Autism Awareness Post

This morning was a wonderful morning.  My daughter, Child B, the Aspie, was presented with a Terrific Kid award.  She is beamed with pride at her accomplishment.  She, like many others this morning, was brought up on the stage, told what they had done right, and presented with a certificate.  My daughter has many challenges, she unlike my son, did not present with a loss of language which is common with Autism.  My daughter presented like a child with a hearing impairment because her body was retaining fluid behind her ear drum.  She received tubes in her ears and the long process began to get her language to where it needed to be.  In the midst of all of this was the comprehension on my part that my daughter was not making eye contact with me.  She was not like normal kids, she liked to sit in her stroller and eat the newspaper, she like to chew on her shirts (sensory), and she liked to climb.  She had so much energy so early.  Now looking back, I feel that it was always there.

Asperger’s is similar to Autism because these kids are the kids that do not have a lot of friends or if they have friends, they are younger because they do not see anything wrong with their thought process, their bossiness, or with the fact that their social skills lack in many areas.  My daughter has no filter.  She says what she feels and is much like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, she is unapologetic.  You have to love her though, especially her enthusiasm to learn.  I feel that she was reading at the age of three, but of course, I will never know, she won’t tell me.

There are many great minds in this world that are Aspies and they are celebrated for what they do and how they contribute to society without many people recognizing that they have Syndrome and yes it is a Syndrome and not a disorder.  You may wonder what are the differences between these children and adults and those on the Spectrum, here it is.

Autism

  • Not respond to their name by 12 months of age
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
  • Delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Reverses pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)
  • Gives unrelated answers to questions
  • Does not point or respond to pointing
  • Uses few or no gestures (e.g., does not wave goodbye)
  • Talks in a flat, robot-like, or sing-song voice
  • Does not pretend in play (e.g., does not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • Does not understand jokes, sarcasm, or teasing
  • Lines up toys or other objects
  • Plays with toys the same way every time
  • Likes parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
  • Is very organized
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Has to follow certain routines
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Hyperactivity (very active)
  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
  • Short attention span
  • Aggression
  • Causing self-injury
  • Temper tantrums
  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions
  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

 

Asperger’s

  • Problems with social skills
  • Eccentric or repetitive behaviors
  • Unusual preoccupations or rituals
  • Communication difficulties such as making eye contact
  • Limited range of interests
  • Coordination problems
  • Skilled or talented

Huge difference huh?  But kids with Asperger’s are just as misunderstood and children with Autism and they have a hard time finding employment when they are older as well.  I’m not saying that there have to be all or one, but know that by figuring out what a child’s weakness is, you can figure out which direction to go in, in terms of treatment and support services.

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