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Really interesting post. Since working with people with Autism I definately do notice ‘autistic traits’ in others, but not always enough to make me believe that the person actually has autism if that makes sense. Interestingly though I also notice Autistic traits in myself, though again not enough to make me believe that I am autistic. From talking to others who spend a lot of time with people with Autism I think its quite common to start to see traits in yourself, although of course it could be that their behaviour influences ours. Both of these things make me sometimes consider whether we’re all actually somewhere on the spectrum, the majority of us being very low down and just having a few traits and people with a diagnosis of ASD being much higher up on the Spectrum. At the same time I think that the differences between people with ASD and people without are perhaps too fundamental for us to be on the same spectrum though. An interesting concept though.
I think that you probably did the right thing by pointing the parent of the boy torwards help and by sharing your experiences.
Keep up the good work, really interesting blog. Working with young people with Autism in a residential setting, I think unfortunately in my workplace the voice of the parent is quite unheard. So its really useful to read this perspective.
I went through something similar with a neighbor. Her son was just recently diagnosed with Aspergers and I had gentally approached the subject before he was diagnosed. He is a brillant and sweet boy like my own son. From raising a child with autism I recognize the signs almost immediatly. I offer support and suggestions and just try to listen. If there’s anyone who would understand it’s another parent. I think we are here to help others and share our story. If it hekps just one person that’s worth me sharing our story.
I stumbled upon your post about 5 minutes after having the same problem. My stomach still hurts from the meltdown I just witnessed, knowing that there are resources that could help this family. I share my story whenever possible, but I haven’t seen it work yet. I’ve tried with this particular mom before & I think if people don’t want to hear it, they just won’t. I breaks my heart.
I just wrote like 5 paragraphs but deleted it all as I do tend to go on, chances are the mum knows but prefers to live in ignorance, many do you know, I worked as an LSA for 5yrs before moving on to Autistic Adults 4yrs ago and saw a family totally reject any ideas that their little boy may be on the Autistic spectrum, difficult but all we can do is advise, it seems you acted exactly how you should have, the fact you made it personal took away the intimidating teacher factor, well done, should have been a diplomat
I think you did the right thing – I think there may have been several different things going on – she may at one level be denying the possibility of autism but she may also be reaching out for more understanding of these things, she doesn’t know what the name is yet but she knows there is something. It sounds like you pointed her in the right direction, without scaring her off!
What a thoughtfully written post, and a thoughtful response of yours to the woman’s outpouring. A very interesting dilemma and I think you handled it just right.
oh gosh what a tough one. FWIW I think it sounds like you did exactly the right thing. You make a very good point about how many of us as parents let the authorities take the lead and assume that they will know better and will take whatever action is necessary. Unfortunately this is not the case, and instead we have to be more assertive in making sure our children’s needs are met.
What a great post, I think you did the right thing. I am a mum to 3 with autism and I think it does give you an autistic radar
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