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Old 06-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
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I think my 5 yr old niece has autism and nothings been done..help!!

I know that my husbands brothers 5 yr old daughter has autism and unfortunatley nothing has been done as of now..shes not much younger than my daughter and there is a huge difference between them. My sister-in-law insists that its because she doesn't get interaction from other children but I know its more than that. Shes 5 and not potty trained, she is constantly sticking her hands down her pants, she doesn't talk so you can undertsnad her, she doesn't give eye contact, almost never smiles or laughs, plays by herself, when you try to get her out of somewhere or inside from outside she screams and kicks, she hates loud noises and always has her hands over her ears even doing it when it rains. There are lots of symptoms and me and my husband just don't know what to do..I mean at this point there really is nothing to do until she tries to send her to school in Sept and she gets tested. I don't think they bring her to a regular doctor either so I can't call a dr. I am beside myself because she needs to be tested and in a program to help her because its just getting worse and the whole family just turns their head the other way. Someone have any ideas on what to do or should I just continue not to do anything and feel bad for my niece??

 
Old 06-16-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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Re: I think my 5 yr old niece has autism and nothings been done..help!!

The unfortunate thing with this situation is that when parents are in denial, they tend to shoot the messenger, and push them out of their lives.

In case it really is autism, the only options I can offer are to read up on Autism, see what kinds of things can be helpful, and if you babysit your niece, try to do the things that will help her. Give her the care and surroundings and guidance she needs to feel safe and get more functional when she is in your care. I can only speak for Aspergers, not for pure autism, but much of what is done to help is not done in the doctors office. It is done in their daily life at home, teachers work with them to help certain areas, PT's may help, speech therapists may help. She may need carefully supervised play time to help with communications problems. The family has to learn what sets them off, how to get through those barriers, how to "set up" an event and talk to the child so the child has fewer meltdowns or temper tantrums. So, if you are educated on what can be done in a home to assist her, you can do some of these things whether the parents are in denial or not. Find toys or make up some games that teach skills she may be lacking, make it a fun thing, but it will also help the niece learn, and won't necessarily be obvious what you're doing. However, if she is extremely withdrawn, your efforts may resemble talking to a brick wall . . .

Later, when the parents finally "see the light", you may be able to offer them some guidance - books you've found helpful, specialists you've heard about, schools that have a good track record of helping kids with autism. But don't push, or they will probably block you out. Especially now, and for a while after they figure it out. It is a tough thing for parents to go through, and many parents will ignore the signs for years. Then when it finally sinks in, they will be lost, and not know what next steps to take. Just be there for them, as there are bound to be many ups and downs.

 
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