Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Autism Question

Today, Austin asked me "How much autism do I have?"  I was a little surprised that he asked me but I knew the day would come when he would.  I was reading an article on my computer in my room about the autism rates increasing to 1 in 68.  He saw was I was reading and this is what he asked me.  I asked him what he thought autism meant and he said it is "someone who is very smart, like Einstein" and I told him that is true but that there is a spectrum and not everyone on the spectrum is Einstein.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

We asked the Psychologist a while back, should we tell Austin he is on the autism spectrum.  She said to wait until he brought it up or asked.  Not to make a big deal out of it.  So I did my best to stick to her instructions.  She gave an example of having red hair, I am the same as everyone, I just have red hair; different.  I gave this example to Austin and he seemed to get it.  I explained to Austin that people that have high functioning autism like him, just think differently.  I gave him a few examples of what he excels at and what challenges he may face.  I also told him, we all have strengths and challenges.  (We did speak briefly with Dad too but Austin and I discussed mostly between ourselves.)  He just discussed back and forth like we were discussing how to make a cake.  He did tell me he has thought he was born on the spectrum.  I did tell him that indeed, he is on the autism spectrum and it is not a big deal.  I asked him if he knew anyone else on the spectrum and he said "no".  I explained to him that he does have a friend on the spectrum and he got very excited at how much they have in common.  He thought that it was "cool".

Interestingly enough, Austin has just gone through some testing and we are waiting the results of the assessment from the Psychologist.  She seemed very pleased with how much he has progressed.  He is doing very well. :)

I answered as many questions as he had and he really did not seemed too phased.

Light It Up Blue on April 2!

All the best! *HUGS*

Monday, March 24, 2014

No Filter

Sometimes people hurt Austin's feelings but he hurts peoples' feelings as well but really does not understand why.  The answer, no filter.

Austin says whatever comes into his head.  He really speaks his mind about everything.  It is nice to know that he will tell you pretty much anything but sometimes it really can be inappropriate.  Try going shopping and when there is a line he always blurts out "OH COME ON!!!" "We are going to be here FOREVER!"  You should see the look on peoples faces.  The first time it happened, I actually laughed because it caught me so off guard.  I always turn to Austin and say "That is not very polite and not appropriate, we must have patience."  He will say he is sorry but pout for a minute or two.  He eventually gets over it, but he will do it again the next time we go and the next ...

At school, there is a girl he does not like at all.  She has done somethings to upset him and well, he does not like her.  This is really new for Austin because he has always been very easy going and played with whoever would want to play.  Now, he is starting to get the social dynamic.  Oh my, it has not been an easy year but he has progressed and learnt so much!  He is doing so well!  Very proud of him!  The problem is, if he is put together with this girl he protests and says "I do not like her!"  He does not want to be paired up with her and has no problem saying this right to this poor girl.  I have been notified that he protests when he does not want to work with someone or in a group.  I have told Austin, when someone does something to hurt his feelings, he does not like it, then he should be careful not to hurt someone else's feelings too.  It takes a bit to get him to understand and I hope that he will choose his words more carefully.  He does not think there is anything wrong with expressing how he feels about someone.  It is a challenge to convince him otherwise and explain that he should try putting himself in that person's shoes.  I still have to be careful how I phrase things since he wants to know how it will help to wear their shoes!  Never a dull moment!

*HUGS*  All the best!

Special Needs and Special Needs

Austin has been having such a time with one child in particular at school.  He makes fun of Austin and calls him names, laughs at him and hurts his feelings.  Austin comes home crying, a lot.  It is really tough to know what to do since this child also has special needs.  I continue to tell Austin to ignore or walk away when this child teases him or bothers him and most of the time he does but sometimes he is in a position where he cannot.  I explained to Austin that this child has his own challenges and he must be more patient and understanding since the child cannot control some of these behaviours.  It is a challenge everyday and I continue to tell Austin to tell someone if he is upset, although he still does not do this all the time.

I continue to support Austin and give him a big hug when he is upset and tell him, it has nothing to do with him, it is not personal.  I hope that the situation will improve and Austin will continue to be patient and may be there will be no more tears.

*HUGS*  All the best!