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OzAspi
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11 Jun 2010, 5:05 am

Hi all. I am a dad of a 5 year old autistic boy. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 and has been attending speech and occ. therapy. He is now attending an autistic school in kindergarten (for you non-australians among us, that is the first year of school over here) mainly because he is not yet fully toilet trained. He is communicating better and better all the time, but is still difficult to engage in conversation. I do have some connection with him and recognise some traits in him that i see in myself. He recently started stimming  (at the time i had never heard of that)   I found that interesting because i did the same thing when i was a child with some repetitive motions and tics right up until the present day. I did some research into Aspergers and have discovered thats what i 'have' or what i 'am'. Havent quite come to a conclusion of the correct terminology yet. I always knew i was different. When i was a child i didnt start talking till i was 3  and then  I would stutter and flinch my face and rub my hands on everything. I would hate school because i would be bullied and teased and certainly didnt like crowds and would sit by myself all the time. I would love to do jigsaw puzzles and wouldn't stop till i finished. While my siblings watched tv or were outside playing soccer i would read encyclopaedias. I guess my parents and teachers just thought i was a little different. There was certainly nothing such as autism then. You were either normal or retarded with nothing in between. My 6th grade teacher thought i was slow as i never did homework so she made me do an IQ test which apparently showed i was above average and so she just concluded that i was lazy. Back then there was no support and no understanding. I have done ok. I have learned lots of 'coping skills' along the way so i could fit in and try to be 'normal'
Im just glad now i have the opportunity to help my son be the best person he can be in this world. 
You parents have a unique opportunity. Autistic kids can be difficult to manage, frustrate the hell out of you because you just dont understand why they do what they do. What they need most is your love, support and acceptance and just hang in there through the tough times. There is hope.
Peter



Kiley
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11 Jun 2010, 9:45 am

Hi!

Welcome. Your son sounds wonderful and it's nice to see another Dad posting. There are a few of you that do and it's very helpful to hear a man's perspective.

I've got three sons all of whom are not typical. The two eldest are Aspies with ADHD and the little guy is an enigma. He was dx'd as PDD NOS but now is clearly not that so it must have been a misdiagnosis. What we do know for sure is that he is very unique. He was non verbal until five and then, well he started talking and progressed through therapy at an unusual rate.

Welcome to Wrong Planet!



DW_a_mom
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11 Jun 2010, 1:17 pm

Thanks for posting. I do think we have a unique opportunity to offer something different to our kids than in generations past, and I hope we will make wise choices that create a more positive experience for our kids. Hard to know; we're a bit on an untraveled road, but every parent who comes to this board is definitely trying.


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angelbear
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11 Jun 2010, 3:44 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. It is very encouraging to hear from someone who is doing okay even with facing struggles and obstacles. It sounds like you love your son very much and he is lucky to have you as a dad!

Welcome to Wrong Planet!



DenvrDave
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11 Jun 2010, 9:13 pm

Welcome to WP! :)



OzAspi
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12 Jun 2010, 3:29 am

Thanks for the welcome and the kind words everyone.
I will try and give my perspective as an aspie dad but I guess that as you know all kids are different and my experience and that of my son will most likely be different than yours, There are times that I havent got a clue what is going through my little guy's head. He certainly is different than me. He is very sociable at times and will go up and start 'talking' to any random person. There are times when he is very affectionate and playful and then times where he will be content to sit by himself for hours. I guess thats when he goes into his 'world'. My world when I was a kid was my books and my times sitting in the backyard watching the planes from the airport next door. I now escape to my world through music and my guitar.
I think its important to find an outlet for an autistic kid. That maybe in music or writing or drawing or sometimes the stimming behaviour is just what they need. I personally dont think all stimming should be stopped. Its the escape that we need.
Anyway I better stop or I never will haha.
thanks again



angelbear
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12 Jun 2010, 8:13 am

My son loves to draw, and he will do this for long periods of time. I actually enjoy it when he does because it does give me a little break! His drawings are quite good (maybe I am biased----) He also loves music and has a great little voice. I am going to try and see if he wants to sing in the children's choir at church this fall. I know he has a great voice, but not sure if he can stand still for it! Anyway, I am just trying to find the things he is interested in and encourage those instead of trying to fit him into the mold of what other kids are doing.



OzAspi
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13 Jun 2010, 2:19 am

He sounds very talented!
I think its so important to find an outlet for them, its what makes them happy productive people. I believe that everyone has God given talents or abilities, and its great if we can discover them in our kids early on and encourage them in it.



superboyian
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13 Jun 2010, 7:21 am

Welcome to WrongPlanet.net forums. :D


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MONIQUEIJ
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13 Jun 2010, 9:23 am

lol i believe kindergarten is the frist year in of elementry and the u.s too. :P

welcome to wp by the way :wink:



OzAspi
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13 Jun 2010, 9:27 am

ok thanks for the correction :)
I know that our school systems are so different so wanted to clarify just in case,



Kiley
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13 Jun 2010, 9:48 am

Good point about the stimming. The problem we run into is that it's distracting for the other children at school and for the teacher. We've tried to get the stimming to stop or to morph into something more discreet so that my son can stay in regular or Honors class. At this point he's having other problems and that's no longer an option anyway, but at one point that was a goal. I wish we lived in a more stim-friendly world.



OzAspi
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13 Jun 2010, 8:03 pm

Kiley wrote:
Good point about the stimming. The problem we run into is that it's distracting for the other children at school and for the teacher. We've tried to get the stimming to stop or to morph into something more discreet so that my son can stay in regular or Honors class. At this point he's having other problems and that's no longer an option anyway, but at one point that was a goal. I wish we lived in a more stim-friendly world.


I know what you mean. Some stimming can be not so good. One of the things my son does is rub the back of his hands on various objects, he calls it wiping. We were in Mcdonalds recently and he 'wiped' his hand on a mans bare leg. Thats when i knew it had to stop.
Years ago to stop myself stimming in public (I had some facial tics and would touch things with my index finger repeatedly) I would count to myself. I would always count up to whatever age I was at the time and somehow it would help. It shifted my focus and at the same time provide a routine for myself.. I tried that with my son, I just asked to say to himself "1, 2, 3 wiping finished" and he seeme to like that and take it on board but Im not sure if he has put it into practise fully yet.
Anyway its just an idea. I hope you get to deal with the other problems too.



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22 Jun 2010, 4:53 am

I hope for the best for you and your child.


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