advice to parent with autistic boy
Someone from some newsgroup...asked me a question
about their young son who had just been diagnosed with
some type of the spectrum of Autism.
> as we go into teen years is there any words of
> wisdom that you might have for his father or myself?
i was a bit taken aback to this...as,one...i never
married or had kids...and two...i am not a counselor
by profession. i am only a person with a bit of HLF
or aspers autism!
but i said something....
and got into it.
i might as well share what i wrote, to you all...maybe
there even might be some help given!
with that understandings...here goes!!
my....what words of wisdom can i give in one minute or
actually, i can give some general advice...
[to give to me reinforcements to write MORE than a one
minute reply...i will write this out to a larger
audience and then remove your personal references and
then post it to a few autistic groups...]
I can IMAGINE the steps of Discovery!
first, your son was seen to be "different".
then there was the taking him to see the experts and
then the diagnosis comes.
there IS Relief...the Demon IS named; there is now a
label that you have that is a kind of handle for his
Of course, your concern has been alleviated; but it
also has grown.....WHAT OF HIS FUTURE?! how can we
help him to be able to live?!
then you go through those "several steps of mourning"
I sorta see this boy in front of me. he has a label
to his condition.
however...the label "house" refers to a building that
one lives in; that one word "house" covers about
ten-thousand kinds of dwellings!!
thus "aspergers" or "high level functioning
autism"...is a label that will cover MANY kids of
simply put...the "trick" of helping the child...is to
MAXIMIZE the Talent-aspect of his symptoms, and to
MINIMIZE the "negative" aspects of his conditions...
as in like of this:
some A people think mostly in image pictures...like of
me. perhaps there is a career, like graphic arts,
that would be a natural for this person. if the mind
is good, a high IQ...perhaps the computer programing
field will do...look at Bill Gates!! i read that some
people think that he has HL Autism!!
yes, accentuate his Strengths, whatever they are,
as each Autistic person will have a different symptom
spectrum. thus...go find out what his strengths are,
though official testings or by just observing of him!
either by his changing of his envirnments...or by of
a changing of his attitudes...he can minimize the
impact of the "negative" aspects of autistic symptoms.
if loud noise bother...he can avoid or wear earplugs!
He can put himself in social areas where only one
thing will clamor for his attention at a time.
teaching him some of the social graces and the
language of person to person non-verbal language...may
help, as he might have to LEARN consciously what we
all[you all!] take for granted, and know from birth
often one can only do or think one thing at a time,
like me....and have a very short term memory.
this person should not be a waiter in a restaurant!!
try to make his childhood sheltered in some ways to
keep the stress of copings down. then teach him to be
able to do that for himself: an
example......[speaking for myself]...an image-only
thinker may find that
there should be ONE physical area of his home [maybe
his room] where there should not be ANY change in the
room arrangements over time, down to the MINUTEST
small piece of paper! that outer room will be a
butterfly-wing mirror of his inner image of that
room----changing the outer room will cause a great
conflict within him as now the outer image is in
conflict with his inner image...of that room!! this
room area will be his "security blanket" whenever he
is stressed...he can go there for shelter, if he is
overcome by something in the house, for a few minutes.
yes...you son may have sensory overloads...he may hear
sounds that you may not notice...he may put those
hands over his ears, at a noise that you may think is
a soft sound!
so...above all...do not "put him down", or tell him
that "he should come around", or that "you can tough
it out, a real man should not be bothered by THAT"!!
for in the example above...if he contorts with pain,
holding his hands over his ears, at the sound of ICE
falling into a glass, as if he were being ATTACKED by
a hand grenade...why,
for HIM, as severe as that, really really!!
...that sound may be that overwhelming to him on a
real physical level!!
thus, well-meaning people who criticize him for being
so "sensitive"...that may well hurt his self esteem!
would YOU not feel good about yourself if you grew up
in a color-blind family where only you could see
orange and all the other members of the family could
not and they teased you without remorse about your
too...do not let the "doctor-speak" overwhelm you.
some of those so called experts may know next to
be careful about drugs...if they help, there is
always the side effects to consider...AND...be aware
that he WOULD be more sensitive to the effects and the
side effects of drugs!
and keep connected , above all, to these here SUPPORT
GROUPS!! get HIM to be a part of them too...if he is
computer functional. why on onelist.com...there is a
list for autistic college students!....
my final but most important advice may be.....
the REAL experts in this...are the parents who have
been there, before you, several years ago...who now
have 15 year old...18 year old..children who have
autism. they have been there and done that...and they
may have very very good advice and consul for you
with a younger child, as they have been though all of
what you are NOW going through!
THEY are the ones that you should get to read about
and to know and to get advice from!!
sigh...i am not a Talented Therapist...and i think
associational only...thus my suggestions are only
hit and miss general suggesstions...i am sorry but my
own way of thinkings get in my way...but i hope that
my suggestions may help a bit!