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Posted by sheila on May 27, 2000 at 04:23:10:

In Reply to: financial aid posted by Sheila Hampton on May 25, 2000 at 10:03:10:

: I have an 8 year old high functioning autistic son. He is one of three children. Because of his autism, it is nearly impossible for me to work outside the home. He just can't handle the changes that take place when I am out of the home. Our problem is that my husband is the only one working and we can't hardley survive.
: Is there any financial aid out there to help us keep our home? Obviously, I'm new to this and I am not aware of the resources available. Can anyone out there help me? I also need to ask any parents out there---how do I tell my son he is autistic? He is just now realizing that he is different. There is children at school
: laughing at him because of his facial expressions and the way he talks and walks. He wants to know why they are laughing at him. It is breaking my heart and I don't know what to say to him. He cries and says it hurts his feelings. I don't know what to do or say. He is in public schools and like I said before, he is
: high functioning which makes him aware that he is different and it hurts him so bad. Help! Sheila

Hi Sheila

Finding a sympathetic school that is willing to talk about autism to the students and you are
more than half way there. If a child has epilepsy the teacher talks to the class about it and
what to do if the child has a seizure. Then every child knows and understands the condition.
It should be the same with autism. There are good children's books talking about autism
which the teacher could read to the class and the class could ask questions. Children are
generally very accepting when they understand what is going on. Of course there will always
be those who will not accept and that unfortunately is a part of life but a good lesson to learn.

As for talking about autism with your son - well, I have a friend who just did it with her
high-functioning autistic child. He is in denial but it has to be talked about sometime. With
my boy he is 6 and has epilepsy. We have talked about epilepsy because of his many
seizures so he knows about that. I have brought up autism he said nothing but if he ever
asks I will tell him. As a child I had dyslexia and it was important for me to know I had it and
that I wasn't stupid or dumb.

As for work I have got a part-time job and it really helps. I would suggest contacting people
that you know and understand your problems you never know what might turn up. I have
found it very therapeutic and gets your mind of your problems for a few hours.

Best wishes for you and your son


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