One of the signals that your child has autism is his slow emotional development. In case average toddlers always ask for their mommy or daddy, your offspring may not even care whether you are present or not. The kid may be aloof around people as well – including you – if he is “in the zone.” For sure, things get much worse if your child has severe autism since even a little skin-to-skin may put him on defense or attack mode.
Low and High Functioning are very common terminologies that are utilized in determining levels of autism. Usually, their use is based on the subjectivity of the observer (whether parent, doctor or teacher) and do not have a precise measure of intelligence or mental capacity.
Anxiety is a prominent feature of autism although hard to determine at first. It is hard to distinguish what upsets a kid with autism. With the few words that sometimes come out of his mouth, he cannot explain precisely what happened to his days. He can’t even tell what he is feeling exactly, whether he is bored or wants something that he will suddenly act out. Did something happen out of the ordinary that he suddenly felt anxious and afraid? It is indeed a tough job to care for a child with autism. However, a parent will do anything to make things better although she is left in wonder.
Autism is defined as a neurological disorder characterized by an impaired ability for social interaction and communication. Until recently, autism was publicly classified between low and high functioning. Low functioning autism was categorized as individuals having severe impairments in speech, academic performance, and social behavior, while high functioning autism meant that a person is nearer to the norms of public expectations, but not entirely.
Who would have thought that my special needs child, my boy, who is only eight years old, enrolled in a Montessori school and has Autism Spectrum Disorder, would be protective of me? When he was diagnosed at the age of 5, the neurodevelopmental pediatrician told me that he would have trouble relating to me, to his sisters, and other people. His therapists said to us that he will be withdrawn, and would isolate himself at times. But he wasn’t like that at all. He is very loving and very much caring of me, his siblings, and everyone around him.
If there is one thing that you need to understand at this point, it is the fact that parents only want nothing but the best for their children. However, achieving this objective is not an easy thing, especially if some factors are out of the control of every mom or dad. Whether you like it or not, you have no choice but to continue to make an effort to thrive despite all these struggles. Psychology tells us that parents are willing to do whatever it takes as long as it promotes the welfare of their kids.
In today’s article, our focus will be about children with autism. How can parents survive the difficulties that come with it? Are there techniques and strategies that you can use to course through these trying times? Can you get everything done all by yourself or do you need some help? If you want to find the answers to these questions, be sure to continue reading below:
Increase Your Patience
The first thing that you have to learn is the value of patience and understanding. Make an effort to show your kid that you are willing to take good care of him no matter how tough the situation is. Keep in mind that some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are hard to handle. As such, you may find it easy to get mad right away. Take note that when it happens, your kid may feel terrified of you to the point that he will no longer be comfortable when you are around.
Consult With A Doctor
You need to remember that you are not a medical doctor with a license to diagnose diseases. As such, you need to prevent yourself from making any diagnosis, especially after checking the Internet. What you need to do is to set an appointment for a meeting with a doctor or psychiatrist. It is crucial or vital that you consult with a professional so that you can get a clear understanding of what your kid is going through. Remember that there are various kinds of autism and each type may require a different mode of treatment.
Accept Everything About Your Child
Stop wishing for your child to change his attitude or personality as it may hurt him, especially if he will know that you are not happy with his condition. As much as possible, show him that you accept his quirks and all the little things that he does. While it is good to hope for the best, you must not forget that your child does not need constant bickering from you. Instead, he wants to receive acceptance regardless of who he is as a person. Never make him feel that he is less of a person because of his autism.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Do not forget the significance of giving rewards to your child whenever he does something great. As already mentioned above, a kid with autism may be challenging to handle because of his unusual behavior. It is one of the reasons why it is quite hard to get him to accomplish certain things. Hence, you must take notice whenever he does something that deserves a reward. Make sure to use positive reinforcement so that he will keep on repeating the right behavior. He has to associate good action with presents or gifts.
Spend Quality Time Together
Another essential thing that you must never forget is to find a way to spend special time with your kids. If possible, learn how to balance your family life with business or work. Once you get home from the office, be sure to avoid taking calls or doing work-related tasks. It is best if you will spend the entire afternoon or night playing with your child or communicating with him. Take note that you have to show him that you care and value him. Remember that an autistic child always craves attention and focus from other people. Be sure that you can give those two things to him.
Being a parent of an autistic child can change a lot of things in your life. Accept the challenges and struggles because they are the same things that can make you stronger and more fulfilled.
Getting diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome after years of wondering why therapy does not seem to help improve my mental state has made me feel more relieved than sad. At last, someone has been able to put a name on my issues. I no longer need to go on with my life without understanding what I need to deal with.
As a high-functioning form of autism, Asperger’s has honestly not hindered me from following my dreams. I managed to enter a prestigious university and get on an academic program that I wanted without a hassle. Despite that, remembering things has proven to be an issue at some point, primarily during the exam period. After trying a few things that my therapist and friends recommended to me, the following helped me immensely.
Playing Board Games
No one is ever too old for board games. Twister, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers, and RISK — they are accessible to all ages because they can be played anytime by two or more players. Thus, you, your friends, and your family members can have a nice mini battle among yourselves.
Another perk of playing board games is that you do not need to use any electronic gadget to be able to make use of them. It means to say that you will be less exposed to radiation and stress because, if you are not aware of it yet, computers do contribute significantly to your anxiety. I think by now you know how bad it can be for your memory, yes? I have a grandfather who is 90 years old at the moment, and yet he still plays Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly with his grandchildren. In my opinion, he is the living proof that old age is not the main reason why there are people who suffer from memory decline.
Play Warcraft Games
Although it may appear as quite contradictory to what I have just said above, and I am not sure either if there are already studies about this one, I cannot pass the opportunity to say that maybe, just maybe, the kind of hype that the players get from Warcraft games are being transferred to their academic and salaried abilities. Hence, they excel in their expertise more than others. Of course, I have met a lot of people already, and almost all of the brainiacs that I know of are the ones who spend more time killing each other’s avatars and less in reviewing their lessons. Still, they emerge at the top of the class or work.
I am not a player of any online game, but I got curious about it one day and asked them what they get from playing such things. They said the same thing: “We can focus more on studies and jobs when we play.” Furthermore, I guess it is the intensity of the game that draws them into it, and so they can discharge all of their stress by intensely clicking the mouse and the keypads. As I said, I don’t think my theory is proven already, but there can be no harm in trying. Who knows, maybe this is going to be the answer as well for your memory problem.
Reading books, articles, and novels of diverse genres are what I believe as the reason why I only have minor hitches with my memory these days. They have never failed to make me visualize and gather exciting ideas and look forward to more. I am pretty sure that not most people appreciate reading, but it is worth to give it a try. To toughen your memory, of course.
Relate Eclectic Things To Each Other
Relating general things to each other is the type of activity that will be able to show a person’s strong mental ability. Just like multitasking, after all, it cannot be done for everyone. This does not need much explanation, but if it does, let me set one of my professors’ usual manners of teaching as an example.
Mr. Rodriguez teaches Organic Chemistry. One day, he explained the free radical substitution of methane and chlorine by saying that one of the chlorine atoms will elope with its boyfriend methane. Because of that, there will be another free and sad chlorine atom, which is ready for the taking by anyone. Do you see how unrelated chemistry and elopement are to each other, and yet the analogy still seems to be correct? Your brain will always have great exercise when you try to connect two or more diverse things all the time.
Strengthening your memory can seem tricky, especially if you have a neurological condition like Asperger’s or another form of autism that alters your brain function. However, that is not something you can get rid of easily since you have practically been born with it. The only thing you can do is try the tips given above to reduce memory fluctuations somehow.
Autism spectrum disorder or also known as ASD affects a small percentage of people in the world. Usually, it gets commonly diagnosed in male or boys. However, it doesn’t spare girls or women from having it. Since it happens indifferently with them, the mental health condition goes undiagnosed. Sometimes, it gets misdiagnosed and become entirely irrelevant from what it is supposed to be. So to answer the question “how does an autism spectrum disorder look differently in women,” here are the things people need to know.
What Is ASD?
ASD is a developmental state that affects the social and communication abilities of individuals. People often see it as the difficulty in connecting with others due to repetitive and inflexible patterns of unusual behavior. This derived diagnosis appears to be an entire result from male-studied data. Therefore, there is a lack of data that surrounds ASD’s effect on female counterparts. That is why there are years of misunderstanding as to what ASD look like in females. That is also true especially to those women experiencing a high functioning end of the spectrum.
A lot of females who received a diagnosis of ASD were more affected by the symptoms of the condition that mainly occurs during their younger age. These diagnosed females show lower IQ and suffer from extreme behavioral issues as well. Whereas in male counterparts, the symptoms do not often go severe and do not entirely require extensive treatment. In the recent study, there’s evidence that shows that even the brain processes social information differently based on the gender of a person. When males with ASD use a small portion of the brain to manage social situations, it lights up. However, for those males without the mental condition, the brain shows no significant changes. Meanwhile, in females, their brain will result normal and the same with those males “without” the ASD even though they are confident of having it. With that, the conclusion becomes a misdiagnosis on females’ apparent state.
Why Is That?
The indifferent result of both females and males with ASD is still unknown. There’s still an ongoing and follow-up research on the condition of both genders. However, in a more psychological approach, females tend to develop social skills more intensely and quickly compared to boys. Meaning, though these individuals are somewhat holding back in social connection, females will not entirely end up having severe social issues compared to males. Perhaps, it is something to do with sex hormones. Though experts are still trying to figure out things concretely, it is best to assume that males and females entirely different characteristics are what making ASD identifiable as of the moment.
Females’ Psychological Capacity
Females’ brain can work faster than their male counterparts. That’s why in most cases, these individuals are much better at mimicking and noticing various types of behavior. Significantly, although females know there’s something wrong with their mental health, they will still try and work hard to appear normal. They can set their brain in both working and resting state. With that mental capacity, their mental state diagnosis will not be adequate with the use of simple observation only. Mental health experts should also have to talk to them about personal experience in managing changes in their lives, particularly in socializing issues. With the unnoticeable symptoms of high functioning ASD, females tend to get diagnosed much later compared to males.
In the case of males with ASD, they are often not interested in surrounding themselves with a lot of people. These individuals don’t care about social connections and always believe that they don’t entirely care about other people. That’s the reason why they sometimes feel okay with their situation without friends and companions. However, for those females with ASD, it’s the opposite. They differ from social issues because they care to surround themselves with people. They often show a greater desire for social interaction and connection. These females still engage in regular communication like those other individuals “without” ASD.
In some cases, they can be too much. Meaning, these females can go intense or too sensitive on a particular subject. That is the reason why ASD in females goes unnoticed for so much more extended period and often gets misdiagnosed for a different disorder.
When someone thinks about a disease, they automatically assume that it is something degenerative. Most individuals see the condition as something that hurts someone and cause death eventually. However, autism is not like that. For an online therapist, the state is particularly a developmental disability that hinders people from living their lives in best ways same as everybody else. Autism covers a broad spectrum and most of the times, people having the condition doesn’t look autistic at all.
So one of the primary reasons why there’s a need for therapy in addressing autism is due to its complication in dealing with social interaction. There are communication problems in repetitive patterns of behavior and thoughts. People with the condition see and interact with things differently from others. That’s why with the help of therapy, a therapist assists the patient’s condition through proper ways. That includes having a connection to the patient through personal conversation. However, what if administering a therapy is happening online? Will it be worth it to trust an online therapist for that matter? Well, there are reasons that it might be worth a try.
Online Therapy And Counseling
In the previous years of autism treatments, an option of getting therapy is only through face-to-face interaction. It somehow made it impossible for other people in remote areas to get the help they need due to the transportation issue. The geographical location is quite a challenge for both the patient and the therapist as well. There is little to no time recognizing the solution for addressing the stress autism brings. But since communication is now possible in practical ways such as emails, webcams, chat rooms, and texts, many people find it easy to open up to others about their struggle. These include their personal and mental health difficulties correlated with autism. The virtual process becomes a great alternative to in-person counseling. That is practically for needy clients who find the method suitable for their convenience.
People’s modern lifestyle and mental health needs are different from others. That’s why online therapy’s practicality, lower cost, and ease of access become all worth it. The therapist doesn’t require associates that only add up to the value of services. With technology, he can easily see and talk to the patient more efficiently. There is a flexible schedule online that both the patient and professional health care expert can agree to set.
Benefits Of Online Counseling
The very idea of attending a therapy makes people lose interest in it. That’s because they assume that getting one is a sign of incapability. That becomes the reason why most individuals don’t seek help and otherwise let themselves suffer in the condition they no longer have control. With that, suitability becomes an advantage in finding the right therapist online. That’s because it is easier to locate and see through the professional’s records. If it is something that suits a client’s particular needs, then it can begin easy access to communication. The mutual convenience can support a sustainable relationship between the online therapist and his client. Whether the patient is across the state or other countries, the process can become consistent and accessible at all times. Aside from that, the patient can get directly in the heart of the problem because online counseling encourages anonymity. There’s not too much information that gets released because the discussion only focuses on the specific mental health issue of the patient.
Personal assistance to autism is honestly expensive than what most people think. However, individuals are not typically open to complain about it. That’s because their paying for getting the help they require through personal interaction. With all that said, it suits their needs. But for those people who can’t afford to pay a generously high amount of money for personal counseling, online therapy is the option. It is far cheaper than the conventional process because the therapist keeps down his overheads by saving staff and administration cost as well as office space rent.
As technology and the internet becomes a necessity for almost all the people in the world, online therapy is snowballing. And that’s due to the fast and affordable mental health sessions done in a click of a mouse.
Autism does not only affect the individual who gets a diagnosis because it also impacts the family profoundly. Usually, the unit seems unprepared for the diagnosis of autism. That’s because it changes the direction of the family’s life in a way that they somehow can’t handle and imagine.
Common Challenges For Families Affected By Autism
Strain On The Marriage – Assisting someone with autism can put pressure on a marriage because of its unusual state to live in. There are times that couples tend to experience exhaustion at the same time that leads to stress and depression. With those factors, both partners end up having a miscommunication, losing cooperation, and start blaming each other for the situation.
Balancing Attention With Siblings – Taking care of kids is not an easy task. And knowing that someone needs more attention than the other can sometimes become very frustrating. That’s because an autistic child can grow very aggressive towards his siblings. From there, parents have to control physical and emotional impacts that the behavior might provide. An autistic child doesn’t put attention on what they are doing, and even if they try and hurt someone, it’s never going to be their fault.
Interaction Problem In The Family – An autistic child needs support regarding communication. Sometimes, it becomes hard to develop a relationship with other siblings because of not having anything in common. In some unfortunate events, some families hesitate on taking part in the autistic child’s life. They don’t seem to like partaking on leisure and family activities such as community outings or going to the beach. Sometimes, even going to the grocery store becomes an issue due to an embarrassing behavior that is part of having an autistic child.
Lots Of New Responsibilities – Having an autistic child, a family suffers from tons of responsibilities and appointments it needs to juggle. The whole unit might get overwhelmed with the new and ever-changing information they have to discover and learn each day. There are difficult choices they have to make, adjustments they have no control over with, and behaviors they need to consider. Since most families see autism as a puzzle, everything feels like putting pieces all together even if it does not fit and seems impossible to handle.
Sensitivity Issues – Working positively with family members is vital in assisting a child with autism. Because sometimes the smallest issue turns out big due to over sensitivity. Most families become focus on looking at the imperfections of raising an autistic child. It becomes a problem for all the members of the unit, especially if other people point at the condition. And since the family needs to deal with the situation 24/7, it impacts aspects such as relationship, responsibilities, priorities, engagements, and communication, and social interaction.
A Valued Assistance – A family needs assistance in handling an autistic child. But sometimes, it’s not that easy to have it. The help they can get is temporarily part of their lives, but the situation they are at is going to be part of them forever. With that, the unit still handles everything and continues to care for the child seven days a week. The weight of the challenges and responsibilities for the family with is often irresistible that they require professional assistance.
Emotional And Mental Instability – Families who take so much responsibility in dealing with an autistic child becomes emotionally and mentally unstable. For them, the bad days of their lives grow over the top. Though frequent bad behavioral encounter sometimes makes the family get used to the situation, there are still some instances that they almost want to give up. In some unfortunate events, the bad circumstances outweigh the good ones.
Not Everyone Understands The Situation – Yes, a family may get used to doing the things they need to do every day considering their situation. However, not all members of the family can easily understand it. Couples may see it as a determining factor of responsibility and priority, while others don’t seem to care. Some family members might not cooperate, and it may lead to severe unit dysfunction. With that, the whole point of taking care of an autistic child becomes more weary and depressing.
Societal Judgment – Though in some instances the problem gets resolved in many ways, there are still some parts of the society that doesn’t want to deal with the situation directly. That’s because in other people’s point of view, assisting an autistic child is depressing due to its life-long responsibilities. They somehow feel scared and hesitant to get attached to their situation.
The love and care of the family overcome the many challenges they take. Many of them also find help, hope, and acceptance in the situation of having an autistic child. The unit embraces and accepts the differences in their lives because they know they are still blessed. And even if there are only limited choices, most families’ wouldn’t trade their situation for anything in the world.