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PapaLoc50
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12 Sep 2017, 6:35 am

Hello everyone. I am new to the boards so I will try to keep my post brief…

My daughter was diagnosed on the spectrum when she was 2, and has since had plenty of care made available to her (PCA, OT, Speech, PT, etc.); early intervention thanks to the state and my personal insurance. She has recently started a Pre-K program (she is 5 now), as we feel she is high functioning enough to hopefully start “regular” Kindergarten next year. Lately, a few things have been slipping with regards to her behavior and daily habits.

First, she has all but stopped listening to her mother and I at home. We do all the redirecting we can, use the visual cards, all the tools we have, but it takes a lot to get her to slow it down, and listen. On some occasions I have had to pull her out of the room and separate her from her brother and “talk her down.” Most seems to be ineffective and everything blows up at once. It has caused some serious rifts in our usual routine and it keeps getting harder. While in school, she does have a behaviorist there on some days, but listens well and never causes any major problems there.

Second, she used to go to bed at a normal hour and stay in her bed until we came to get her in the morning. Lately, she has been getting up on her own, hours earlier than before, and we have tried everything to convince her that she need to stay in bed until we come to get her. We are lost with regards as to how to get her to stay put…
I know these are not problems that most people on this board have likely dealt with, but any tools or guidance would be appreciated. It’s time for us to reach out because I know there are plenty of people that I can reach out to as resources. Thanks for reading…



NoNormie
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12 Sep 2017, 7:17 am

Is she getting enough sleep, even though she gets up a lot earlier now? If so, do you think it might be possible for her to engage in a range of solitary activities you agree on during those hours, and, for instance, agree for her to stay in her room or a specific area you agree on?

When you say she stopped listening, it might be helpful to provide some examples.



eikonabridge
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13 Sep 2017, 4:45 am

PapaLoc50 wrote:
First, she has all but stopped listening to her mother and I at home. We do all the redirecting we can, use the visual cards, all the tools we have, but it takes a lot to get her to slow it down, and listen. On some occasions I have had to pull her out of the room and separate her from her brother and “talk her down.” Most seems to be ineffective and everything blows up at once. It has caused some serious rifts in our usual routine and it keeps getting harder.

Let us review a few words in your message:
(a) "Change" in behavior
(b) "Redirecting"
(c) "Get" her to "slow down"
See a pattern? Now, ask the question: if you are a child, would you like to see your parents write in a public forum about how to "change" you, how to "redirect" you and how to "get" you to "slow down"?

Well, it's not your fault. It's the way how our traditional ABA approach deals with our children. Frankly, it's quite denigrating. It's dehumanizing.

Which begs the question: is there another approach? And the answer most definitely is: yes, there is.

I don't hide my name. Everything I write, is for my children to read. See the difference? How can I do that? You ask. I can do that because I don't do manipulation. I treat my children as equal-rights human beings. Matter of fact, I think they are smarter than I am, and I treat them as my teachers.

I never for one second think that my children are defective or in need of change. Nope. That does not ever cross my mind. It's much healthier to see it this way: children don't need "change," they only need "development." "To change" is a verb reserved for adults and adults only. If you look at all the successful families with autistic children, they will all tell you how much the parents have changed. Yeap, it's the parents and teachers and the whole society the ones that need to change, not he autistic children. The autistic children are perfectly fine the way they are.

-----

Creativity and rules don't mix. We are not talking about raising average Joes or Janes here. To the maximum extent possible, please minimize any rules. Let children have a chance to be children. Behaviors should be the least of your concerns.

Focus instead on developing your children's deep thinking skills. Deep thinking skills are built upon "inner feedback loops" inside the children's brains, and "inner feedback loops" can only happen when there are "outer feedback loops." That means, for autistic children, they need to generate their own visual-manual output. Good things to do are: (a) start reading early on, and frankly this should have been done when the children are 9 months old, if by 18 months they are not yet reading books, they are late in reading skills, (b) draw pictures (and write with words) for your children early on, (c) building-block toys are good idea, (d) sketch pads or large paper rolls for drawing are good idea, (e) and if you have the skills, make simple animation video clips for your children. The day your children can draw pictures or build 3D objects, you are pretty much done. Once they complete their outer feedback loop, they are all set for developing deep thinking skills. And with that, you'll be surprised how easy it is to talk to them about behaviors. For them to feel positive about generating their own visual-manual output, it's important for parents to do the same thing, first. That means you should draw pictures for your children, early on. It's a good idea to draw pictures for your children every evening, at bedtime. Review what they have done today, and tell them what they will be doing tomorrow... all through pictures. A good magnetic drawing board is an essential tool. Search for TOMY Megasketcher on Amazon.

Once the children are cognitively developed, then you can use the "Fun and Facts" approach to communicate with them. See:

http://www.eikonabridge.com/fun_and_facts.pdf

It's all about connecting their good experiences to their bad experiences, it's all about connecting things that they already know to things that they don't yet know. It's all about Yin and Yang. In technical jargon: it's all about "modulation," or building space-time wormhole tunnels in their brains. That's how you will help their brains to develop. And soon you will realize, too, that the same applies to us, the adults.

Yes, there is a different way of looking at autism and be respectful of these children.

-----

OK, just for the fun of it, here is a drawing by my daughter about life cycle. She made it at the end of last year. See, I only found this picture a few weeks ago. It shows her from her baby days (next to mom), to her having her own baby, to getting old and to death. Notice the check marks on the stages already completed. The thing is, there was no sadness when I asked her about her drawing. She described everything in a matter-of-fact manner. I grilled her on where she got the idea of life cycle from, and she then showed me a few scientific documentaries on YouTube, about human body and about life cycle. One video was about 1.5 hours long, the other one was about 50 minutes. I asked her, whether she sat through those long video clips. She said, again in her matter-of-fact manner, yes, she did fully sit through those documentaries. In short, she has conducted research on life and death, without us the parents knowing anything about it. See, with my children, I always have these priceless moments, from time to time. So my comment for parents that don't draw pictures for their children: you don't know what you are missing!
Image


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Fireblossom
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13 Sep 2017, 6:45 am

eikonabridge wrote:
(a) start reading early on, and frankly this should have been done when the children are 9 months old, if by 18 months they are not yet reading books, they are late in reading skills,


You're joking or being sarcastic, right? I mean average kids learn how to read between the ages of 5-7 or so... I mean if people considered it late then kids would start school at much younger age. Where did you get an idea like that?



ASDMommyASDKid
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13 Sep 2017, 7:09 am

Fireblossom wrote:
eikonabridge wrote:
(a) start reading early on, and frankly this should have been done when the children are 9 months old, if by 18 months they are not yet reading books, they are late in reading skills,


You're joking or being sarcastic, right? I mean average kids learn how to read between the ages of 5-7 or so... I mean if people considered it late then kids would start school at much younger age. Where did you get an idea like that?


A certain percentage of kids on the spectrum are hyperlexic (Early readers, especially good at decoding, have a love for numbers and letters and logos. Often later they have issues with reading comprehension, but regardless, are better decoders than comprehenders. They often teach themselves to read at a very young age) OP, you are right that not all of them are, and there is absolutely no worry if your child is not an early reader.

People on this board have a lot of different (and strong) opinions and there is a saying about autism that if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism. There is a lot of variance and you kind of have to look at advice from multiple sources and decide what best applies to your child, and what makes sense for your family.

My son had/has issues with his sleep cycle being "off" from jump, and it is very hard to get someone to change from their natural cycle to what is typical. Often he would stay up late, and it was hard to wake him. I personally have not found that forcing an early bed time helped, because you can make someone go to bed (maybe) but you cannot make them actually sleep.

Since your child started as a normal sleeper, you may be able to get her to adapt back. We had better luck with earlier bed times when the tooth fairy or Santa would come, so maybe you could try a "night time fairy" who only comes when she is asleep and leaves a sticker or something cute if she is asleep at whatever target time, you want that also that enables you to put the sticker in the designated spot.

it is not unusual for autistic children to behave better at school than at home, assuming they are socially aware enough to make that preference. If they push hard t behave at school around strangers, they cannot always manage it at home as well. Something has to give, and they trust and love you, and feel safer and secure at home, so at home is where they ease up.

This is actually better for you because at schol they will give you and your child problems and often have solutions that make things worse. When they have issues at home, you can be more patient than the school would be.

YMMV



magz
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13 Sep 2017, 7:31 am

At first I thought there is nothing to add to what Eikonabridge wrote (except the time of learning reading, that's ridiculous, all the little kids, autistic or not, have their own speed with this)... but no. He showed the perspective of a parent. I would show a self-advocacy perspective.

The early intervention programmes are, AFAIK, all about functioning. OK, it is useful if you can wipe yourself and do groceries without help. Gives you more options. Great.
But autism is a lot about a totally different thing: communication. And I don't mean only the speech delay.
Well, I know my case the best, so I'll show it. My speech wasn't delayed a minute. I was one of the "little genius" kind. Yet my husband once told me that I never learned to speak. Why? Because when I need to talk about my needs and feelings to someone else, I get so anxious that all the words disappear from my head.
And I'm "functioning" perfectly well, highly educated, got job, got married, have children... and got really serious anxiety and depression because all my feelings and needs have been denied for years. Luckily, I found a good therapist, so I wasn't just put into a mental hospital on vegetable-making medication - but that was close :(

Anyway, back to your daughter: It is perfectly normal that children rebel every few years. They need it to progress. To define themselves as persons.

In my culture, there is a term "four year old rebellion" - this is the moment when a child starts trying to decide on their own. The role of the parent at this moment is not to mute it but to guide it. Set safe boundaries for experiments with decisions. Explain, what is wise and what is stupid. What is right and what is wrong. Teach the idea of consequences. Of respect. Help the kid create the concept of self and community. And all the kids and parents need to go throught it. In NT families it probably goes "naturally" but even there it requires patience.
Your daughter is autistic. She may need help with explaining what she wants. Even if it is stupid or wrong - like, I don't know, going naked on the street or something - it will be better if she pronounced it and then discussed, why it is a bad idea. She needs to learn all the decision-making process.
I know communication with an autistic person can be extremally difficult. Do not force eye contact - it's terribly distracting for an autistic person. She needs to feel safe and accepted to open. Silence may help. And drawings - her drawings, her choice of pictures.
Use all your good will and creativity to try. Please. She needs it. And try your best not to get her wrong.

I sometimes wonder, how would it look if you used the ABA approach on an NT child. Would it really be possible to raise an independent, creative participant of the society that way?

________
EDIT: I read this again and it seems a bit chaotic, for I was writing in quite an emotional state. What I wanted to say:
1. For me this behavior looks like a normal, healthy child's rebellion - only she's autistic, so she can't explain herself like other children would.
2. Did you find any efficient way to communicate both ways? Does she share her concerns with you? Is she able to make her point? She doesn't need to be right and perfect to be heard, understood and accepted. And she needs to be able to explain herself for the sake of her future mental health.
3. How long does she sleep? Maybe she doesn't need more - then why should she be forced to wait in bed? Why should she be separated from her brother? Maybe the rules need to be re-thinked, what was good for 2yo is not always the best for an almost school-age kid.


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eikonabridge
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13 Sep 2017, 9:25 am

Fireblossom wrote:
You're joking or being sarcastic, right? I mean average kids learn how to read between the ages of 5-7 or so... I mean if people considered it late then kids would start school at much younger age. Where did you get an idea like that?

Why would I be joking? Autistic children are not neurotypical children. Why would you want to raise autistic children like neurotypical children, and then complain about all the problems? It's hopeless to teach most neurotypical children to read books by 18 months. Trust me, I have tried, it doesn't work.

The brain difference between the two groups is already observed as early as 6 months.
https://sherbrooktimes.com/of-the-early-signs-of-autism-as-early-as-six-months-of-age/2318
https://mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/pinpointing-origins-autism-269891

See also my article on the "Dewdrops on a Leaf" model on the autistic brain:
http://www.eikonabridge.com/AMoRe.pdf

Search on YouTube and you will realize that knowing to read words at 9 months is nothing, plenty of children do that. Some are claiming as early as 3 months.

Both of my children learned to read books (one of them was totally hyperactive with zero eye focus at the start) while they were still 2 years old. (Both of them were also late talkers and did not talk until after 4 years old.) If I had known the benefit of reading sooner and how to teach them to read earlier, I would have definitely started earlier. Sure, it sounds crazy, as crazy as:

1+2+3+4+... = -1/12

right? But then, this equation is the correct answer, for professional mathematicians. Again, it's not a joke, google for it and you shall see. And you thought you knew how to add numbers? See, your "common sense" is your worst enemy, when it comes to raising autistic children.

Reading books by 18 months is not a joke, it's what's doable, and it's what ought to be done, for ALL autistic children. We don't do that, and we then try to morph our autistic children into the developmental schedule of neurotypical children, and we then complain about all the problems. Masochists, that's what we are.


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magz
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13 Sep 2017, 10:10 am

eikonabridge wrote:
1+2+3+4+... = -1/12

Googled, found nothing. It makes no sense put this way.
eikonabridge wrote:
Reading books by 18 months is not a joke, it's what's doable,

YES
eikonabridge wrote:
and it's what ought to be done, for ALL autistic children.

NO.
Kids are different, NT and autistic alike. This generalisation goes way too far!


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Fireblossom
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14 Sep 2017, 4:56 am

eikonabridge wrote:
Reading books by 18 months is not a joke, it's what's doable, and it's what ought to be done, for ALL autistic children. We don't do that, and we then try to morph our autistic children into the developmental schedule of neurotypical children, and we then complain about all the problems. Masochists, that's what we are.


I didn't mean that being able to read at that age would be a joke (I knew someone who could when I was a kid), but the fact that you said that a child is late in reading skills if he/she doesn't read at the age of year and half. I'm not saying it's impossible to do so, but I also don't believe that someone not reading in that age should be considered late, autistic or not. Also, you say that people should read to all autistic children, but what if the child has no interest in books or whatever is being read to him/her? Should they still be forced to read at such an early age? From your first post I get the impression that you don't want children to be forced to be anything, yet this makes it sound like you think that children need to learn to read at that age, no matter if they like it or not. I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but that is the impression I got.



eikonabridge
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14 Sep 2017, 7:55 am

magz wrote:
eikonabridge wrote:
1+2+3+4+... = -1/12

Googled, found nothing. It makes no sense put this way.


Google's results used to be friendlier, but I guess something changed recently. Here is the search result from Bing.com for "1+2+3+4+... = -1/12" (the double quotes are meaningful)
http://www.bing.com/search?q=%221%2B2%2B3%2B4%2B...+%3D+-1%2F12%22

Carl Bender seems to have some good lectures on infinite series. I think you'll be interested in part 4 and part 5.


But please bear in mind that when it comes to numbers, there are all kinds of points of view. You can never hold just one single view. You need to be an independent thinker. For instance, think about this "equality":

0.99999... = 1

Once you understand this equality, you will understand that in math, the equal sign always stands for "equivalence" as in "equivalence classes." Numbers are adjectives. The number 3 does not refer to the 3 apples on your table, or the 3 flowers you see in your garden. Rather, it's the "stuff" that connects the 3 apples on your table to the 3 flowers in your garden. Once you understand that, you'll understand that when we say two sides are equal, we really mean that they belong to the same equivalence class. Numbers exist only in people's minds, and as such, they depend on how people view them and define them. I would suggest you to look into p-adic numbers as well. Then you will realize that what we hold dear, namely, the "real numbers," are nothing but one possibility among many other possibilities. You will then realize that what we call "mathematically precise" is nothing but an illusion. There are so many ways of viewing and defining numbers. So, being an independent thinker is important. All too many amateurs would follow one single school of thought and believe they've understood everything. Nope. It's never that easy.


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magz
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14 Sep 2017, 8:30 am

You seem quite excited but what you sent me are the lectures I already had. I work with this everyday. Got used to it.

I found your equation in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_%2B_2_% ... _%E2%8B%AF with some explaining. The summation here is not a simple summation (as the series is obviously divergent) but analytic continuation of some other result. That way it makes sense, okay. The Zeta function is really quite awesome. But the convention matters - these pluses are not the "usual" pluses but some broadening of the traditional "+" meaning. And yes, it's exciting.

Anyway, it adds nothing to PapaLoc50's daughter's behavior. She may become a genius mathematician but as well may be a devouted gardener or anything. In every case she deserves lots of love and support ;)


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eikonabridge
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14 Sep 2017, 8:55 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Should they still be forced to read at such an early age? From your first post I get the impression that you don't want children to be forced to be anything, yet this makes it sound like you think that children need to learn to read at that age, no matter if they like it or not. I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but that is the impression I got.

Why don't we look at the case of my son? When he was 2.5 years old, he had zero eye contact, he couldn't focus his eyes on anything static. He couldn't look at any static pictures, let alone read any letters or words. It was impossible to teach him to read, right? Everyone would agree that he was not visual, right? I mean, he also bounced around the house like a ping-pong ball.

He's been on ABA for about a year by then (due to my older daughter's case, my son received early intervention). Even after 1 year of ABA effort, and our own effort, he still wasn't able to call me "Papa."

OK, so should we just pack up and go home, and cry like most of the parents with autistic children out there? Or use drugs to slow his ADHD down? Sure, doctors stood ready to give us the prescriptions.

What would you do in this case? Seriously, what would you do?

-----

Did I even shed a single drop of tear? Nope, I've never shed one single drop of tear in my whole life about my children's autism.

Instead, I racked my head on how to approach him, how to communicate with him. Other parents would go out and seek miracle cures, seek endless list of doctors or intervention providers. Guess what I did?

What I did was to remember the radio circuits that I assembled when I was 9 years old. What I did what I refreshed myself on the calculus courses I took 20 years ago. There was also a fateful event at work. I was leading a team of PhD'd scientists, and I was giving them some inspirational talk. I asked them, what intelligence was. (Because we worked with artificial intelligence with neural networks.) They gave me all sorts of answers. I told them, nope, that one could describe intelligence in one single word, and that word was "factorization." After that talk, when I came home, I digged into one old internet posting I wrote years ago about "Aspect Oriented Programming." I compared it to "Object Oriented Programming" by borrowing an analogy from "Fourier Transform" in calculus and quantum mechanics. See, intelligence was all about analogies. You seek analogies and factor out two completely different problems into one single problem. That's how human brain works. For a few nights, I was staying up in the middle of the night, thinking about all these things and about my son's autism, and I was in the family room watching some meaningless TV shows. That was when I told myself: could it be that my son was the Fourier Transform of my daughter? The shape of the big screen TV looked like a coordinate plane to me. So I put my daughter on the horizontal axis: she was static, she operated with concepts. And I then put on son on the vertical axis: he was dynamic, he operated with processes. And voila, that was my light-bulb moment. So, if my daughter could be communicated with pictures (concepts), what would the Fourier Transform of pictures be? Voila, a string of pictures, or video clips (processes).

I then made a metamorphosis video of my son, morphing into a cartoonish stick figure character. Yeap, he was paying attention to the stick figure, for the first time in his life. Here is the video:


I then made more videos about the rest of family members. And sure enough, my son was paying attention to the stick figures. He was able to focus for a maximum of about 2 or 3 seconds on static images. That was all what I have got. I needed to teach my son by taking advantage of his 2 or 3 seconds of attention.

That was where the "convolution" formula of Fourier Transform came into the rescue. Well, my son was interested in one YouTube video about dinosaurs. What if I used the dinosaur video as the carrier signal, and then "modulate" what I wanted to teach my son and fold it into that carrier signal? So, after every two dinosaurs, I inserted some silly stick figures, with words and voice-overs like: "Papa-o-saurus, PAPA!" "Mami-o-saurus, MAMI!", etc. After that video was done, I eagerly showed it to my son. He loved it. That was not all. I think about two days later, he called me "Papa!" for the first time in his life.

To make a long story short, before his 3rd birthday, he was reading books. Sure, simple books like Bob books.

-----

Where in my story did I force my son to do anything?

The whole essence of "modulation" is to go from what the children like. The starting point is always the children's interests, what makes them happy. That's the carrier signal.

Sure, you give my son to anyone else, and they would conclude that my son was not visual. But he was visual.

Was my son hyperlexic by nature? Or was he taught to read?

If you understand the concept of "renormalization" in physics, you'll understand that additional "self-interactions" inside the human brain can lead to enhancement of contrast between different modes of communication. In the autistic brain, there is shift of emphasis towards the back of the brain, where the visual cortex resides. The frontal lobe is responsible for social interactions, the language part of the brain sits somewhere in the middle of the brain. So, almost by definition, autistic children are visual. Sure, visual doesn't always mean "statically visual" like my daughter, it could also be "dynamically visual" like the case of my son. Autistic children are universally non-social, and somewhat non-verbal (in a large number of them). But if that is the case, then renormalization means autistic children must be universally visual.

So, that is what leads me to conclude that ALL autistic children can and should be able to learn to read, early on. You don't force them to read. Rather, your starting point is their interest. Like the case of my son: his interest was the dinosaur video clip on YouTube. You modulate what you want to teach into where their interests lie.

Yeap, that was how a child with zero eye focus was able to read books in less than 6 months. Best of all, I finally came to understand my son, finally there was connection. And life has been fun ever since. Both of my children are always happy and smiling, everyday. And I believe I have been saying that, for many years, now.

So tell me, what have you done and achieved instead?


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eikonabridge
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14 Sep 2017, 10:03 am

magz wrote:
You seem quite excited but what you sent me are the lectures I already had.

I totally forgot the most important thing I wanted to tell you. Anxiety and depression are a piece of cake to deal with, once you understand modulation. Take a look at this other article that I wrote, and you never knew it was this easy. Try it.

http://www.eikonabridge.com/anxiety.pdf


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magz
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14 Sep 2017, 2:35 pm

Are you an engineer, EikonaBridge? Because you sound like one.

I totally agree with what I believe is the heart of your approach: observe what inerests your child and use it creatively to make contact.


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Fireblossom
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15 Sep 2017, 5:10 am

eikonabridge wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
Should they still be forced to read at such an early age? From your first post I get the impression that you don't want children to be forced to be anything, yet this makes it sound like you think that children need to learn to read at that age, no matter if they like it or not. I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but that is the impression I got.

Why don't we look at the case of my son? When he was 2.5 years old, he had zero eye contact, he couldn't focus his eyes on anything static. He couldn't look at any static pictures, let alone read any letters or words. It was impossible to teach him to read, right? Everyone would agree that he was not visual, right? I mean, he also bounced around the house like a ping-pong ball.

He's been on ABA for about a year by then (due to my older daughter's case, my son received early intervention). Even after 1 year of ABA effort, and our own effort, he still wasn't able to call me "Papa."

OK, so should we just pack up and go home, and cry like most of the parents with autistic children out there? Or use drugs to slow his ADHD down? Sure, doctors stood ready to give us the prescriptions.

What would you do in this case? Seriously, what would you do?


Honestly? Not sure; I haven't been in such a situation. What I think I would do is to try to find any way I can to get the child to learn the basics of communication and other necessary skills (like reading) that are needed to get by in life. I don't know how I'd do it since I've never really given any bigger thought to these things, but I'd see what I could find.

Quote:
Where in my story did I force my son to do anything?


No where, it seems I misunderstood something in your earlier writing. Judging from his, I'd say you sound like a devoted parent.

Quote:
So, that is what leads me to conclude that ALL autistic children can and should be able to learn to read, early on. You don't force them to read. Rather, your starting point is their interest. Like the case of my son: his interest was the dinosaur video clip on YouTube. You modulate what you want to teach into where their interests lie.


This is something I still can't bring myself to believe. I mean I completely agree with the thing that it is easier to get children to learn things if you can use things that interest them in learning, this applies to neurotypical children as well, but that all autistic children could learn to read at very young age? I highly doubt it, especially with the one that aren't so high functioning. If you can prove me wrong (as in give me a link to a trustworthy article or so) then I belive you but otherwise, no offence, I don't. I do believe that children, autistic or not, are more likely to learn to read at young age if people start teaching them earlier, but not that all could do it.

But well, I suppose there is also the possibility that you are right and the fact that so many people don't learn to read that early is simply because the people around them haven't found the right method to teach them even if they've tried. Since kids are different that means that a method that is great for one might not work for another.

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So tell me, what have you done and achieved instead?


Have I said something that insults you (that's what the question sounds like to me) or is this just a question out of curiosity? In any case, I don't think I can answer when the question is so vague; could you be more specific? I've done and achieved a lot in my life, but I don't know if any of those things have anything to do with what you're asking about.