My Autism Connection

My son did not talk until he was 4 years old.  I went to several doctors and they gave me excuses.  I was told several times that his sister talked for him, so he did not need to talk.  When he was three years old, I finally was able to get some help with speech through the school.  He received an IEP and went to speech and physical therapy two times a week.  He finally was starting to communicate.  

He still had a hard time communicating with his peers and was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5.  My son was also struggling academically, so I held him back in the first grade.  He became a stronger reader and has continued to maintain good grades.

In the 5th grade, he came home and said that he wanted to try out for band.  I was VERY skeptical.  This is the child that has a hard time dealing with sounds.  It is hard for him to go into a grocery store or flush a toilet.  Loud sounds or too many sounds have always been a struggle for him.  He often covered his ears, so I did not think band was a good decision.  Well, I was WRONG.  Band was the best decision!  He really enjoys it.  The trumpet is his outlet and has helped him deal with sounds.  He still struggles with sounds, but not nearly as much as he did prior to band.

All along, he still struggled with his peers.  They don't understand his way of thinking.   He has a hard time communicating his thoughts.  He often comes across as arrogant or argumentative.  I had him tested in the 8th grade and he was placed on the autism spectrum (Aspergers).  

5 Tips for Teaching an Autistic Child

  • Have patience with him or her.
  • Know what sets an autistic student off and try to avoid these situations. 
  • Learn how to defuse situations when things get out of hand.  
  • Choose your battles.  If they only want to use the color blue, then let them!  This is just one that you will not win, nor is it important.
  • Find a way to nurture your autistic student.  Autistic children often don't feel comfortable being touched, but they still want to feel loved.  

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