April is Autism Awareness Month and with 1 in 110 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, we are perhaps too acutely aware. In spite of advancements in research and clinical care, there is still much we don’t know about autism. Parents and caregivers must sift through confusing, often conflicting information about everything from diagnosis to therapies. In an effort to make life a little easier, we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center want to offer a provider’s perspective on various topics relevant to parenting a child with autism.
Our multidisciplinary team of providers will offer commentary on the latest research findings and share with you community events and resources. We invite you to subscribe to receive blog alerts and to be an active participant. Because our first priority is seeing patients each day, please be patient as we make every effort to post comments and responses in a timely manner.
This a going to be such a great resource for everyone touched by Autism!
MY NAME IS YOLANDA AND I HAVE A 3 YEARS OLD AND I REALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT EXCEPT HES A GREAT KID
I am really happy to see this blog. My son was diagnosed through the UW with high functioning autism. I know everyone is different who is on the spectrum. But there’s bound to be something for everyone on here. Thank you so much for putting this out there!
We have our son, who will be 17 this year, and like many other kids, he is a wonderful soul. I know for many who get involved their children are still small. I hope that some day (soon) there is more for our children as they get older. Some medical plans are out of date or focused on the diagnosis or out of reach for normal people as our kids become closer to adulthood. An example was when we could not take our son to speech therapy after age ten (even after appeals) because he was ‘too old’ to learn to speak, even when his therapist submitted proof of his improvement. My wife and I continue to work with him and he communicates better all time. Moral of the story, as parents don’t let other people pretend to know your child better than you do. For us, we are in this for the long haul and that is one of.the many questions that go through a autistic parents’ mind, is how do we help our kids be the best people they can. I don’t think society has come to grips with the numbers of people who are affected with this condition and what it will mean to all of our futures.
Hi Tim, thanks for your comment. We plan to write blog posts for all age groups. In fact in June we will start a series on child-to-adult transitions.
The Autism Blog
I am so curious and just for a piece of mind about what does adulthood planning and quality of life like for those of us who are pretty hard effected by Autism. I have no idea about all of the anxieties he may have even hitting puberty. Maybe to ease a little of the pressure of parenthood would be so welcome! Keep it coming!
Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful resource for families with Autistic children. Its vital to have a support group with other families that understand the needs of our children. Thank you again.
Tim, that is a great frustration, but I appreciate the encouragement you give along with it. I am glad you continue to work with him. More and more I am realizing the focus maintains on younger individuals, but I do worry about when my daughter and the other young ones I know grow up and out of the focus zone. I am hopeful this blog will bring you encouragement and possibly even more resources.
I also love that even though overwhelmed we all still can look at our kids as the amazing, precious gifts that they are. It is so nice to read the comments about how wonderful your kids are. It is a pleasure to meet all of you.
I AM 30 YEAR OLD NONVERAL WOMAN COMPLEXED WITH AUTISM. I REALLY ENJOY MY LIFE.
FABULOUS MOTHERS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE SO DONT GIVE UP HOPE, KEEP INCLUDING YOUR FABULOUS AUTISTIC BABIES IN AS MUCH THERAPY AS IS POSSIBLE. THEY ARE LEARNING EVEN IF IT SEEMS LIKE TORTURE.
PLEASE KNOW THEY ARE SMART YET ELEVATED SENSITIVITIES CAUSE SHUTDOWNS. THANKS FROM YOUR CHIILDREN, LOVE
What a great blog! I hope you cover issues of menstruation, sexuality, and dating among ASD kids… can’t wait to read on more topics. 🙂
Three of my six children were diagnosed with mild or mild-to-moderate autism. One just got married on April 29th, 2011. Another just dropped out of post-high school because he didn’t want to be there anymore. The third is in 9th grade, and we are looking for a good high school for him for next year. Life with autism is always interesting, isn’t it?
I am so excited to make connections here at the Autism Blog!
Hi, I have a 14yr old son entering 9th grade next year. We just finished his IEP, isn’t that
so much fun… This year there was much way of negotiating, he is mostly mainstreamed,
but with para ed support. and doing well, each year brings it’s challenges, growth, and
triumphs. He’s getting more involved in social groups with-in his interest but that’s some thing ! At least he’s trying, it’s been scary for him in the process, and rewarding. Now he
has something more to look forward to with excitement. ( I didn’t see that one coming but it did !)
Like a couple of family’s above, I wounder what life will be as my child becomes an adult.
A couple of weeks ago, I met with a mental health specialist that helps support kids with disability’s with in our school district. Preparing for protecting my child, and paving the way for D.D.D. ( Department of Developmental Disability’s ) to find day support before school as he’s too old for day care, but not old enough for adult day care so I may return to work, there is much support and help through that state department. As of yet, who know’s if he’ll ever be able to drive a car, but what we do know is he’ll be able to go to Community College, or a Tech. College. I have no idea if he’ll be able to live on his own, or with a flat mate, or with me.
What ever comes…. I’m devoted to his happiness and support of a full life.
Long hall and all.
I was wondering…
What do I do or say with an almost nonverbal kid who has been sad/weepy for two days and when FINALLY able to use his AAC device I was able to get out of him that he is lonely. Talk about crushing. He has no friends and is seperated by his class by a cubicle so he can do his work and not be disruptive. All of us here have focuses to independence, happiness and purpose for our children with Autism. I am trying to make the best and focus on the fact that he WANTS to have some friends and be social but I must say that is very hard because he is crying. Do other parents have this problem and what can I say or do? I cant make other kids be patient and his friend. Are there any strategies for encouraging friendship making? I tell him all the time ‘mommy is your best friend’ but I am sure that isn’t enough anymore.
Thank you for any very much wanted advice.
You describe so well the mixed emotions that parents often feel when it comes to their child – encouraged that he is wanting to have friends yet concerned about his emotional expression of being lonely. While we aren’t able to give clinical advice specific to your situation, it is always a good idea to share your concerns with school staff. You might inquire about his opportunities for socialization with his classmates and let them know this is important for him as well as the opportunity to focus on his academics. There are books to help teachers and students better understand autism and the social challenges our kids have. For example: The Ten Things your Student with Autism Wishes you Knew by Ellen Notbohm, and the Autism Acceptance Book by Ellen Sabin. You might also inquire about a peer-buddy program in your school or community. Fellow parents: does this sound familiar to you? How did you handle it?
Dear Jen McCoy,
When my child use to have more troubles with knowing who were friends, and knowing how to friend,
I asked his teacher about it. As it turns out we had to do two things. Year after year.
1) Identify when someone was trying to include, and befriend.
2) Set up a weekly buddy assigned to play ground and class.
This helped us so much, because we could organize play dates.
One of the problems for us, was my child didn’t always see who was trying to be a friend.
And inclusion is nice in the classroom, but being included is something entirety different.
To me it sounds like you may need to approach the subject with the teacher and principle, it is part of development to learn to accept each other and work together.
Good luck to you…
My daughter will be turning 21 this year and finishing school. My husband have had concerns about what to do next. A friend of ours recommended a new social group in the area that her son will be attending. The group is for teens and young adults with disabilities. Our daughter has never had many friends or been able to maintain a friendship and that is a supposed goal of the group. We checked out the website and are currently pretty excited about the idea of her making a few friends. If anyone else is in the same boat of not knowing what to do on the weekends or after graduation, here is the website.