Tag Archives: Patience

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?: Pdd

Helen asks…

Anyone with a child that has a speech delay and/or PDD?

Was potty training more difficult for you? What worked?

My son is 3 and has both pdd and a speech delay and I am having a really hard time. I figure it is hard with a child that has normal communication skills, but he just doesn’t understand what I am getting at when I try to show him anything with the potty! Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

admin answers:

Yes I know where you are coming from. My eldest daughter is now 5 years old and she didn’t talk till she was nearly 3 years old. She was diagnosed at 2 yr old with Williams Syndrome. Like you tho, toilet training was a nightmare! Eventually we did get there but probably more thanks to her younger sister who is now 3. It took our now 5 year old 14 months to toilet train her but just during the day. She still isn’t night trained yet but that is for another time! She also just didn’t get it. Now that we have had her diagnosed with mild intellectual impairment, this has made things a little easier for us because we at least know what she is and isn’t capable of understanding to a degree but we still have our bad days that’s for sure. We just kept persisting with her, but it was frustrating. When we started to train our then 2 year old, we were preparing ourselves for a tough road of training but to our surprise and huge relief, our 2nd child only took 8 weeks to train for both wees and poos. A couple of months later she trained herself at night too so no more nappies or pull up for her thank god! Now that my eldest and 2nd child are both trained we are hoping that our youngest now 21 months will be just as quick as her 2nd sister. Really sweetie, it will take a lot of patience on your behalf. Get him to watch daddy too if possible. All children are different so what may work for one child with a speech delay may not work for another. Have you been in contact with your child’s speech therapist or an occupational therapist? They can definitely help though. But seriously, don’t be in a hurry sweetie, it will happen in time. My hubby and I also did a course called “The Hanan Program – It takes two to talk” which is designed for children with speech delays and within 10 weeks we were getting words and very short sentences from our daughter. It doesn’t work for all children but it will definitely help mum and dad and therefore may still assist the child. Ask your child’s doctor or therapist about it if you are able. Good luck sweetie and all the very best of wishes.

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Question?: Treatment For Autism In Babies

Chris asks…

What are the first signs of Autism / Developmental Delay that you start to see when they are a baby?

admin answers:

I second everything that Robin wrote. My son was just like that too. He would even break down if someone cleared their throat. Today we use headphones for the auditory. After I taught him to read and write he was able to use a Dynavox which has brought much fewer meltdowns. He is 8 this year and he just pointed for the first time last month. We don’t do any kind of treatments or special diets. We just love and accept him for who he is. Give him patience to learn at his own pace and style even if it means coming up with 50 different ways to teach the same thing until you find one that clicks for him.

I once read a t-shirt that said “Autism isn’t a processing error, it’s a different operating system.” If you can remember that and learn the different system they run you can better understand how they experience the world. My feeling is that autism isn’t a tragedy but an adventure. Simply by experiencing the world differently an autistic person has greater potential to become an innovator. The intense focus that some see as obsessiveness I see as beneficial for reaching a level of expertise in a chosen field. After all a jack of all trades is usually a master of none.

If your child is autistic figure out their triggers and motivators first and the rest will fall into place. Stay positive and best of luck to you.

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Question?: Autistic Symptoms

Paul asks…

What are the dos and dont’s to do with autistic children?

Where could I find the dos and dont’s to do with autistic children? Where in the internet? Which books?

admin answers:

Well, being an autistic person, I should know. It honestly depends on the type of autism they have. Are they severely Autistic, high-functioning, asperger’s? You need to first do a little bit of research on a child’s particular condition, as well as their history at home. Every autistic is different.

There are a few symptoms that are almost across the board though. One of them is social dysfunction. Interacting with other children is not as easy as is it for “normal’ kids. You must be mindful of this, and not scold them or force them into doing social interaction. Another thing is sensory overload. For example, high-pitched sounds like certain people’s voices send me batty. Strong smells like perfume are also not appreciated by autistics. These are things that the parents should tell you about so you don’t use them in class. One more; autistics will wig out eventually, no matter what. Let them. Don’t be upset or scream at them because it will make things worse. Most also don’t like to be touched (again, sensory). For times like these, prepare a plan. Explain to other classmates that this is normal for him/her and you should be patient and respect them. Also, set up a “haven” for them. This could be anything from a special chair, teddy bear, or even a tent. Anything that will let them get away for a moment and calm down is a good thing.

The most important things are education and patience. No book or movie will help you anticipate the do’s and don’ts- it’s all trial and error. I’ll give you this site, which is a community of autistics and parents/spouses/friends of autistics who can answer any of your questions.

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Question?: Autism Signs In 3 Year Olds

Paul asks…

Question for parents with autistic children?

My 3year-old daughter has autism, and right now she is in DD Pre-K for 12 hours a week. She loves school, but I feel like I should be doing more for her (like speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc.).

So my question is…what kinds of activities are your autistic children involved in? Thanks so much!

admin answers:

When my daughter was that age, she attended early-intervention pre-K for about 9 hours a week, and had occupational and speech therapy for 1-2 hours per week. Other than that, we just played with her. She loved Barney & Friends and learned a lot from watching that. Plus, because she is such a visual learner, I would sit with her and draw pictures of letters, numbers, etc., and things they represented (A is for apple, draw the A, draw the apple, etc.). I tried to give her opportunities where she could excel, like with colors – she knew them very well and liked them, too, so I would draw rainbows and she would tell me what color to use, when. Or sometimes, for a special treat, we’d mix water with food coloring and then pour the colored water into other jars to make new colors (i.e., red and blue make purple, and so on).

I wish I could say that now (she is 15) my daughter no longer exhibits any signs of autism but that’s not true. She still struggles with language, still attends speech therapy for an hour a week, still has the occasional meltdown, etc. However, I have happy memories of spending that time with her when she was little, and feel fortunate that she is as affectionate with me as she is. I think in the long run, she has taught me more (about things like empathy, patience, and courage) than I ever taught her….

Hope this helps!

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Are You Caring For Yourself As Well As Your Family?

As a parent of a special needs child, it is all too easy to get lost in the mix of meltdowns, trips to school because of “incidents,” therapy and doctor sessions, never-ending search for information and ways to help your child, every day home and work requirements, and pure mental or physical exhaustion that comes with the territory. It can seem like you are pulled in a million ways and there is nothing left to enjoy.

When you have so much on your plate, (pun intended!) it’s hard to imagine adding one more thing to your already very stressful lifestyle. Do you find yourself too tired to think about healthy meals and end up choosing fast food or easy, quick, heavily processed meals to give yourself a break? There is no judgment here – that was me for a very long time, even after I knew about the negative impacts of those choices!

Taking care of yourself so that you can show up fully in your role as a parent is important, but when you add a child with ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder into the picture, it is crucial to your survival. You must be at the top of your game, functioning at a higher than normal level to keep up with the pressures of such a demanding, yet very rewarding job.

It just so happens that the dietary changes I recommend for our children are also very helpful for you as the parent. Do you want more energy, more mental clarity and focus? Do you want to feel like you are super-mom (or dad)? Do you want more patience and to be calm in the midst of the chaos? Do you want to feel more alive and vibrant than ever, ready for the challenges ahead and up to the wonderful task given to you?

These dietary changes aren’t a magic cure for ADHD or autism spectrum disorders. They are a whole-body, whole-mind, natural solution to our general lethargy and degenerative conditions. I had applied these changes for myself before I ever tried them on my child and knew first hand the difference I felt internally. That was my first clue that I should try them for my son, and for my whole family, in fact!

It may sound too simple to be true, but the foods that we put into our mouths have more to do with our overall health and well-being than any miracle pill the pharmaceutical companies could ever invent. Taking care of our children’s health should start with taking care of our own. Personally eating a healthy, whole-foods diet is the first step you should take.

Before you implement changes for your children, try them out for yourself. Be your own guinea pig! Our children look to us as an example and when they see us reaching for good food choices they will do the same. If you have a pattern of not eating those foods, it may take some time, but it will come.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Let’s make it real simple and be the change you want to see in your family.

Start taking care of yourself with a good diet and exercise. Take baby steps if you need to, but commit to at least one new dietary upgrade today. Then commit to another when you are ready. Go at the pace you need to, just really commit to doing it. When you are functioning at your highest level you will have the energy, clarity, mental attitude, and desire to do more.

Besides the obvious good diet and exercise principles, don’t forget to take the time to rejuvenate yourself, connect with your spirit and focus on self care habits. Everything you do impacts your ability to care for your children, and the more you do for yourself, the more you can do for them.

What have you done for yourself lately? If your answer is not so much, are you ready to start taking care of yourself a bit more? Pick one area to focus on and make a true commitment to yourself. Your family will thank you!

Are you already well-practiced in the fine art of self care while raising a special needs child? Do you have any tips and ideas to share about what helps you? I’d love to hear from you about what you need more help with or about works for you.

If you’re a parent of a child with ADHD, ASD and other special needs and are looking for natural methods to help your family, visit Stephani McGirr’s http://www.nourishingjourney.com/ to receive a free twice monthly ezine full of tips, tools and recipes to help you move from struggle to success while creating a peaceful home life your family loves.

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Some Basic Facts About Autism and Related Developmental Delays

Autism disorders affect children as early as six months of age and are apparent by seven years of age. Children with autism experience the world differently than the rest of us. They see things differently. They learn things differently. They will even communicate differently. It is especially important to understand this. These children are often ostracized within the community because most people just don’t understand what they are experiencing. These children are not sick, they are not less intelligent than the rest of us, but they are simply different.

These disorders involve trouble dealing with social situations and interacting on a social level. However, this is the main symptom of autism present themselves in pair or groups, this is the determinant for diagnosing the difference in most cases. Even children diagnosed with autism present the disorder differently. Children with developmental delays and autism related syndrome simply lack the ingrained intuition needed in social situations. They are unable to read body language, emotional cues, as well as environmental ones. They dislike changes in their routine and this can present them as stubborn and willful, argumentative and unmanageable. This is where patience from their parents and teacher becomes a mandatory part of their life.

If diagnosed young, children with autism can be taught the necessary skills needed in dealing with everyday life. Keep in mind that they are never going to handle it the way other people do and depending on the severity of their symptoms, they may always need a caregiver of some sort. Still, the goal is to help such children deal with their life, learning experiences. It is equally important for people surrounding them be as comfortably and well-adjusted as possible. Placing them in an educational environment specifically geared towards children with autism and other developmental disorders is the first step in this helpful therapy.

Children with these disorders need to feel that they are still loved. Even if they don’t show affection in the normal way, compassion, nurturing, and love is still felt and the lack of such emotional contact can leave the child feeling even more anti-social, depressed, and lonely. This is dangerous to any child’s well-being and especially that of a child with autism. Due to certain physical characteristics such as odd facial expressions, children with this disorder are often bullied and picked on by other kids their age. So, while it is necessary for such children to interaction with people and children in social situations, it may be beneficial for most of their time to be spent in an environment of understanding and acceptance.

The world needs to be taught a few things as well, not just these children. We need to begin to see them as a part of our society not as a stigma. Parents should be teaching their children the values of acceptance, patience, kindness and compassion for those different than themselves. It takes the cooperation of both sides to achieve peace.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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More About Autistic Children

Unfortunately in today’s society, difference is not looked upon as a positive thing. Children nowadays while subject to a wide variety of cultural change and innovative new ways of thinking, still fall back on old fears when it comes to differences, especially amongst themselves. Because of this, their peers who suffer from anything that places them outside the spectrum of norm, are often ostracized and bullied because of this.

Children who suffer from developmental and learning disorders such as Autism are especially prone to these negative efforts. It is of every importance that we begin to take note of what goes on inside as well as outside of the home and classroom. It is essential that we begin to teach our children the values of compassion and patience towards those who may be different than us. It is with this open mind attitude that we will not only be able to help our peers who are challenged with life, but also to help us live more peacefully and to grow as a human being.

Bullying has reached new heights in young children and adolescents these last few years. It is a danger to their well-being, not just the targets but the bullies as well. Everyone is a victim in these circumstances. Autistic children are more prone to these attacks as well, vis. they are socially awkward, they find it difficult to communicate on a normal basis because they do not react the same to the verbal, emotional and intuitive cues of their friends. This can lead to misunderstandings and tension amongst children and can also lead to teasing and alienation.

Depending on the severity of their symptoms, autistic children tend to thrive better in an environment created around their disorder. But this leaves them alienated from the rest of the world. So, while it is beneficial for them to spend some time in an environment geared towards their way of learning and comprehension, it isn’t good for them to be secluded away from the rest of society. They will need to learn the skills and confidence to integrate into the rest of society in order to live a successful life. This doesn’t mean they have to be exactly like the rest, in fact autistic children never will, but they need to be able to live as their selves comfortably out in the world.

In order to really do this, the world itself needs to learn some compassion and compromise for autistic children. The relational skills and the way of thinking and perception are not only for these children to work at changing. The world needs to change as well. We need to be more accepting of difference and individuality. We need to be more willing to help those who need it instead of pushing them aside and trampling all over them. And this doesn’t mean we just need more specialists in the field. We, as human beings need to take a proactive approach towards making autistic children, adults and those with other disorders feel more like they have a place in the world. Because they do and they should, it is our own fault that we experience difficulties with these differences.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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Raising a Child With Autism When Hugs Are In Short Supply

Will a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder limit my emotional connection to my child? As parents we all want to cuddle, kiss and hold our children. Not only do they feel good to hold but they smell good too – most of the time. But what is a parent to do when their child pulls away from their touch, refuses to be embraced or won’t hug back?

There is a misconception that children with Autism are incapable of showing affection but many have found they are indeed capable of expressing love, they just do it in non-conventional ways. Another theory is that children with Autism feel emotions so fiercely that they are easily overwhelmed with what to do with them. All children are wired differently and your child’s emotional availability will depend on where he or she lies on the Autism spectrum.

The pain of realizing your child may never display the level of physical affection that you had hoped for is not to be treated lightly. It is a loss of an ideal you held about parenting and should be addressed. Accepting it as fact is the first step that will help you move beyond and open yourself up to other signals that may not look the same but carry the same message.

All parents anticipate a reciprocal response to their physical displays of affection but if that is all you seek you can set yourself up for constant disappointment. Recognizing that your child may never initiate a hug or say I love you is very troubling to accept. As unfortunate as this is, it is a situation that calls for a major shift in perspective. As a parent in such circumstances, you have to lower your expectations, increase your patience and develop a special mindset in order to cope. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

– Invade your child’s world.

As adults we tend to make the mistake of expecting our children to conform to our world and respond as we do but a much more productive approach, especially with a child on the Autism spectrum, is to invade their world first. The more a parent can experience the world through their child’s Autistic lens, the more easily one can understand and accept their child’s unique way of relating. Making an effort to enter into your child’s world will help you discover the particular nuances in his behavior that signify expressions of affection and a real connection to you.

– Play detective.

The possibility of a meaningful and loving connection lies in your ability to look upon your circumstance as a new adventure and adopt the role of investigator. As you become alert and watchful for those slight gestures and signs that say, “I care” – you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. That blank stare focused in your direction may be saying a lot more than you think.

Here are some clues to look for when trying to determine how your child shows affection:

• Occasional eye contact

• Letting you play with or touch a favorite item

• A slight touch or pat

• Drawing you a picture

• A certain noise or tone of voice

• A handshake or a high five

• Squeals of laughter

– Keep hope alive.

Never give up that your child will be able to learn how to show affection towards you because affection is a learned behavior that all children can be taught to some degree. Once you have dissected how you child relates to her environment you can begin to pull her into your world and teach her other ways of relating. Children on the Autism spectrum just need more time and practice to learn how to express themselves spontaneously.

As you gather clues and develop a greater awareness of how your child relates to everything around him or her you will detect revealing patterns. Being alert to behaviors that show a level of caring, even if minimal, will help give the ongoing bonding process with your child a boost. Eventually you and your child will find your own rhythm, your own special dance that says ‘I love you’.

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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Facts About Autism Treatment

Autism treatment is not considered to be a fix-all, a cure. People diagnosed with developmental disorders can expect to have to live out their lives with them. Treatment is for therapeutic purposes. Treatment is given in the hope of providing these individuals with coping methods, and skills needed to successfully handle life’s situations as easily, and comfortable as possible. Treatment takes on the form of therapy sessions both one-on-one and in a group setting. It involves speech pathology therapy that focuses on not only the semantics of verbal communication but the psychological and emotional characteristics as well. Treatment can also take the form of standardized classroom instruction-these classes are special education classrooms that specifically are meant to educate individuals with developmental disorders.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms a child may be able to participate in the general setting of classes at his/her school. High functioning autistic, while still faced with the awkward social skills and awkward communication skills do have some ability to successfully participate in group setting such as public school classrooms with little or no extra help or attention. However, they still look at things in a different way and will probably come to understand and learn them in a different way as well. Because of this difficulties are more likely to occur than not and teachers and parents need to be aware of this. Children with developmental disorders are prone to bullying and negative relationships with their peers. It is difficult for children, especially those at a young age to be accepting of something so drastically different from their selves.

Most will act out because of fear of the unknown. It is necessary for teachers and caregivers to teach children a more accepting attitude of change and difference. It is with open minds, patience, and compassion that we can live together peacefully. Hiding anything different from the world is not the best course of action. However, in some cases where the severity of autism is extreme it is beneficial to everyone involved to place the child in an educational environment geared toward his/her disorder. This doesn’t mean ostracize them from the general public but simply provide them with a stable environment in which they can learn to handle said general public, comfortably.

Speech pathology therapy can be useful in helping an autistic child to build a better communicative repertoire. Communication is often difficult for autistic children no matter the severity of their symptoms.

They do not understand and react to social, environmental, emotional, intuitive cues. Due to this autistic children can develop antisocial tendencies that can unknowingly ostracize themselves from their peers. Therapy can help them to develop communication skills they are comfortably with and able to use in any situation. This can actually help them to better understand those around them which will lead to success in everyday life. It can also help autistic children to make friends-which can be of great benefit to them.

Again, autism treatment is not meant to be a cure. But it can help to alleviate the major negative characteristics of the disorder. It will help a child live as best a life as possible for him/her.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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