our dealings with individuals with a different perception of life but let me tell you that it does not change the fact that our children are special in more than one way and that we do not only love them as they are but also, we would not change them for the world. The best gifts that we can give them are: love, patience, understanding, support and all the resources and services that can make a difference in their life.

My name is Sylvie Leochko. I am the mother of two children affected by the Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you wish to learn some facts and other information, I invite you to visit our websites: http://autism-spectrum-disorder.com or http://autism.findoutnow.org

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Autism: It gets better, but cherish each stage

I was hiking with my dogs early this morning, thinking about how much easier my life has become now that Matthew, who has autism, is an adult. I’d just had a conversation with him about a problem he resolved with one of the people he lives with.

“I was seriously angry with him,” he told me, “and I wanted to yell or throw something at him, but I decided to give him space. Backing off is good sometimes.”

Remarkable.

Just as I got back to the trail head, a young mom drove up in her minivan and two little boys, about four and two, burst out  wearing batman capes and plaid shorts that went down to their ankles. The the smallest boy had a piece of mushy Zwieback toast  in his hand and all over his face–there was no mistaking its sweet scent.

“They’ve been up since 5am!” their mom said with a wry smile,  ”I’m just trying to wear them out.” I watched as she hoisted the two year old onto  her hip, while the four year old tugged at her shirt and peppered her with questions…”Um, um, um, um Mommy? Why are there dogs in this world? Do they go to Disneyland? Can I have some goldfish? Can I have a real goldfish someday?”

I thought back to the days when my sons were small. On a typical day, they would wake up earlier than me or my husband hoped, and we’d take turns watching Raffi,Cinderella, Dumbo, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Lion King (and the list goes on). After my husband left for work, I’d look forward to 8am, the time my mother, who lived nearby, called each day to, just to check in. How was Matthew today? What time was speech therapy? We could meet after at the park, maybe go to Fentons for a crab sandwich after…

Those were the angst filled “pre-diagnosis” days, and I no concept of the challenges that were ahead of me. What I did have was hope, a lot of denial (but that made me stronger) a loving circle of support that I cherished, but not nearly enough. I, too, could scoop up a boy with a batman cape in one fluid moment, answer shotgun questions happily, and relish the smell of Zwieback slime.

My youngest during the Zwieback Toast slime stage

“You used to love this crackers,” my mother told me once, smiling nostalgically.

But I digress! Yes, there are struggles, it does get easier but there is so much that I miss, and I’d give anything for just one moment with a baby on my hip.

But most of all, I’d give anything for just one more 8am phone call from my mother.

(End of sermon).

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Read Susan Senators moving account of how “It gets better” autism parent style.

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Got  questions? Need resources? Email me here citybights@sfgate.com and I will do my very best to help. I’m also a really good speaker if you need one.

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FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and read the just first three chapters of A REGULAR GUY:GROWING UP WITH AUTISM HERE. I think you will like it.

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Autistic Preschoolers – Five Gift Ideas For Autistic Toddlers And Preschoolers

Autistic Preschoolers

As the mommy to a four-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I’ve discovered many fine mainstream toys the present are both fun and therapeutic. Toys that improve language development, sensory and motor regulation, craft core strength, muscle tone and coordination. Toys that spark my son’s inner drive, encouraging further engagement and child-lead interaction. Autistic Preschoolers

Here are five of my favorite toys, from $18 – $300. Most of them are eco-friendly, which I personally love. I’m not speaking as a medical expert here, just as a mom. If you’re the parent, relative or friend of an autistic child, maybe this list will make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. I hope so!

Wheely Bug – If you haven’t seen these cute little ride-on critters, you need to check them out. I bought the cow for my boys last month and my ASD son loves it! (Also available in bee and ladybug!) It really helps him with coordination and balance, while building his core. We he first started riding it, he was wobbly. Now he can lift his feet and maneuver it around every corner. It has helped him adjust to motion that had bothered him in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best gifts for an ASD child. Make sure you buy the big Wheely Bug to get the most use out of it. Eco-friendly! $70

Breakfast Menu Set – These types of wooden toys are great for a variety of reasons. Many autistic children have issues with food due to textures. By incorporating pretend food into playtime, it seems to make real mealtime easier. You can ‘prepare’ the pretend food together and takes turns ‘tasting’ it. That way your child is more open to the idea of trying different foods. Manipulating smaller toys, like shaking the salt & pepper shakers, improves fine motor skills too. Plan Toys is a wonderful green company and makes a huge selection of incredible wooden toys. Eco-friendly! $18 Autistic Preschoolers

LIKEaBIKE – This is a unique eco-friendly bike sans pedals! That’s because this bike was designed to boost your child’s confidence and comfort in riding a bike, while building their balance, core strength, etc. They start out slow, usually walking with it and then as they improve, they can go much faster. Obviously this is not great for hills or steep surfaces, but on flat streets, in the driveway or at the park, it’s a wonderful (and fun) toy. Our OT therapist has mentioned it multiple times. Eco-friendly! $300

Haba Ball Track Master Builder Set – Many autistic children love toys that spin and roll. My son does a variety of activities at OT therapy involving marbles, which is why I love this toy from Haba. Your child can build the track and then watch the marbles spin through it. This is the big set and Haba also makes a smaller set for $43. This toy is perfect for fine motor skill improvement and development. It also gets the imagination and interaction rolling. Eco-friendly! $200 Autistic Preschoolers

Hopscotch Puzzle Mat – Another great toy for improving balance, motor skills, interaction and organizing thought processes is this cute Hopscotch mat by Alex. First you put it together like a puzzle, then you play the game. This gives you child a great opportunity to practice hopping on one foot and then jumping with two feet. It’s also a good game for ASD kids to play with their friends or siblings. $23 Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autistic Preschoolers program now!

Feeling lost without solutions? Autistic Preschoolers is a proven Autism Solution for your Child. Try The Program and change child’s life forever!
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