Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
02/04/2014 at 09:40
as the title says really, today is world autism awareness day, medical developments have come on leaps and bounds in the last ten years, so now its so important for the general public to understand this horrible disablity
I have a 6 year old son with quite severe autism he has been diagnoised for almost 3 years now, my youngest son is also having an assessment soon to determine wether he has it too.
so if you have any questions about what its like to live with or how autism affects my son ask away....
02/04/2014 at 10:13
Hey Sleepy, what a great idea, thank you. I am very curious about autism, my nephew is autistic and my sister finds it hard to talk about it from a scientific place, because I think she feels defensive if that makes sense. I love my nephew dearly, he is very lovable, but he is also difficult and if I show interest in what is his autism and what is his personality etc I think I come across as critical, which isn't at all my intention, so I wouldn't mind asking a couple of things if that's okay?
I wondered how soon they can diagnose autism, and how they do it? And whether you as a parent would already have a suspicion before you got to assessment stage? (my sister has 2 new babies and I believe she was told there was a 50% chance her boy would be autistic also)
Sleepy, with there being so much more understanding now about autism what sort of world will autistic kids move in to as they get older? I see you say your lad has quite severe autism, my nephew is 7 and is 'fine' at school, because they are very inclusive and community-minded, but he wouldn't survive at the more academic primary school down the road, for example, So it makes me wonder what secondary schools might be like, or just how well the caring professions help transition autistic people in to adulthood. From what you've learnt/seen is there a lot of support and understanding in your view?
Lastly, this may sound a weird thing to ask, is your son a happy lad in himself? My nephew is very upbeat, he has obsessions about dinosuars and lego characters and various like that and he sort of drops in and out of his world and our world, but he always seems really happy and moves on from things quickly and seems as though he doesn't 'feel' very much. My sister says he gets very anxious and very low at times, which is so sad.
02/04/2014 at 10:19
Similar to Counter, I wanted to ask how soon you knew there was something 'different' about your son? What was he like as a baby?
What sort of adjustments do you need to make to your daily life, what helps? i.e. do you need to keep quite strict routines?
02/04/2014 at 11:59
he was a very difficult toddler more so than you would normally expect, he is a climber so at the age of two he was climbing up book shelves, hes had very little speech which made disapline very hard, he was also a poo smearer ( delightful!) looking back these were all classic signs, in facti remember my MIL saying at 7 weeks old 'why wont he look at me' and he and still doesnt like to give eye contact, he also didnt sleep very much as a baby and he still doesnt, its now being proven that autism children lack the sleep hormone, melatonin
i asked my HV for help but i just got sent to parenting course, its just one of those things that had to be done incase it is a behavior issue, rather than the nerological one we now know it is.
once he started nursery at just turned 3,he was refered to early support at the hospital for a diagnosis this took about 8 months with various assesments from speech therapists and peds at the child devlopment centre. he then got the full diagnosis of autism, speech delay and challenging behaviour.
with the diagnosis done you then need to get a school statement sorted which decides how many hours of one to one support he needs, this takes about 6 months and a lot of hard work! he had both home and school assessment by educational psycologists, occupational therapists, clincial psycologists plus statements from his teachers and us.
he got awarded full hours so he is never left alone at school he cant even go to the toilet alone.
he is currently in a mainstream school and is excelling academically but without the support or the wonderful teachers and his TA this wouldnt be possible as he has a very short attention span so you have to be sitting right next to him or he will get distracted and not do his work.
we already know he wont be in mainstream forever, we dont knw exactly when it will be but it will definatly before secondary school, while hes happy and coping at school were happy with him being there we have yearly meetings with his teachers and the senco (special education needs co-ordinator) to discuss how hes doing and whats happening next.
our lives are very different to alot of ours friends with children we dont tend to take L to other peoples houses (other than family)as he doesnt understand how to behave in social situations so he will just fiddle with everything go through peoples cupboards we just found it too stressful.
we had to have our house adapted because he has no sense of danger, so he would think nothing of opening a first floor window and trying to jump out of it, so we had to put extra locks on.
we dont have a really strict routine but we do 5 mins notice warning rule do he always has 5 mins before we do something so he is always prepared changing activity could result in a full on meltdown.
because he feels the need to touch everything he cause alot of chaos, especially in the kitchen given the chance he will attempt to make a 'cake' which is generally smashing egg (and shells!) into a bowl with food colouring into a bowl, we try to put things as high out of reach as possible but as i mentioned above he just climbs up and gets it anyway!
he is a very happy little boy he has no awareness that he is different at all, he rarely cries and is always bouncing about!
02/04/2014 at 12:14
02/04/2014 at 14:58
the things you pick up wouldnt automatically make me think autism,however as you the say the professionals may well have noticed other things that made them want to do other checks.
the main symptoms of autism would be
they can get obsessed about things,L has had about 5 phases of obsession so far where the thing just complete rules everything he thinks about.
little or no eye contact
struggling in social situations
short concentration span
there is often a corrolation between children good with numbers or computers but this is when its really extreme... L could count forwards and backwards to 20 by 18months and was making power point slideshows at 2.5 without even being taught how to do it.
02/04/2014 at 15:44
Thanks for sharing sleepy.
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