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    Austim, Asperger's and other Autism-Spectrum Disorders

    genkicoll
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:43 am

    Kids will say and do the darndest things, but when those children are on the autism-spectrum, the things they say can be even more touching, funnier, etc.

    Before I start sharing stories, let me explain a bit about autism:

    A new study has been published on Autism stating that rather than 1 in every 150 US kids being autistic, it's really more like 1 in 91-- and about 1 in 58 boys, according to new figures released in October, 2009.

    There's a website called Autism Speaks that is one of many that is trying to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of autism, which is where I'm getting some of this information. Other parts are from my own personal experience with raising two children with the disorder.

    Autism is a neurological disorder that impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. To put it plainly, those with autism have trouble communicating in a meaningful and/or appropriate way (among other things). They must be taught things that most people know instinctively, or pick up easily.

    It is more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls...and yet I have 2 daughters with different degrees of autism.

    My eldest is a parrot and absolutely won't stop talking, even when it's extremely inappropriate. She has Asperger's Syndrome (AS), which is more commonly called "High-functioning autism". She's absolutely brilliant in some areas, and like most autistics, really lacking in others. She was reading by the time she was 2 years old, but is obsessive-compulsive on top of her other diagnoses (she has 5 now).

    On the other hand, my youngest, who is now 14, still does not speak or communicate in a way that most people can understand. She would be called a more typical autistic. It's heartbreaking to look at videos of when she was very young and see the way that she used to look at us when we talked to her, smile at us and play with us like any normal child would. It scares us to know that she may never be able to talk or interact with others properly. She may never be able to be on her own. What will happen to her when we're gone? How do we cope...?


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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:44 am

    Do you know your Asperger's Syndrome symptoms?

    GILLBERG'S CRITERIA FOR ASPERGER'S DISORDER

    1.Severe impairment in reciprocal social interaction
    (at least two of the following)
    (a.) inability to interact with peers
    (b.) lack of desire to interact with peers
    (c.) lack of appreciation of social cues
    (d.) socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior

    2.All-absorbing narrow interest
    (at least one of the following)
    (a.) exclusion of other activities
    (b.) repetitive adherence
    (c.) more rote than meaning

    3.Imposition of routines and interests
    (at least one of the following)
    (a.) on self, in aspects of life
    (b.) on others

    4.Speech and language problems
    (at least three of the following)
    (a.) delayed development
    (b.) superficially perfect expressive language
    (c.) formal, pedantic language
    (d.) odd prosody, peculiar voice characteristics
    (e.) impairment of comprehension including misinterpretations of literal/implied meanings

    5.Non-verbal communication problems
    (at least one of the following)
    (a.) limited use of gestures
    (b.) clumsy/gauche body language
    (c.) limited facial expres​sion(d.) inappropriate expres​sion(e.) peculiar, stiff gaze

    6.Motor clumsiness: poor performance on neurodevelopmental examination

    (All six criteria must be met for confirmation of diagnosis.)
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:45 am

    These qualities are what doctors look for to diagnose autism:

    Diagnostic Criteria for Autistic Disorder
    =================================
    (I) A total of six (or more) items from (A), (B ), and (C ), with at least two from (A), and one each from (B ) and (C )

    (A) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    1. marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
    2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
    3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
    4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity ( note: in the description, it gives the following as examples: not actively participating in simple social play or games, preferring solitary activities, or involving others in activities only as tools or "mechanical" aids )

    (B ) qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
    1. delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime)
    2. in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
    3. stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
    4. lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

    (C ) restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    1. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
    2. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
    3. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
    4. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

    (II) Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:

    (A) social interaction
    (B ) language as used in social communication
    (C ) symbolic or imaginative play

    (III) The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett's Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:46 am

    Here are some common myths, from autism.about.com:

    Myth: Autistic people cannot feel or express love or empathy.

    Fact: Many -- in fact, most -- autistic people are extremely capable of feeling and expressing love, though sometimes in idiosyncratic ways! What's more, many autistic people are far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express their empathy in unusual ways.

    Myth: Autistic people cannot build solid relationships with others.

    Fact: While it’s unlikely that an autistic child will be a cheerleader, it is very likely that they will have solid relationships with, at the very least, their closest family members. And many autistic people do build strong friendships through shared passionate interests. There are also plenty of autistic people who marry and have satisfying romantic relationships.

    Myth: Autistic people have amazing “savant” abilities, such as extraordinary math skills or musical skills.

    Fact: It is true that a relatively few autistic people are “savants.” These individuals have what are called “splinter skills” which relate only to one or two areas of extraordinary ability. By far the majority of autistic people, though, have ordinary or even less-than-ordinary skill sets.

    Myth: Most autistic people are non-verbal or close to non-verbal.

    Fact: Individuals with a classic autism diagnosis are sometimes non-verbal or nearly non-verbal. But the autism spectrum also includes extremely verbal individuals with very high reading skills. Diagnoses at the higher end of the spectrum are increasing much faster than diagnoses at the lower end of the spectrum.

    Myth: I shouldn’t expect much of an autistic person.

    Fact: This is one myth that, in my opinion, truly injures our children. Autistic individuals can achieve great things -- but only if they're supported by people who believe in their potential. Autistic people are often the creative innovators in our midst. They see the world through a different lens -- and when their perspective is respected, they can change the world.
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:47 am

    And some from drspock.com:

    Myth: Cold or distant mothering causes autism.

    Reality
    : autism is a biologically caused brain disorder. It does run in families, however, and some mothers and fathers of autistic children who seem extremely shy, socially awkward, or distant may themselves have very mild forms of autism.

    Myth: autism can be caused by vaccinations.

    Reality: At least two large studies have looked for a link between vaccinations and autism and did not find any evidence for it. autism usually first appears within the first two years of life, at a time when children are receiving many immunizations. The appearance of autistic symptoms shortly after an immunization is bound to happen some of the time solely by chance. (From genki: The jury is still out on this. There are still parents convinced that immunizations caused their child's autism. However, the ingredient thought to affect these children, thimerisol, is no longer being used in immunizations.)

    Myth: autism is caused by chemical imbalances or allergies that can be cured by special diets or nutritional supplements.

    Reality: While these theories have undeniable appeal, no credible scientific evidence exists that diet or nutritional supplements can cure autism. Children with autism certainly can have allergies and nutritional deficiencies, and correcting these problems can help such a child to be healthier. This, in turn, may improve the child's behavior and general outlook, but special diets or vitamins are very unlikely to cure the autism itself, no matter what testimonials say.

    From Genki: While special diets can make a great difference in a child's functioning, there is no CURE for autism. It is not something that will ever just go away.

    The most common diet to put autistics on is called the GFCF diet - Gluten-free, Casein-free. This means no milk products or gluten of any kind (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, etc. and all the gluten by-products such as vinegar, malt syrup, etc. This is the diet I am currently on for health reasons). Being on a gluten-free diet alone is extremely hard, but having no milk products, either, is even harder. The biggest problem with the GFCF diet is that it's VERY common for autistics to be on a "white" diet (my mom says "blondes") where they only eat highly-processed foods such as macaroni and cheese, pizza, cheese, crackers, chips, etc.
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:49 am

    Now we get to the fun stuff - our stories :D  Here's one from February, 2010:

    This morning on the way to take the kids to school, my eldest pipes up, "Mom, we have GOT to make her stop using these (tippy) cups!"

    "OK," I said, "Why is that?"

    "Because," she said impatiently, "She's almost thirteen, I don't want her to get teased by some mean kid."

    "Sweetie, she's with an adult at all times, no kid is going to tease her."

    Eldest considered, put out a bit.  "Well, they'd better not, or I'd hunt them down!"

    I smiled, thinking over her words a bit as I drove.  "What would you do if you caught them?"

    "Well," she said defiantly, "I'd give them a good talking to!  I'm a force to be reckoned with! (...pause...)  What does that mean?" Laugh


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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:50 am

    A little background information on DD (Dearest Daughter) so that this will make sense:  Eldest has typical splinter skills - terrible at math, but extremely advanced in other areas, especially ones she has special interests in, such as vocabulary and medicine.

    I was talking to my husband about having to return some equipment to my grandmother's doctor, which my eldest overheard part of.  On the way to school, she said, "OK, Mom, what exactly did Grandma have to have done?"

    I explained that she had to have an overnight test that would measure the amount of oxygen she had in her blood while she slept to make sure she wasn't having any kind of sleep apnea or problems breathing at night, and that it was a little thing that Grandma had to kind of clip onto her finger.

    Daughter, very matter-of-factly:  "Oh, great.  She had to have a pulse OX-ih-meter."

    Me:  "Well, yes, a pulse ox-IH-meter (she had pronounced it wrong)... How did you know that?!?  I never told you what an oximeter is."

    Daughter, again, very matter-of-factly:  "I dunno.  I'm just smart!"

    rotfl :D  She is such a hoot.


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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:54 am

    From May, 2010:

    Sometimes it's really hard to look back at old pictures and video of when my children were small. Been going through some pictures I haven't seen in a while ^_^

    Back when she was about 9 months old, my youngest seemed to be just like any other child:

    Just about a month later is when she started exhibiting signs of (what we now know is) autism. She started crying a lot, seemed constantly anxious and stopped making eye-contact. She didn't interact much, and she stopped babbling. It was a hard time for everyone, but especially for her and for me. I didn't know what was going on, I just thought she didn't care to be around me. That particular time in my life was so stressful that as she withdrew, so did I. I lost all emotions. Everything. I went through my daily routine as was expected of me, but I didn't laugh, didn't cry. No pain, no happiness, no empathy... I was completely empty inside, more like an emotionless robot than a human being. Nothing was left but the stress, constantly looming on the edges of my consciousness. This went on for almost a month before my husband finally stepped in and had a heart to heart with me. From that moment on, I struggled to regain my former self, while still trying to form a bond with my youngest. Looking back on it now, my husband thinks that I was suffering from postpartum depression.

    A breakthrough finally came when I realized that she loooves deep pressure. Tickling (hard!) was (and still is) a big hit! She'd laugh and laugh, and the more we interacted, the more eye contact she would make. Finally, we were able to bond! She was about 10 to 11 months old at the time.

    By the time she was a year old, there was no denying that she definitely wasn't "normal". Those in the autism community call it "NT", or "neurologically typical", rather than "normal", but you get the idea.

    It was at about the same time that we realized that our eldest was not your average child, either! Specially trained pre-school teachers had told us that they thought she (eldest) was autistic, and we were incensed! HOW could a child so intelligent, outgoing and vivacious be autistic?! She knew all of the alphabet - frontwards, backwards, upside down and in ANY font by the time she was two, her first sentence was 8 words long, she LOVED to talk to people! Because we were first time parents, we didn't realize that any of this was unusual. We thought she was just precocious. Because of the research we'd done on autism (the DMSIV criteria that I quoted earlier in this thread, primarily), we realized that she does, indeed, fit the profile of someone on the autism spectrum. Further research (and subsequent visits to one of the most acclaimed autism specialists in the Pacific Northwest) revealed that youngest is autistic and eldest has Asperger's Syndrome (as discussed earlier in this thread). If it had not been for her little sister, it would have taken a LOT more time for eldest to get the assistance she needed to help her cope with the world at large. Gifts come from the strangest places sometimes
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:55 am

    Echolalia, for those who don't know, causes people to parrot what is being said to them. They frequently cannot hold proper conversations, for they just repeat exactly what is being said to them. You'll see a brilliant example of this in the movie House of Cards. I actually do not like that movie, for though they portray autism very well (or at least, savantism), the cause for this particular girl is not believable (not for those of us who know better!) and in the end, it is cured! Cured?!?? Excuse me? There is no cure for autism, and it's beyond wrong to imply to the masses that there is! Harumph!

    But! I digress

    Regarding toilet flushing, I'm reminded of two funny stories, one for each of my girls:

    When my eldest was little (not sure we even knew she was autistic yet!), we took her over to her cousin's house to visit. We'd been there many times before, but on this particular day, they had some toilet bowl cleaner in there - the kind that makes the toilet water blue (and stay that way until the thing is used up).

    She was terrified! "It's blue!" she would wail. It took us weeks to convince her that it was OK that the water was blue, and it took us showing her how to "turn the water green" to eventually coax her to use the toilet there again.

    For my youngest, we have to keep her hair short. Why? Because she LOVES to flush the toilet and watch it go 'round. One day she realized that if she bent over enough, she could make her HAIR spin with the water! *faints* I cut her hair right then and there... right after I gave her a shower!


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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:56 am

    April, 2010:

    The school lent me a DVD documentary on a young woman who was deemed profoundly autistic, non-verbal and mentally retarded when she was young. It's called, "Autism is a World". It is her story, of being young and thought to be retarded, when in fact, she has a 134 IQ (your average PHD has an IQ in the 120's).

    She tells her story, via typed messages. When she was 13, someone tried facilitated communication with her, and something just "clicked". They had to guide her at first, but now she can - laboriously - type on her own. It takes her a long time, for her motor skills are not good, but she does it - on her own! She attends college, she wears a helmet when she feels the need to bang her head on something, she is... brilliant, but trapped in this non-responsive body.

    It is both inspiring and heart-breaking to watch. I cannot explain the sense of horror that my husband and I felt as we watched it, thinking, "Oh, God... What if (youngest) is like that?? What if she's trapped, unable to communicate with us, and gifted with ideas and concepts she will never be able to explain?" She is crafty, our youngest, and there is no dullness in her eyes. We want the very best for her, we want her to be intelligent, of course, but what if...?

    We, of course, have tried all kinds of approaches to helping her communicate. She is improving, but in baby steps. She does not progress until she is ready, and not before!

    There is also the story of a woman in India who taught her non-verbal autistic to write his thoughts - in ENGLISH. From the video I saw, her approach is very "in your face" with constant intervention, always right there, making them do things, helping them to keep on task. While this approach worked VERY well with her son (he, also, has a brilliant mind), it does not work with all autistics. No one approach will work on ALL autistics. They are unique in their disorder, and while some concepts hold true across the autism spectrum, binding them together, it is a mistake to think that any one approach will be a cure-all.

    It is a continuing battle for all of us who have to live with autism. We get by, day to day. We do the best we can. That's all there is to it.
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:58 am

    Late October, 2011:

    I wanted to share one of my newest stories, and this one involves my eldest child, 17, who leans more towards the Asperger's side of the syndrome. The OCD that can go along with autism is strong in this one, though she manages pretty well.

    A couple of days ago she wanted coffee (again) before we left for school, only she'd waited too long. When we're on our way OUT the door is not the time to ask for something that will take time to prepare! She was not pleased, so I decided to have a talk with her whilst on our way to school.

    I started talking, and the first words out of her mouth were, "I don' wanna hear it!"

    "That's fine, dear, but have the courtesy to listen to me and consider what I have to say." I'm thinking this approach wouldn't fly with most "normal" teenagers, but logic is strong in both her and with myself, so she "consented" to listen.

    "I have three good reasons why you shouldn't be drinking coffee every morning..."

    "But it's decaf!" she cried out, interrupting me, as kids are wont to do.

    "Yes dear, I know, but listen to me..."

    And so she did. I went through all three of my reasons, from her health to her weight (she likes half and half and sugar in her coffee) to trying NOT to get locked into routines that might have an impact on her health. She considered...

    "You're probably right," she conceded, then pursed her lips, thoughtfully. "Yeah... I just checked with myself... still don't care."

    Mahahahaha! :D Oh my gosh, I had SUCH a hard time not laughing! I think that this deadpan statement of hers would probably offend some parents, thinking, "What a brat!" but if you knew her, you'd crack up, too ;) *giggle*
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:59 am

    You've just reminded me of another story about eldest. I'm going to change the names, but the rest of the story is totally true.

    Her crush, Seth, is one of the nicest boys in the school. Tall, good-looking and plays basketball, football AND baseball. He is nary to be seen without his best friend, Tom, who has all of the same qualities. I can tell you from experience that they are both awesome individuals.

    Well, Tom worked for my dad during the summer, working in the garden, doing all kinds of heavy yard work. Eldest loves to come to work with me (and my work is at my parents' home), so we saw a lot of Tom over the summer.

    The first day we arrived at work during the time that he was here, my daughter said, "He has a black truck. Seth has a truck, too, only it's white." She paused with that thoughtful look on her face, the completely serious said, "They have Ying and Yang trucks!"

    Hahahahaha~ :D
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    Post by genkicoll Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:02 am

    November, 2011:

    My youngest is on the opposite side of the spectrum, being a non-verbal autistic. Communication has always been an issue, but she recently started showing that she really wants to communicate with us. Slowly, ever so slowy, words are swimming up out of the blackness. Where before she would just cry or grunt and push our hand(s) towards what she wanted, now she is trying desperately to vocalize. So slowly those sounds are becoming intelligible as she tries to speak. She so desperately wants us to understand!

    One of our breakthrough moments:

    "AAAAAA, AAAAAA, AAAAAA..." she says insistently, staring me fiercely in the eyes, clutching one of my hands as if she can make the word appear in my mind via the magic of telepathy.

    I stare back, feeling at a loss, and saying the names of things I know she might be wanting. "Pizza? Dinner? Gumballs?"

    "AAAAAA..."

    "Chips? Blanket?" By now she is growing increasingly agitated, I'm just not getting it! "I don't know, honey, what do you want?"

    "AAAAAA..." she insists, ""AAAAAA...ppuh!"

    A thrill of joy runs through me, hearing that one simple word. "Apple? You want an apple?"

    She breaks eye contact and throws my hand away, towards the kitchen, satisfied that I finally understand.

    This weekend was another new word, and I missed it! :( She was at her aunt's house, and saw her cousin walking through the room with a bag of popcorn. I guess she really wanted that popcorn, as she threw out her hand demandingly saying, "'opcorn!"

    Oh I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to see this change in her! She's 14 years old... I truly believed that she would never speak in a way that just anyone might be be able to understand her. The hope is once again surging through us, I so hope this dream can come true!

    December, 2011 update:

    Sadly, youngest has regressed again. We still have hopes that someday... *wistful smile*
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    Post by genkicoll Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:54 pm

    Originally posted in October, 2010

    Living with two autistics at different ends of the spectrum is very interesting, indeed!

    It's heartbreaking sometimes to know that my children will never have the kind of bond that my sister and I had, nor the sibling rivalry that we all see as part of our everyday lives (assuming we're not only-children).  My eldest gets soooo embarrassed when we're in the store and her little sister is screeching like a wounded hawk, but unlike most teens her age (who would slink away or whisper about it), my eldest will say in a VERY loud voice, "Mooom, she's embarrassing me!  Be quiet, Sissy!  Mom, make her stop, everyone is looking at us!" effectively drawing even more attention to us.  She doesn't understand that she's not helping the situation.

    Here's something I posted in the Parents of Special Needs thread at BF:

    Not that mine's autistic...so I don't totally know what you're going through...but he's got his own challenges.

    (my response)
    They all do (have their own challenges), as we did (and do!) ourselves.  Just as you may not understand what it's like to walk through a store with your child screeching at the top of her lungs and slapping herself repeatedly, I don't know what it's like to have an out-of-control, hateful teen.  We have much different experiences, but severity of issues doesn't make my problems any more stressful or painful than another parent's - just different.


    and one more tidbit from the same thread:

    Next time you are in public and see a child acting out PLEASE dont assume its lack of discipline or parenting. Sometimes, a child can look completely "normal" and have underlying issues you dont know about.



    (my response)
    Amen... AMEN!!!  It's easy to judge... not so easy to try to live in another's shoes.  Yes, sometimes it's poor parenting, but try to remember that there may be more to it than a discipline problem. Austim, Asperger's and other Autism-Spectrum Disorders 941308610


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    Post by bribling Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:13 am

    Thank you for sharing! I know little about autism. I have never (that I am aware of) known anyone with autism. The closest I have come is having had a childhood friend who was "retarded" (as it was called most of the time in those days). She was a very sweet and funny child and I felt blessed to have known her. I actually thought she was pretty smart and she was well tempered and had a good sense of humor. We got along well. I have never forgotten her.

    Most people see people with challenges as somehow inferior or incapable. I know that this is not true. They are merely different and you may need to adjust your view to see them. They do have something to offer and if others cannot see it, it is their loss.

    Thank you Genki for explaining. I enjoyed the funny things. All children have their "moments". I believe both of your daughters can have good lives and are well cared for and loved. May your family have many years of love and discovery ahead!
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    Post by genkicoll Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:11 pm

    MedicalXpress is a site I discovered through PhysOrg, another great site.  There they debunk the five most common myths about autism.  They are:

    1. Children with autism don’t look at you


    2. Children with autism are not interested in social interaction


    3. Children with autism are not affectionate


    4. Girls have different core autistic symptoms to boys


    5. Autism and Asperger’s are the same


    See the full article and explanations HERE


    Here are MY personal experiences and understandings.  Understand that I am speaking in generalities - you can't pigeonhole those on the spectrum - they vary too widely!

    1
    . I can tell you from experience that autistics can LEARN to make proper eye contact, but they may not be able to hold it for long.  Eldest (Asperger's) maintains eye contact with family and teachers just fine, but throw someone else into the equation, and she'll look in a completely different direction and say something like, "Mom, why is she doing that?"  Usually I tell her, "I don't know, why don't you ask her?"  Youngest on the other hand only makes eye contact when she is desperately trying to communicate something.  As soon as you "get" it, she breaks contact.


    2. Both of my children are highly dependent on interactions.  Eldest is a wannabe social butterfly.  She loves people and loves interacting with them, she just doesn't "get" the nuances of what's appropriate and what's not.  What most people learn instinctively, autistics have to work HARD to learn.  Youngest is incredibly clingy with both my husband and myself... recently she doesn't want her dad out of her sight!

    3. Oh heck. lol~  My children are both very affectionate.  Youngest usually doesn't initiate, but we don't hold that against her Austim, Asperger's and other Autism-Spectrum Disorders 2981382511

    4. They give an example in the article about boys being more likely than girls to line up toys according to size and colors. *shrugs and smiles*  Youngest (my lower-on-the-spectrum child) loves her cars, and has to line them up.  She has to have those two-pound blocks of cheese in every color, and will line them up in front of her "just so".

    5. Autism and Asperger's are not the same thing, that's true, but there are core traits that are similar, which is why Asperger's is typically referred to as being on the high end of the autism spectrum.  The article explains this one just fine Smile


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    Post by genkicoll Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:15 pm

    I've recently discovered the TV program The Big Bang Theory . I haven't seen a lot of episodes, but it took me all of three minutes to realize that the Sheldon Cooper character is absolutely, positively autistic - perhaps more accurately described as having Asperger's Syndrome. He's brilliant (and knows it!) with an IQ of 187, obsessive-compulsive, and completely socially inept.

    He's irritatingly superior and completely lovable at the same time. He'll say things like, "Exactly what social situation is this, for I have no idea how I should be reacting," and "Am I making you uncomforatable? I have trouble interpreting facial expressions and nuances."

    The thing I find most interesting about Sheldon is that a character so blatantly autistic is the most popular character in the series. It absolutely tickles me, and at the same time, gives me hope for my own Asperger's child (eldest). Having a character like this that people know and love may give them a bit more understanding when it comes to those on the spectrum, and that gives me a true sense of satisfaction Smile


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    Post by bribling Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:34 am

    I have only seen the commercials for this series but even they give a small insight into that funny character. I hope this helps your child and others. Maybe they will all receive more friendly smiles because of it.
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    Post by genkicoll Wed May 09, 2012 8:26 pm

    There were three (count 'em - three!) articles in the newspaper about autism during the last week. One has a quote that I especially love:

    "Asperger's kids are not mentally slow, they're just taking a different developmental path." - Millie Johnson, mother of an Asperger's child who just graduated from college as the 2012 Distinguished Graduate, out of 144 undergraduates.

    I'm happy to see autism getting so much attention, though it's sad it has become a necessity. Studies now show that one in every eighty-eight children is on the autism spectrum. Autism is becoming so prevalent that nearly everyone I talk to has a friend, family member and/or someone they know who is affected.


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    Post by genkicoll Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:44 pm

    We did back-to-school shopping during my lunch hour day (last minute? You betcha! Silly face), and my eldest was sitting in the back seat, reading a magazine as I drove.

    "Oh my God, that is the biggest bow I've ever seen on a person!"

    "Oh, yeah?" I said, only partly paying attention, "A bow?"

    "Yes, a bow," she explained, "on a dress.  It's HUGE!  It's like, why would you need a bow so big that it could double as a floatation device or a parachute?

    Belly laugh

    Just as a side note, the bow really was enormous Wink


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    Post by genkicoll Tue May 21, 2013 3:27 pm

    My sister passed along a poignant video, and I just have to share it with everyone.

    Meet Carly:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMBzJleeOno

    She is a non-verbal autistic, like my youngest, but unlike mine, she found a way to break her silence. This is a ten minute video, and worth watching multiple times, even if you know nothing about autism. For those of us who have a non-verbal in the family, it was not only awe-inspiring, but tear-inspiring as well.

    This is not some boring video about statistics, but the story of a real girl and the things she has had to live with for her whole life.


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    Post by genkicoll Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:15 pm

    I was just standing a few feet away from my eldest as she played a game when the following occurred:

    Her, without looking at me: "Don't even think about messing with me."

    Me, grinning: "You know me so well."

    Her: "Unfortunately."

    Me: "Unfortunate that you know me so well?"

    Her, completely deadpan:  "Unfortunate that you're so predictable."

    Belly laugh


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    Post by Justgaming Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:49 pm

    Beautiful!  You are just going to have to stop being so predictable.  Whistle
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    Post by genkicoll Thu May 08, 2014 10:30 pm

    Courtesy of Sassylassie:


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    Post by genkicoll Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:21 pm

    Eldest was told that she needs to find a new dentist because she's too old to see a pediatric (children's) dentist now. After my experiences with a new dentist recently, I went home to talk to her about changing to this new guy. Here's how the conversation went:

    Me: "Hey, I found you a new dentist! He's young, he's cute, he's Korean, he's super-nice, and I think you'd get along great!"

    Her: *eyes shining with anticipation* "Really? He's Korean?" 

    (We watch Korean dramas, which is why that was so exciting to her)

    Such a typical response from her, just not the response I was expecting! I figured she'd zone in on the fact that he's young and cute, but no; it's the fact that he's Korean that she's excited about. Mahaha Belly laugh


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