I read before I talked.
Wasn't the best at showing that I was listening or even looking like I was paying any more attention to whatever, in reality, I observed and absorbed everything. That included books.
Many have come to me wondering how I could read even though I could not speak. Answer for that is I knew what the words were, I knew how they sound, I knew what they meant; But I could not speak the words.
There were electronics such as computers and video games nearby, but I grew up reading books. I could read them by myself silently or I would have Mom read me some books to me before going to bed. Those nights were special. I understood what I was reading with my mom; When I had the ability to speak, we would take turns reading out loud each night.
I still read today. Most of the time I would read out loud much more clearly than I would do when it comes to talking freely. Back in middle school I would use a notebook to write down what I should be saying to someone trying...
Many people with autism and other social challenges have connections with animals. Whether the animals are real or even “stuffed”, animals bring a sense of peace and calmness to a child or even adult on the spectrum. This is for several different reasons, and the reasons make sense. Think about all of the people who don’t have autism who have a love for animals! There is just a way that non-human beings make us feel secure and comforted. Here are a few reasons why a person with autism may feel very connected to our furry friends.
This is huge. Animals cannot communicate in words, and many children with autism are still working on this. Even those that can communicate still have challenges, and animals just give them a sense of comfort. Animals are great to spend time with because they are predictable (except for puppies and kittens!) in their demeanor and movements. Domesticated animals, such as older dogs and cats may be ideal for your child with...
When your child has been diagnosed with autism, many emotions clutter the mind. Emotions such as confusion, sadness, being overwhelmed, guilt (yes, guilt), and an immense amount of love are just a few. For the parent who knows nothing about this disability, it can be very daunting. For the parent who is educated on this disability, the emotions can be a little less negative, but still filled with uncertainty for the future.
One thing that can really affect you, the parent, of a child that has autism is confidence, or lack thereof. You may find yourself constantly questioning yourself, such as in the areas of care, behavior management, therapy choices, medical care, early intervention, and so much more. This is normal. Here are some ways you can boost your own confidence and know you are doing the very best you can as a parent!
Only you know your child. Period. Every child with autism is different. The spectrum of autism is vast, and your child can be on one end or the...
Many children with autism have specific special interests and obsessions. These may change from week-to-week in general, but some interests stay with them for a long time. One of these interests may be a specific color, or more than one color. There is much research on colors and children with autism, and most of it points to the fact that many children with autism are very visual. When they look at something big, they may see only a part of it and focus on that, especially if it is their favorite color! Here are some ways colors influence children with autism and their daily lives.
I will never forget my child’s first words, besides “momma” and “dada”. One day he was in little toddler bed at the age of three, and had just woken from a nap. He was yelling out color words. I was astounded. He was not yelling out typical color words, but words from the 64-Count Crayola Box! He was yelling out Dandelion! He was yelling out...
Support from the people you love is so important. With a child that has autism, community support can be an enormous positive in his life. From activities in the community, events, and even social gathering at a local restaurant or church can be very uplifting. Community support brings awareness to the unique ability of autism, as well as every unique ability of so many individuals! Here are some ways that support can be given to those with autism.
Family is a child with autism’s first support system. When a child in the very younger years is diagnosed as being on the spectrum, the family can help by educating themselves on this disorder. Once they know more about autism and how they can help, family may want to provide different means of support, such as babysitting so the parents can go out for a bit, recommending people they know that may be able to help even more, providing educational toys and cool things the child is obsessed with, and more! I remember for a...
One myth about autism, that even I can remember people saying back in the day, is that people with autism don’t really want friends or they don’t care if they have companionship. Of course, today, we do know that this is completely false, especially those of us that have children with autism of our own. What we do know; however, is that children and adults on the spectrum have difficulty with social skills and need to be guided on how to interact with others. Even with guidance, it can still be a challenge. Here are some ways you can help your loved one with autism feel comfortable around others and even make long-lasting friendships!
Family friends may be able to help. Not only does a loving family understand that you have a child with autism (if this is the case), but they may know of a friend’s child who is understanding, or who also has commonalities with your child. This can help with introductions, and over time help with the development of a...
Think about when you graduated from high school and went to college, trade school, or went right into the workplace. How many times did you ask yourself, “Is this really what I want to do?” I remember questioning, and then ultimately changing my major during my sophomore year of college. It happens. We all go through an intense period of self-discovery and ask questions such as, “Who am I?” “What do I want to be?” or “What is my why?” How can you help a loved one with self-discovery?
For a young adult with autism, it can be even more overwhelming once they exit the commonalities of 12 years of schooling. Everything familiar to them is not only wiped away after graduation day and the transition can really take its toll on the emotional well-being of someone on the spectrum. One thing you can do as a parent is to prepare your child long before any transition to another “chapter” in life, such as switching to a...
To keep going even though they know it is going to be difficult.
I have a much better definition for perseverance.
Perseverance means doing something despite the difficulties.
Perseverance to me is a skill you're born with. Reason why I said that is because whenever I do something people see as someone with lots of perseverance, I never really see my actions that way when it comes to perseverance. I was a little kid, I've done many things despite the difficulties. Part of it involves school, part of it involves home, another part of it involves being outside of both school and home. You can believe me when I say that I have had a very large share of incredibly embarrassing moments, yet I continue to make even more mistakes.
Because I was determined to find the many examples of good behavior. Wouldn't know what behavior I would do that would be considered good unless if I'd tried it. Of course, I have had help with family and teachers, but a lot of the times I would figure it...
Guest Blogger: My mom. Kristina Tindall
Being the parent of an adult child who has ASD, I get asked a lot of questions. Many of them relate to my son when he was much younger, and I truly understand. We want to do our best as parents and we know that how we train our children impacts their future. Having a child with ASD makes things a little more challenging.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is: How did I teach my son how to play with other children?
My son Tyler had an extremely difficult time playing with other children. I don’t know if it was because it was too much stimulus for him, or because he just wasn’t used to being around other children since he grew up as an only child. Hard to say. But I was treading new waters back in the 90’s and there wasn’t a lot of information about ASD so I relied on my motherly instinct and what made sense to me at the time.
Going to the playground with a lot of children was extremely stressful for me. I...
You can learn how to stop the autism food fight and help your child to try new foods. Of course getting your child with autism to try new foods can seem like an impossible task. But you can stop the food fight using a couple of techniques.
Here's how to get your child with autism to try new foods:
The first thing is to realize is that it may be physically impossible for your child with autism to eat certain types of foods. The tastes, textures, and delivery methods may be completely overwhelming to the senses, and create a complete overload resulting in a meltdown.
Food presents a unique challenge for parents of a child with autism, because your child must get adequate nutrition, but they are not able to process the sensory input that food delivers.
Eating is also a very emotional topic based on how you may have been raised as a child. (Must eat everything on your plate syndrome)
Use of supplements that can be "hidden" in the types of food that your child with autism will eat, gives...