Autism, also known a Autistic Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental disorder that limits the persons social skills and makes it hard for them to interact normally with other people. They have poor communication skills and have repetitive patterns of behavior and activities.
The term Spectrum is related to the wide range of difficulties the person experiences and also to what degree these difficulties have affected them.
Children with Autism have narrow interests and usually play alone and may become attached to unusual things. They do not cope well with change and play with only a few of their toys. They may also have unusual behaviors such as flapping their hands or rocking and will often walk on their toes. These children will line their toys up in a row. They can become distressed by sounds or movements and other things that are normal every day occurrences.
Children with Autism may not understand what is said to them and may not be able to tell you what they want or need. These children need routines and consistency. They find change distressing and cope better when everything stays the same.
Older children and adults with Autism cannot understand other people and will miss the signals when someone is becoming angry or upset. This makes it difficult for them to understand what is happening around them.
All of these difficulties they have can lead to them having a ‘meltdown’ due to the build up of their stress levels.
When the child has a meltdown they can scream continuously, rock and flap their hands. Many people wrongly see this as a tantrum. This is not the case. It is a release of all the built up tension inside them that they can no longer cope with.
Is there a cure for Autism?
Even though Autism CAN NOT be cured nor will your child grow out of it, there is a lot that can be done to help them. Early diagnosis and intervention is important.
Trust your instincts
You know your child better than anyone and if you think there is a problem don’t rest until you find a doctor who will listen to you and refer your child to a specialist. Don’t even wait until you get a final diagnosis as the assessments may take some time.
Every person with Autism is unique and that is why the parents will need professional help from experts who will design a special program for the child and his specific problems. The earlier a child gets the help he needs the more likely it is that the treatment will work. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your child’s development and reduce the symptoms of autism.
Some tips for parents.
- Educating your self about Autism and the treatment options so you are ina position to make informed decisions. Make sure you are involved in all treatment decision.
- Learn what your child’s triggers are. What makes the child disruptive and what can you do to get a positive outcome. Find what is stressful for him, what he finds calming, enjoyable, uncomfortable. If you know what the cause is you may be able to prevent what is causing the difficulty.
- Your child is special and you need to enjoy those differences and not dwell on how different he is to other children. His successes are far greater than those children without Autism and should be celebrate joyously. When your child feels loved and accepted it will help him more than anything.
- Many things other children learn automatically your child will have to learn and no one will be able to predict what lies ahead. Take each day as it comes and don’t look ahead. This moment in time is the only one any of us have any control over. Never give up on your child.
Get your child diagnosed early and if you know there is a problem find a doctor who will listen. Early intervention makes it more likely for your child to respond to treatments. Be your child’s advocate and be part of every decision made about his treatments. Love him and support him, he depends on you.
Don’t ever listen to the misconceptions about Autism. Click Here to see what some of these misconceptions are.
Parents of Autistic children also need help and support. Seek it out and accept it.
If you are the parent of an Autistic child or know someone who is I would like to hear from you. Share your successes and disappointments or maybe just get a load off your chest and leave a message for me. If you do not want your comment published on my site I will totally respect that so just add a note at the end say NFP (not for publication). My very best wishes to you all.