Parenting a shy kid? A computer geek? One who doesn’t get manners or know how to be friends? Starting to worry? Time to learn more.
ABOUT AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD) AND ASPERGERS
Autism is a group of developmental brain disorders. Symptoms and burden vary greatly. The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. Some live relatively normal lives and others barely function beyond the level of a toddler.
Aspergers is part of the spectrum or maybe not. The shrinks are debating.
The numbers diagnosed with ASD or Aspergers seems to be growing, which makes more parents worry. The numbers may be growing only because of the growth of the psychiatric community which means many who had the disorder in the past didn’t get the label. There may also be more children burdened by ASD or Aspergers for reasons not yet understood. Either way parents with children marching to very different drummers worry.
The main symptoms for all forms of Autism fall into three areas:
- Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors known by many as flapping, but can also involve intense fascination with objects, lights, and sounds
- Delayed or no speech
- Marked difficulty socializing
Once the child is out and about in the broader world, I add these three things to my worry list:
- Behavior that is troublesome wherever the child goes — that is usually the first sign a brain glitch is part of the problem and not how the child is treated in different environments.
- Not one friend of his or her age.
- Bullied or isolated by peers. Differences make adults uncomfortable and children more so.
For lots more information about autism, the USA’s National Institute of Mental Health provides this site.
For a parent’s perspective go to Flappiness Is. Calum is a three year old, he has a five year old sister who is not autistic–what the autistic community calls neuro-typical. Their mother writes movingly about parenting both and her blog is a gift to those struggling to provide a good life for children challenged by this brain glitch.
PARENTING ADVICE ABOUT AUTISM OR ASPERGERS
Tip one: Reading the resources suggested above is a good first step.
Tip two: If you have already read about autism and Aspergers, and are still worried get competent professional help if you have not done so.
Tip three: Strengthen your Emotional Fitness skills.
Tip four: Find support so you can share your hopes, fears, dreams, slips, set-backs and success with others. This will help you and others. Helping others is practicing kindness and strengthens you and others. One way to practice kindness is by liking, commenting, or sharing my posts. I promise kindness is always rewarded in one way or another.
Tip five: Read my next post – due Wednesday – as I will focus more on Aspergers and a bit on finding competent help.
Parenting is difficult and often a struggle as you must know by now. You should also know this: you are almost certainly a good enough parent. As noted above, if you’re having a hard time, my advice is not to ignore that, get professional help.
As always, thank you for your support, it means a great deal to me.
DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.
FURTHER PARENT ADVICE CAN BE FOUND IN MY BOOKS
All my books are available on Amazon, and readable on any tablet, laptop, Mac, PC, e-reader or Kindle device.‘When Good Kids Do Bad Things. A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers‘ Parents Are People Too. An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents Tame the Test Anxiety Monster
Watch for my about to be released How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting. This is a Tool Kit with templates and posters as well as an E-book.