My son is 3 and most likely has asperger's..any suggestions?

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bobbylight
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09 Jan 2012, 7:06 pm

A little after my son turned 2 we started to notice that he was relatively non verbal and had some signs of autism. We ended up taking him to the doctor, got him evaluated by the state, and they said that they didn't have a definitive answer for if he was or wasn't autistic but he qualified for speech and occupational therapy. The speech therapist has a son with aspergers and off the record was convinced that my son had aspergers or was on the functional side of the spectrum.

Anyway, I stumbled across this forum and found it to be very interesting. I was just wondering if you guys had any suggestions for what I should do as a parent of a toddler that most likely is on the spectrum. If you have any questions for me about myself or my son, I would be happy to answer them. I am a stay at home dad so I am spending all day every day with him.



CockneyRebel
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09 Jan 2012, 7:35 pm

You'll get better responses in the parenting section of WP. :)


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ediself
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09 Jan 2012, 7:40 pm

My suggestions would be: be loving and accepting, accepting meaning "accepting", never make him feel bad for "not being like everyone else", don't get too visibly upset when he fails to conform to your initial dream of the perfect child, make up a new dream with the real him in it.
Support him later when things get tough at school and he struggles to make friends. Teach him what teachers can't be bothered to try teaching him. Raise his confidence as high as you can. Teach him jokes, magic tricks, tell him about the rules of conversation (your turn, my turn, not too fast, listen carefully, add a related bit of info, move on to something related, etc) and listen to him when he rambles on about a favourite subject, otherwise he'll never understand why he has to listen when nobody listens to him.
Keep an eye out for school bullies, including teachers.
Don't let your family tell you that you should be stricter with the kid. They will, mark my words :lol: be consistent, have very clear rules , never mistake a meltdown for a tantrum and vice versa. Let the child rest after he's been stimulated a lot, don't push him beyond his limit.
Things like that. You'll figure this all out by yourself if you haven't already! read a lot and observe your child, you'll know what to do, his diagnosis hasn't changed who he is, and you've known him for 3 years already :D



RobotGreenAlien2
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09 Jan 2012, 9:27 pm

If he is to learn he has to know when he's going wrong. There is a fine line between being understanding and letting things slide so much that he never learns whats weird.
Remember you're preparing him to be functional in the world, that might take some though love. just don't tramatise him.
As much as he can take it, expose him to the sociel world. Someone recomended watching soaps with the sound of as an exersise in reading emotion.



Cornflake
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10 Jan 2012, 9:06 am

[Moved from General Autism Discussion to Parents' Discussion]


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zette
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10 Jan 2012, 10:18 am

For preschool, look for a class size of 10 or 12 rather than a room with 24 kids and 2 adults.

Try to set up play dates recurring frequently with the same child, and expect to facilitate play rather than leaving the kids to figure it out.

Look for play based social skills class run by an SLP.



Bombaloo
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10 Jan 2012, 12:54 pm

I like zette's advice of arranging playdates. I kinda wish we had done that more with DS when he was around 3. In addition to that, get down on the floor and play with him. Mostly you can just follow his lead but don't hesitate to interject questions or observations about potential social aspects that come up during playtime. For example, if one truck runs into the other truck, ask him how the truck that got run into feels. Or if a toy is obviously enjoying itself ask how the toy feels and what is making it feel that way. Just anything to get him thinking about the fact that other things (people) have different feelings and thoughts (theory of mind).



Mama_to_Grace
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10 Jan 2012, 3:02 pm

...stay away from psychologists and psychiatrists who look at AS behavior as a personality disorder. They will steer you WRONG, medicate your child for being who he is, and try to change who they are (of course with no success).

For each behavior, look for the cause and go from there! Do not focus on the behaviors-focus on the causes.

Never think that your goal as a parent is to make your child "normal". You will fail and give your child self esteem issues.

Get the book The Complete Guide to Aspergers by Tony Attwood and read it (several times). It will be your bible.

Read Tracker's book (see suggested reading thread above for link). Never underestimate the profound help that adults with Autism who have "been there, done that" can be! They know more than the "professionals".

And ALWAYS trust your gut. YOU know your child better than anyone else.

Welcome to WP!



kcal
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11 Jan 2012, 11:00 am

we were told that my son at 2 1/2 was quirky and not on the spectrum... that he would most likely be a smart, nerdy kid... we continued to have problems and he was diagnosed at age 5.... see my posts on "son with possible aspergers" if you want whole story and our testing experience

it is great that your son is in speech and OT at least.... and that the speech therapist is aware of possible autism... these are the therapies you will be getting anyway with a diagnosis... the only other thing we have--- and it has been absolutely important-- is the ABA therapist.... I would make sure that for speech and OT that your child is carrying what he learns in the sessions and applying them in different settings ... playground, home, school, babysitter, etc.