Autism questions

Sunday, October 21, 2012

So it happened today. My little girl asked me point blank about autism. What is it. What does it mean. How is it affecting her. Why does she have it. Etc, etc. I tried to explain that nobody really knows what it is or what causes it but it's why it's so hard for her to do certain things or takes longer to learn things. Tough, tough questions. The best part was when she was trying to ask about accuracy in how she says her words and couldn't say "accuracy" emoticon Finally she tried to spell it for me. She didn't spell it correctly but it was close enough that I understood what she meant.

She is so incredibly sweet and loving. I tried to explain the best I could that it's just part of who she is and it doesn't change how I feel about her but that it is hard for other children to understand how to play with her. I told her that sometimes I get frustrated but I know the mood swings and other difficulties aren't her fault.

I wish I had better answers for her. Heck, I wish I had any decent answer at all. But she's my girl and that's really all that matters. I don't know what to tell her because I don't understand autism, either. All I know is it doesn't change how I feel about her in the least. emoticon
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    You did an amazing job of explaining the facts to your daughter. There are many blessings and gifts in our special children! My daughter just needed a "name" to her issues the other day. She is 8 and has ADHD and Dyslexia, etc. I think it helped her to have a name/explanation instead of just having to tell people, "I can't read." Way to go! You are awesome!! Cathy
    2006 days ago
    Sherry - I think you did fine. emoticon for answering her questions truthfully
    2006 days ago
    If you were in her place, what would help you feel better and understand more? If someone were to tell you that the way you talk is different and unusual so they have to work to understand you, how could they say it to help you understand? She's different, but different is good! Sounds like she has a bigger heart than most and that's different and incredible!

    As for the "why", if you believe in God (in whatever form) and she understands God, then you could tell her that God chose her to be wonderfully special and see the world differently. Why God chose her over others is only for God to know.

    A kid asking questions about themselves and their world is so important. It shows their awareness of themselves and how they can interact with others. We adults don't always have the answers and sometimes it's best to say we don't know and that's okay. It let's the kids know that not knowing or understanding is okay and that it is possible to try to find answers together. For instance, if a kid asks why the sky is blue, if we don't know the answer saying 'it just is' tends to deny their inquisitive mind instead of helping them learn how to work together to find an answer or encourage them to research the answer themselves (if they're old enough).
    2006 days ago
    Yeah, we talked about how she didn't learn to speak until she was 5 and how some children never learn to speak at all. So she mentioned this boy in her class who is nonverbal. She is moderate-to-high functioning. I don't know if she will ever fully catch up to her age level but she might be able to live independently or with minimal assistance one day.

    But I've always known she's a smart cookie! Funny and sweet, too!

    Let's just remember not to confuse the ability to speak with intelligence. Read "A Brief History of Time" by Dr. Hawking or "Carly's Voice" by Arthur and Carly Fleischman and then watch any random tv show for a demonstration.

    Actually, read "Carly's Voice" anyway. Carly is an incredible young woman with severe autism. Being nonverbal doesn't keep her from speaking up and being an amazing advocate!

    I think my girl is proud of who she is. She's just recently realized that she's different from other kids and this difference has a name so she wants to know more about it. I wish I could help her more. But it's just not possible to love her more or to be any prouder of her!
    2007 days ago
  • DIANE7786
    Many children are affected by at least one of the many types of autism so a lot of help is available. Have you contacted your local autism advocates, autism society of america local chapters, local health care organizations dealing with autism? They will have recommendations about how to answer your daughter's questions. Another idea is go Google autism support in your state for more information. Your daughter sounds wonderful and inquisitive. Be her advocate and get her all the help she needs. Sometimes fnancial help is available through agencies. You didn't mention how old she is. One mother in our school district has a son with Aspergers, a type of autism. He had trouble making friends in school. She worked with the local support group and hosted a school assembly that explained Aspergers in a simple, fun manner. Once the students understood why her son was "different" many wanted to be his friend.

    2007 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/21/2012 10:44:55 PM
    It sounds like your daughter has a high functioning form of autism if she is able to answer questions. It may be helpful to explain that it affects people differently. I have two boys in my class that have autisim that are both nonverbal. One is beginnng to say words, the other rocks, taps and makes noises. Unfortunately, the "lower one" probably will never talk or be potty trained. I'm not giving up, but I need to be realistic, too.

    Maybe if your daughter realizes how smart she really is, it may help. Each child has gifts and deficits, no matter what they may be. Emphasize her gifts and make her proud of who she is. She sounds like a reallys smart and caring young lady. Good luck.
    2007 days ago
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