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Message
Posted by Lynda on November 21, 2000 at 22:42:34:

In Reply to: My son has autism and we need some advice... posted by Pam in IL. on November 21, 2000 at 19:38:37:

: Hi all,

: Our 9 yr. old son (an only child) was diagnosed as PDD-NOS on his 4th birthday. He has been making good, steady progress for the last 4 yrs. However, within the last year he has been almost unable to focus on a task for more than 1 or 2 minutes. He will invariably start talking to himself (outloud of course) about things that totally do not pertain to the task at hand. It has become such a problem that it is seriously interfering with his ability to learn. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping him learn to say on task and keep focused? We are about at our wit's end. I have no idea how his teacher and full time aide manage to stay sane each day at school!! If we don't get this under control soon, he is in danger of seriously falling behind. Any suggestions, comments would be appreciated. I am so glad to have found a place to talk with others who are dealing with this disorder.

: Thank You,
: Pam

Pam,

My son is autistic (5yo) and does better at staying on task when he has written instructions (he can read) and/or a picture schedule showing the steps (task analysis)of what it is his therapist or teacher wants him to do. If we use a lot of verbal commands, my son is usually non-responsive to request especially new material.
Maybe your son is at a point where he needs his material broken down into easier steps. More work for the teacher and therapist, but very helpful for a child who may need a task analysis approach. Distractions play a big role in my son's life. We try to contol that as much as we can and this helps him to focus. Also, there may be some sensory issues involved. It is not as bad as it used to be for my son, but sometimes it took bouncing on a ball or some play in rice to bring him a little back to earth. And still there are times where he has sensory problems that interfere with his attention to task.
You might want to try circle of support meetings with your son's team to go over what is going on with your son and get some ideas on how to help him and get everyone on the same page.
Good luck. I hope things resolve soon. I have been through similar situations and it can be frustrating when you are trying figure out what went wrong and what now?

Lynda

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