Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders
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Although I dont have a child who has Autism, I have had a child in my Kindergarten class who has Autism, and just turned 5 a few days ago. I read up on a lot of books so that I would be able to understand what and how to try to help him in my class. I fell in love with him so much!!!! He went to school during the day and I would pick him up from the school bus stop in front of our daycare. He would only get off the bus if I was the one to get him off the bus. We had such a special bond that everyone could see. His momma and I got to be really close. He went off to regualr school this year and I moved away, very sadly.
Now I have a 2 year old little boy, Matthew, in my class who shows signs of Autism. Doesnt interact with the children, doesnt listen when his name is called, doesnt like change, but his Autism is diffrent that what I had learned from Justin. Matt doesnt like to be touched, and Justin LOVED it when I would stroke his hands and fingers, but especially his feet. He LOVED it!!! Matt is aggressive, while Justin wouldnt hurt a fly, but would look at it in such amazement!!! Justin's mom knew he was Autistic from age 1, and she taught me a lot!!! So much that I didnt learn from books. Matt's mom doesnt think anything is wrong with him, which of course, he is perfect!!! But as soon as I saw him in my class the first day, I sadly knew. I dont know if she is in denial about it, or maybe why her pedes dr hasnt said anything about Matt possibly being Autistic. I know its NOT my place to tell her. Absolutely NO! But I want to help him and his mom so bad because she doesnt know what to do. She is always asking...what do you think I should do? How can I handle him?
Does anyone have any advice that I might be able to pass on to her without hurting her feelings or make her feel like she is a bad mother. She has come to pick him up after watching him in tears on some days because she sees how 'different' he is. He doesnt talk like the other kids do, he DOES join us in Circle Time. He knows our routine. When we go to the hallway he does NOT walk out the door without holding my hand. He does finger gestures when we have puppet shows so I know that he is listening and I know how very smart he is. But Im starting to get worried because he has started showing signs of agression, like biting, and pushing. I know its probably because he cant communicate with us, and we cant communicate with him, though we both try. Any advice would really be appriciated. Thank you so much!!!
Oh my! Why couldn't YOU have been my son's Kindergarten teacher?? Instead he had this old hag who was so stuck in her ways I had to get things put into my sons IEP to get her to do them, and even then it was a fight.
My son was like Justin AFTER we taught him to communicate. Before then he would hit and scream and it was because he couldn't tell us what he needed or wanted. I'm so glad you are so open to learning. Books can't do ASD justice because it is so broad. Forget the umbrella analogy, think rainbow! As many colors in a rainbow there are different levels to autism. You have experience with a couple of those colors, and although they are part of the same rainbow, they are VERY different.
I thought my son was cute with his hand flapping and toe walking, and although I was concerned he had stopped talking, I thought it was just the way he was. He was my first child and the first grandchild, so I had no one to compare him to. Then my sister, who has been an elementary school teacher for many years now, approached oh so very hesitantly and expressed her concerns about my son. She did not mention autism (although it was on her mind) but she did mention Hunter's speech loss and suggested I give Early Intervention a call (that's what it is called in Michigan, where we are from and were living at the time). I took my sister's advice and called and my son was evalaluated to be Speech and Language Impaired and placed in a special play group and the preschool and worked with an ST and OT. What was even more important is that they came to my home and taught my son how to use PECS (Picture Exchange System), where we would give him a cheese ball, ooh, yummy, and then show him how he could get another by handing a picture of a cheese ball to me. Then we taught him ASL (sign language) for more, ball, drink, diaper, outside, etc., and no more hitting or tantrums! In school he had a picture schedule to help him transition to new activities and a picture place mat to help him communicate during snack time.
Half way through his first year in a special pre-school did his teacher, a woman trained in autism, mention that Hunter may be on the spectrum. She expressed her love and concern for Hunter, telling me that if he is he can qualify for even more special treatment and just might possibly "outgrow" autism. Coming from someone who has experience with autism and the way she approached me and spoke so positive about my son made it easy. She was open and available during the wait for the evaluation and after his diagnosis.
So, after all that, I'd like to say I think someone who has experience with ASD should talk to her with you. Just saying you had a boy with autism once isn't going to cut it. KWIM? Start with repeating her own concerns to her and from your experience and the experience of the person who knows ASD, you'd like to suggest her child be evaluated (and maybe have a number ready or offer to make the call for her). It only costs her the time it takes to do it.
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I am a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, no crying it out, baby wearing mama of 3 boys, one of which has autism. Meet my boys here (having technical difficulties with my website). My blogs are On Top of Mt. Laundry and The Cache Checkers.
omg I want you as my son's teacher! oh please oh please move to me!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with that being said refer them to their early intervention. assure her it is no cost...and the school will pay for part it is law....and tell her theywill eval him and lead her in the right direction. Assure her that you are a proffesional and you see children all the time and you know what you are talking about. Be very sympathetic letting her know youunderstand that she must feel as if you are attacking but you are not and let her know there is only a limited amount of time when the therapy is MOST effective and that amazing things can happen when it is started quickly, intensely, and early! We started at 16m and I only wish people could see the differences in my ds!