Autism

October 19, 2016

For some parents, receiving a diagnosis of Autism is a relief. They feel validated, and no longer feel the need to blame themselves for being ‘bad’ parents. For other parents, receiving a diagnosis of Autism can be painful, intimidating, distressing, and even infuriating. After receiving a diagnosis of Autism, it is important to remember that your child is still your child. Your child is still the same person, with the same laugh, and the same person you tucked in to bed the night before. A diagnosis of Autism is simply a way of communicating a constellation of symptoms that benefit from specific therapies, depending on the ‘type’ of Autism. After you receive the diagnosis, know that you are not alone, and there is reason to hope! There is help, there are supports. For your reference, please see: 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of Young Children from Autism Speaks, and The Do’s and Don’ts After an Autism Diagnosis.

100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of Young Children from Autism Speaks
http://www.autismspeaks.org/docs/family_services_docs/100day2/100_Day_Kit_Version_2_0.pdf

The Do's and Don'ts After an Autism Diagnosis
https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2016/02/16/dos-and-donts-after-autism-diagnosis


A Brief Explanation of Autism

Autism is a spectrum, meaning there are wide range of symptoms, skills, and strengths and challenges that characterize Autism. Children with Autism do not follow the typical pattern of development in regards to social and communication skills, and display some repetitive or stereotyped behaviors. In regard to social skills, parents often note that when their child was an infant or toddler, the child made little eye contact, looked at people’s faces less, and rarely initiated play. There is a decreased reciprocity in the attachment between the child and parent, and/or between the child and peers.

In regard to communication skills, parents often report that their child failed or was slow to respond to their name. Other reports stated that children failed or were slow to develop gestures such as pointing or showing things to others, spoke only in single words or repeated phrases they heard. Some children may develop language very early, while others may experience delays in acquiring language. Some parents may notice a regression in language skills after the second year. However, this is not always the case as some children are very verbal and possess an impressive vocabulary. For some children with Autism, language skills are a strength.

Children with Autism tend to display repetitive or unusual behaviors, and can be either discrete or very noticeable. For example, some children may repeatedly flap their arms or walk in specific patterns, while others may subtly move their fingers by their eyes. These repetitive actions and gestures are sometimes called "stereotyped behaviors."

Children with Autism tend to have very focused interests and may become fascinated with moving objects or parts of objects, such as the wheels on a moving car. They may spend a long time organizing items in a certain way, only to become very upset if any of the items are moved. Children with Autism are often intelligent and develop strong interests in one particular area, such as the alphabet, numbers, symbols, trains, or science topics. Children with ASD may also possess very strong memory for events and facts.

Some children categorically have Autism, while others may only have a dimensional diagnosis of Autism. A dimensional diagnosis of Autism means that the child is exhibiting symptoms of Autism, but does not categorically have Autism. Some children are referred for an Autism evaluation by their school, but based on the results of the evaluation, the child may have ADHD and a language disorder, or sensory processing problems, and as a result show symptoms of Autism. In these cases, if the core issues are addressed appropriately, the child may not meet criteria for an Autism diagnosis at a later evaluation.


  • Tips for an Autism Friendly Bedroom and Bedtime Routine
    https://someonesmum.co.uk/2017/04/17/tips-autism-friendly-bedroom-bed-routine/
     
  • Amazing Things Happen- A must watch video on Autism
    https://autismawareness.com/amazing-things-happen-an-autism-video/?utm_content=buffer9e2b7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
     
  • Julia, a Muppet With Autism, Joins the Cast of Sesame Street! http://www.npr.org/2017/03/20/520577117/julia-a-muppet-with-autism-joins-the-cast-of-sesame-street?platform=hootsuite
     
  • If You Have a Hard Time Understanding Autism, Watch This
    https://themighty.com/2016/03/pbs-airs-temple-grandin-speech-on-brain-with-autism-at-colorado-state/
     
  • My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About - Term Life
    http://daysinhealth.info/2016/07/21/my-son-has-the-kind-of-autism-no-one-talks-about-term-life/
     
  • Great New Video Shows You What Autism and Sensory Overload Feels Like
    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/insight-how-autism-and-sensory-overload-feels/�
     
  • Autism is Seen as a Male Thing, But Girls Just Implode Emotionally
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jul/14/autism-girls-emotion-self-harm-school?CMP=fb_gu
     
  • The Lost Girls
    https://spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/the-lost-girls/
     
  • The Families That Launch Their Own Autism Studies
    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/09/the-families-that-launch-their-own-autism-studies/502025/
     
  • Autism's Hidden Gifts
    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/autism-hidden-advantages/406180/
     
  • How Autistic Girls are Different
    http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2015/10/autism-women/412270/
     
  • How to Think About the Risk of Autism
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/opinion/sunday/how-to-think-about-the-risk-of-autism.html?_r=0
     
  • Are Girls With Autism Hiding in Plain Sight?
    https://iancommunity.org/ssc/girls-autism-hiding-plain-sight
     
  • Women Diagnosed With Autism Late Tell Their Stories
    https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2015/09/17/watch-women-diagnosed-autism-late-tell-their-stories?utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=Watch%3A+Women+diagnosed+with+autism+late+tell+their+stories+&utm_campaign=mostpopular
     
  • Mother Reflects on Her Son's Initial Autism Diagnosis, the Hard Times, and How Far Her Son Has Come in Six Years
    http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/better-set-problems-autism-22928372
     
  • My Son's Autism Was a Make or Break Moment in My Marriage
    https://www.babble.com/relationships/my-sons-autism-didnt-break-our-marriage-it-strengthened-it/
     
  • How Do You Tell a Teenager He Has Autism
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promoting-empathy-your-teen/201609/how-do-you-tell-teenager-he-has-autism
     
  • Tips for Students With Autism Who Are Entering College
    https://themighty.com/2016/08/tips-for-students-with-autism-who-are-entering-college/
     
  • The Day After Your Child's Autism Diagnosis
    https://themighty.com/2016/05/the-day-after-my-childs-autism-diagnosis/
     
  • Taking a Different Perspective on Autism
    https://themighty.com/2016/11/autism-as-a-strength/�
     
  • Autism and ADHD Have More in Common Than You Might Think
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/adhd-autism-joint-diagnosis_us_5821f863e4b0d9ce6fbee16f�
     
  • Teaching Social Skills to Kids With Autism Through Drama
    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/06/boosting-social-skills-in-autistic-kids-with-drama/485027/
     
  • Beautiful Minds, Wasted: How Not to Squanter the Potential of Autistic People
    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21696944-how-not-squander-potential-autistic-people-beautiful-minds-wasted
     
  • I Might Be on the Autism Spectrum. Now What?
    http://www.myspectrumsuite.com/might-autism-spectrum/
     
  • Autism is Big. But I am Bigger: Processing an Autism Diagnosis is Not Easy
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/autism-is-big-but-i-am-bigger_us_587900aee4b094e1aa9dc5af?platform=hootsuite
     
  • How to be a Friend to Someone With Autism
    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/04/09/how-to-be-a-friend-to-someone-with-autism?src=usn_Fb
     
  • The Truth About Autism and Sleep
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-truth-about-autism-and-sleep_us_587f775ce4b0474ad4874f2f
     
  • Why High Functioning Autism is So Challenging
    https://www.verywell.com/why-high-functioning-autism-is-so-challenging-259951?utm_content=buffer07ace&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
     
  • Teaching Social Skills to Children With Aspergers
    http://www.psy-ed.com/wpblog/teaching-social-skills-to-children-with-aspergers/
     
  • Fighting to Fit In: Growing Up With Autism
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/article/2017/05/19/fighting-fit-growing-autism
     
  • Researchers Have Ditched The Autism-Vaccine Hypothesis
    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/5/11/15508006/what-causes-autism-spectrum-disorder-vaccine-theory


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