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    Old 11-19-2003, 09:36 AM   #1
    siren1024
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    Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    I work with a 5 year old twice a week at church who everyone thinks is just language delayed. I've been noticing some other things however, and wonder if he may be mildly autistic. He never participates in group or organized activities, but plays by himself all the time. He plays with blocks, legos, and trucks for hours. He doesn't understand the concept of "sit still and listen to the story.)He is wildly hyper and LOUD even though only 20% of anything he says is understandable. And the phrases that he does say are the same ones used over and over again, like "cool man" or "thank you very much" or "of course." He doesn't seem tho have any cognitave language whatsoever.

    He also doesn't listen at all. It's like I'm not even talking to him. I have to physically turn him to face me and talk to him to get his attention, and even then, when I ask him questions about what I've just said, he just doesn't get it. He answers "yes" to everything, even if the question is "are you supposed to be pulling pictures off the bulliten board?" He takes off running out the door all the time. That kid is faster than greased lightening. I'm always chasing him down. He also will just laugh out in this super-loud crazy laugh all the time for no reason.

    He takes other children's toys away without a thought, and doesn't even seem to understand that he's done anything wrong. He also has one book about trucks that he wants me to read OVER and OVER to him. He will quote lines from the book. He doesn't get time out. Just doesn't get it. He won't stay there, and if I want him to, I have to sit in the chair and hold him in my lap. Then when he gets up, it's off to playing, and doing the same things he was just in time out for. It doesn't phase him.

    He has also just started lifting up adults shirts (his head is right at their waist lines) to look at stomachs, and this seems like a compulsive type behavior to me.

    The confusing thing: I had always thought that autistic kids weren't touchy, but he hugs all the time. (again, almost compulsively) kids, adults, men, women, anyone that speaks to him.

    How do I deal with him and the other children? He is in school, but he's in a Pre-K class for kids who aren't quite ready for kindergarten. However, I don't see that he's really made any progress, at least, in my classes. His mom is a pretty good friend of mine. I've been in church with her for years. I don't think autisim is something that has ever even crossed their minds, but I don't see it as my place to bring it up. So, do you think this is a possibility, and if so, what are some techniques for dealing with autistic children? Thank you for your time. Sorry this is so long!
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    Old 11-19-2003, 03:36 PM   #2
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    Wow, you only have him 2 days a week without the input of a special education teacher, honestly the best you could hope for is to curtail the inappropriate behaviors- I have seen lots of touchy feely autistic children- use a firm voice and consistently say "hands down" or No or private- one key phase and use it repeatedly and consistently- we made red laminated stop signs and used them as we also hand over hand stopped the child from doing what ever- with the same word- like no or stop. It doesnt really sound like an appropriate place for him to be with out a one to one for him- be careful because I have seen children like that become fustrated and start head butting, hair pulling ect with classmates and they dont know their own strength- another child could easily be injured. -meme

     
    Old 11-20-2003, 08:17 AM   #3
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    I forgot to mention, he actually does bang his head against the wall sometimes, esp. when in time out. I've never seen him do it to other kids, though. It's the strangest thing, it's like the other kids aren't even there most of the time.
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    Old 11-21-2003, 11:44 AM   #4
    ethelreda
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by siren1024
    I work with a 5 year old twice a week at church who everyone thinks is just language delayed. I've been noticing some other things however, and wonder if he may be mildly autistic. He never participates in group or organized activities, but plays by himself all the time. He plays with blocks, legos, and trucks for hours. He doesn't understand the concept of "sit still and listen to the story.)He is wildly hyper and LOUD even though only 20% of anything he says is understandable. And the phrases that he does say are the same ones used over and over again, like "cool man" or "thank you very much" or "of course." He doesn't seem tho have any cognitave language whatsoever.

    He also doesn't listen at all. It's like I'm not even talking to him. I have to physically turn him to face me and talk to him to get his attention, and even then, when I ask him questions about what I've just said, he just doesn't get it. He answers "yes" to everything, even if the question is "are you supposed to be pulling pictures off the bulliten board?" He takes off running out the door all the time. That kid is faster than greased lightening. I'm always chasing him down. He also will just laugh out in this super-loud crazy laugh all the time for no reason.

    He takes other children's toys away without a thought, and doesn't even seem to understand that he's done anything wrong. He also has one book about trucks that he wants me to read OVER and OVER to him. He will quote lines from the book. He doesn't get time out. Just doesn't get it. He won't stay there, and if I want him to, I have to sit in the chair and hold him in my lap. Then when he gets up, it's off to playing, and doing the same things he was just in time out for. It doesn't phase him.

    He has also just started lifting up adults shirts (his head is right at their waist lines) to look at stomachs, and this seems like a compulsive type behavior to me.

    The confusing thing: I had always thought that autistic kids weren't touchy, but he hugs all the time. (again, almost compulsively) kids, adults, men, women, anyone that speaks to him.

    How do I deal with him and the other children? He is in school, but he's in a Pre-K class for kids who aren't quite ready for kindergarten. However, I don't see that he's really made any progress, at least, in my classes. His mom is a pretty good friend of mine. I've been in church with her for years. I don't think autisim is something that has ever even crossed their minds, but I don't see it as my place to bring it up. So, do you think this is a possibility, and if so, what are some techniques for dealing with autistic children? Thank you for your time. Sorry this is so long!
    Hi Siren, I too have a friend with a child with autism. It is sometimes much easier for outsiders to first see the problem because seeing it is not emotionally complicated. I don't know much about diagnosis, the others on this board are the experts. As to speaking to your friend, I think it is worth trying..not in terms of autism..but in terms of discussing the childs behaviours and asking for her advice and comments maybe. It may be she is very worried but has no one to talk to, it may be that she is too scared to consider the possibility of a problem. If it is the latter, you just have to be patient, try to give her support. Don't play down the child's problems but don't exaggerate them, don't dismiss her worries. Oh its so hard..and I know I haven't been much good at it. I talked to other people, because sometimes it was hard to know what I should be doing. Once my friend began to realise the problem I encouraged her to get an assesssment done quickly. Now my friends child has a diagnosis and is getting help at school so things are easier for me but for her it is very hard coming to terms with his diagnosis..I wish I could help her more.
    PS How do I get rid of the quote? .sorry this board has changed since I was last here and I am useless at this stuff

    Last edited by ethelreda; 11-21-2003 at 11:49 AM.

     
    Old 11-21-2003, 11:58 PM   #5
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Hi. It does sound a lot like Autism to me. My son is also very affectionate and loving. When we have company over, he likes to climb on people's laps and just sit there, even if he doesn't know the person very well. Since he is three, it's considered cute, but it needs to stop because when he is 10, people are not going to think it's cute anymore!

    Honestly, I have read a lot of friends and relatives on this board say they feel a child has Autism, but they feel it's not their place to tell the parents. While I respect that, I disagree. I think the sooner the parents are aware of what's going on, the better chance the child has. When I first was told by our doctor that something could be wrong with my child, I was in total denial. Nobody ever mentioned Autism to me. I was so confused at what they were trying to tell me. Then, I talked to a friend who mentioned Autism to me. I listened to her and actually considered the possibility that my child could be Autistic. She wouldn't have told me that if she didn't suspect it. Since I trust her, I started to do a lot of research and found out she was right, then I went to the doctors and asked them straight out if they thought it was Autism... and they said yes. I'm glad my friend told me. If I had a child who was not developing normally and I didn't realize it could be more, but a friend did.. I would be upset if they never told me. Friends can be open with each other like that. Of course, a person should be very gentle on the topic, but the child needs help. Keep on praying. I know that will help too.

     
    Old 11-22-2003, 09:33 PM   #6
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    I didnt mean to worry you too much about the head butting other children- it is just a coping communication skill- it developmentally will happen if the child begins to become aware of children around himand wants to communicate or if his play skills develop to the point that he would like to play with the toys in the room - he wont be ready to share them, because the play develops in stages and he'll have to go through the infant/toddler stage of whats mine is mine, what looks like mine is mine, if it can see it, its mine- the little guy I worked with most recently didnt begin this stage until he was almost five and and half- it is a beutiful thing to see when it happens- growth is always promising! -meme PS also -get a baby gate for the door (before someone hurts their back chasing him or he gets too far and hurts himself)

    Last edited by memehegan; 11-22-2003 at 09:37 PM.

     
    Old 11-23-2003, 11:56 AM   #7
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Thank you all for your responses. The problem is, I believe his mother is in total denial and am afraid of how she would react if I brought it up. She doesn't discipline him very well. She says he's just delayed because of hearing loss when he was younger that tubes in his ears has supposedly fixed. However, it's been a year with very little improvement. Other chilldren I know who were delayed from hearing loss and given hearing aides made huge dramatic improvements within a year.

    I mean, he's 5 years old in kindergarten and can barely talk. What gets me is what kind of pediatrician could see this kid and not try to diagnose his problem? And I'm no doctor, so sometimes I think I'm just reading into things.
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    Old 11-24-2003, 10:46 AM   #8
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Hi Siren, it sounds a tough problem. I had a friend too whose autistic child had hearing loss and tubes inserted, in a way I think that just made it harder for her to accept there were other problems. I think we have to accept that people come to terms with these problems when they are able to, it is after all something that changes everything you might have expected for your child's life.
    You could do what I did and encourage her to get further assessment for the child because, even assuming if it is just hearing loss, if a nonspeaking child does not have help by about the age of 5 then it becomes harder and harder for them to catch up, and they will have big problems at school. Then you just pray that the paediatrician assessing them notices the other problems. I was lucky this worked for me and the child was formally assessed in time for school...I decided that was the one thing I could try and help her to do without feeling that I was being pushy. After all as you say, we are not doctors, we can't diagnose. Otherwise, do what you can to help the child, talk to people and read up on how to communicate, for example using pictures. Be patient and talk to the parent when you can, so they don't feel isolated. I did bring up autism with my friend from time to time, for example if there was a program on television or something in the news but it was clear that it was not something she thought relevant to her child.. It took about a year before she began to consider it. I had to just remember it is far easier for me to accept things about other peoples children than it would be to accept them about my own.
    Sorry not sure if thats much help. Try not to worry too much, do what you can, it's all you can do.

     
    Old 11-25-2003, 07:26 AM   #9
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Well, I just found something out last night that angers me greatly. This little boys pediatrician told his mother to just wait until after his first year of school (with speech therapy) to seek further treatment!!! Of course she's listening, because she wants to believe her son (who really is a sweet kid) will develop normally. But my mom's stepmother works for the state early intervention program, and she was telling me tha if a non speaking child, no matter what the root of the problem, doesn' get intervention before age 5, it gets harder and harder for them to catch up. And that also, autistic children benifit greatly from early intervention.

    What kind of doctor is this?????? Even if he isn't autistic, he's obviously at a disadvantage, and it seems to me that the earlier th treatment, the better off everyone involved!
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    Old 11-25-2003, 10:37 AM   #10
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Doctors eh...can't live with them, can't live without them!

    PS I would second Meme's advice on the safety gate, if he is autistic he will be much more singleminded about escaping than any grown up can be about watching.

    Last edited by ethelreda; 11-25-2003 at 10:41 AM.

     
    Old 12-06-2003, 07:36 PM   #11
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    Wink Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    You would be doing your friend a favor if you told her. Just be really careful and say real great things about him too, because i am sure there are some! I have a 3 year old autistic, and this boy sounds like he for sure has some kind of PDD. He is probably on the spectrum and yes, could be autistic, but there are different kinds of pervasive developemental disorders. My 3 year old is the opposite too, he loves to be touched and will hug and pull up shirts of anyone .. he really gets obsessive if someone's stomach is showing, he rubs skin.. he loves the feeling of skin on skin. I too thought he should be the opposite and hate to be touched, but i was wrong. It is a sensory problem.
    THE YOUNGER HE GETS DIAGNOSED THE BETTER OFF A CHANCE HE WILL HAVE TO REACH HIS POTENTIAL. There are great therapies out there!
    That is so cool that you care enough to get advice on this.. I love to hear people who are "willing to take a chance" with a close friend in order to give a child a chance. I had the same situation with a friend of mine and mentioned it to her, but they still havent' gotten him treatment.. he is only 2 and the state would pay for his therapy in full until he is 3, he is at a crucial age now and it broke my heart that they didn't jump on it, but really that is their decision before God. His brain is maleable at that age and it could make a huge difference for his future. Sorry this is so long!! You take care!








    Quote:
    Originally Posted by siren1024
    I work with a 5 year old twice a week at church who everyone thinks is just language delayed. I've been noticing some other things however, and wonder if he may be mildly autistic. He never participates in group or organized activities, but plays by himself all the time. He plays with blocks, legos, and trucks for hours. He doesn't understand the concept of "sit still and listen to the story.)He is wildly hyper and LOUD even though only 20% of anything he says is understandable. And the phrases that he does say are the same ones used over and over again, like "cool man" or "thank you very much" or "of course." He doesn't seem tho have any cognitave language whatsoever.

    He also doesn't listen at all. It's like I'm not even talking to him. I have to physically turn him to face me and talk to him to get his attention, and even then, when I ask him questions about what I've just said, he just doesn't get it. He answers "yes" to everything, even if the question is "are you supposed to be pulling pictures off the bulliten board?" He takes off running out the door all the time. That kid is faster than greased lightening. I'm always chasing him down. He also will just laugh out in this super-loud crazy laugh all the time for no reason.

    He takes other children's toys away without a thought, and doesn't even seem to understand that he's done anything wrong. He also has one book about trucks that he wants me to read OVER and OVER to him. He will quote lines from the book. He doesn't get time out. Just doesn't get it. He won't stay there, and if I want him to, I have to sit in the chair and hold him in my lap. Then when he gets up, it's off to playing, and doing the same things he was just in time out for. It doesn't phase him.

    He has also just started lifting up adults shirts (his head is right at their waist lines) to look at stomachs, and this seems like a compulsive type behavior to me.

    The confusing thing: I had always thought that autistic kids weren't touchy, but he hugs all the time. (again, almost compulsively) kids, adults, men, women, anyone that speaks to him.

    How do I deal with him and the other children? He is in school, but he's in a Pre-K class for kids who aren't quite ready for kindergarten. However, I don't see that he's really made any progress, at least, in my classes. His mom is a pretty good friend of mine. I've been in church with her for years. I don't think autisim is something that has ever even crossed their minds, but I don't see it as my place to bring it up. So, do you think this is a possibility, and if so, what are some techniques for dealing with autistic children? Thank you for your time. Sorry this is so long!

     
    Old 12-17-2003, 06:09 PM   #12
    Jennifer Jackso
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    Re: Does this child sound Autistic? How do I deal with him?

    Hi, I have two son that are autistic. They are now teenagers. You should tell your friend about autism. Maybe get some information to share from your local support organizations. The longer they wait the harder it will be to deal with. I was told my sons would never function on their own. They are both in regular classes and the eldest is a straight A student. Autism is not a death sentence. If you love her and It sounds like you do then pray about it and tell her. It the best thing for the family.

     
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