Asperger’s Girl- Phrases that confuse people with Autism

Asperger's Girl
Asperger’s Girl

Asperger’s Girl- Phrases that confuse people with Autism

Just came across this video just brilliant!

Please watch and share!

Autism in adults – getting a diagnosis of autism as an adult. Some tips from the NHS.

Autism Acceptance
Autism Acceptance

Getting a diagnosis of autism (including Asperger syndrome) can be a really positive step. A lot of adults say their diagnosis has helped them to understand why they find certain things difficult, and also why they are especially good at some things.

Having a diagnosis also means you can get easier access to support and benefits. However, the process of getting a diagnosis can be difficult for adults.

The usual way to get a formal diagnosis is to go to your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, preferably one with experience of diagnosing autism.

Here are some tips from The National Autistic Society (NAS) on how to present your case so that your doctor can see why you may have autism, and why having a diagnosis is helpful.

If you think you may have autism

When visiting your GP to discuss autism, make sure this is the only thing you are seeing your doctor about. If you try to drop it into a consultation about another subject, they may not address it fully. A good way to bring up the subject is to mention that you have been reading about autism or Asperger syndrome, or that you have been in touch with the NAS.

Describing your experiences

The autistic spectrum (the range of symptoms people with autism have) is very broad, and two people with the condition may have very different symptoms or traits. Most people with autism have the difficulties discussed below.

Difficulty with social communication

People with autism have difficulty using and understanding verbal and non-verbal language, such as gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice, as well as jokes and sarcasm. Some people with the condition might not speak or have fairly limited speech. They may understand what people say to them but prefer to use alternative forms of communication, such as sign language.

Difficulty with social interaction

People with autism have difficulty recognising and understanding people’s feelings and managing their own. They may, for example, stand too close to another person, prefer to be alone, behave inappropriately and may not seek comfort from other people. This can make it hard for them to make friends.

Difficulty with social imagination

Those with autism have difficulty understanding and predicting other people’s intentions and behaviour, and imagining situations that are outside their own routine. This can mean they carry out a narrow, repetitive range of activities. A lack of social imagination should not be confused with lack of imagination. Many people with autism are very creative.

If your doctor disagrees with your argument, ask for the reason why. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing their decision there and then, ask for another appointment to talk it through.

Why you may need an autism diagnosis

Diagnosis in adulthood can have advantages and disadvantages. Some people are happy with self-diagnosis and decide not to ask for a formal one. For those that do want a diagnosis, there are various benefits, according to the NAS. These include:

Understanding yourself

People with autism have often known for a long time that they have specific difficulties, but haven’t been able to explain them. They may have even been misdiagnosed. A firm diagnosis can be a relief, because it means they can learn about their condition and understand for the first time why they have difficulties.

Gaining the understanding of others

Many people suffer from constantly being misunderstood. When the people close to you understand why you find certain things difficult, it’s much easier for them to empathise.

Receiving the right services for your needs

Once a diagnosis has been given, you can access autism-specific services. Read more about autism in adulthood.

The NAS website has a range of diagnosis information, which can help you understand your condition.

You may also like to download their guide What Next? for adults who have already been diagnosed with autism.

You may also find this video of interest.



[Original article on NHS Choices website]

World Autism Awareness Day 2015 – find out how you can take part!

Autism Awareness Month
Autism Awareness Month
As you may know 2nd April each year sees World Autism Awareness Day.

Throughout the globe the autism community comes together to raise both awareness and acceptance of autism, Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

So we thought it would be useful if we helped promote a new Facebook event entitled, unoriginally, World Autism Awareness Day. It would be great if you could join us here.

So why are we running this event rather than just providing you links to other peoples?

Well there are a few reasons.

Firstly we actually believe that the autism community should be doing our own stuff rather than being told what to do by governments and NGOs.

Secondly we think “small really is beautiful”. The little events all put together beat the massive PR lead stunts.

So what would we like you to do. Well obviously join the event and invite all your friends and family to do so as well!

Secondly we would love it if you used the comments section below to provide any information , pictures or links to stuff you are doing around the day.

So please help us spread the word.

And do remember that autism awareness does not end at the end of April. Every day should be World Autism Awareness Day .

When Your Child with Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder is Bullied – a guest post from Pamela DeLoatch

Autism Awareness Butterfly
Autism Awareness Butterfly
It’s not just about your child being picked last for the kickball game or not making new friends at school, it’s about the derogatory comments towards your child from other children or the lack of empathy from the adults in his/her life. Finding the right tools to help your child with Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder and educating those who interact with your child, will help lead you all down a path towards a bright future for your child.

We have look at initiative around bullying before so we are delighted to share this guest post from Pamela DeLoatch. You can read the original here. A free tool kit to download is also available at the Round Table web site.

DeLoatch is a staff editor for RTC who has contributed to nearly a dozen books including Classroom Heroes, Not Your Mother’s Hysterectomy, Chasing Hope, and an entire slate of books in production.

She writes “Janine* sat on the park bench, shivering slightly in the unexpectedly chilly late September afternoon. Luckily, she had dressed Lila and Trent right for the weather — better than she had dressed herself, she thought, looking down ruefully at her capris and t-shirt. Lila, at 11 months, sat in the stroller, shielded from the wind coming off of the lake. Dressed in jeans and a soft, hooded sweater, Lila crammed an animal cracker into her mouth and banged on her stroller bar in delight.

Trent didn’t always notice what was going on around him. Or even in front of him. He found the world inside his head more interesting than the world outside. Asperger’s Disorder, the pediatrician told Janine and her husband, David, back when it became obvious that Trent had difficulty interacting with other children. Three years later, the symptoms of Asperger’s Disorder (now categorized as Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition) had not changed.

Janine sighed, remembering dropping Trent off at preschool, how the other kids rushed to join their friends wherever they were playing. Trent always sought out the construction toys, never seeking a playmate.

“Why don’t you go and play with Trent?” the preschool teacher would prompt one of the boys in the class. “No. I don’t want to play with him,” they’d say. Or, “He’s not my friend.” Or worse, “I don’t like him.” Janine’s heart hurt, seeing her little boy so solitary.

After the diagnosis, Trent began working with a licensed child and adolescent psychologist and joined a weekly “play group” with other children who needed help with social cues. When it was time for elementary school, he joined a mainstream classroom. Although he did well academically with the support of his teachers and the classroom aides, he still didn’t have any friends. Until recently, Trent didn’t seem to mind, but this year, as he entered second grade, things were different. Trent hadn’t complained, but then again, Trent rarely talked about his emotions. Instead, Janine noticed that when Trent was at home and was frustrated with a Lego project, he’d hit himself on the head and furiously hiss, “You’re a dork,” or “You’re so stupid,” or “That’s why nobody likes you.”

When Janine asked Trent why he said that, he ducked his head and shrugged. Was someone saying those things to him, Janine thought. Wondering if Trent’s behavior was related to school, Janine met with his teacher. The kids did tend to leave Trent out of their play, Lisa Rutherford admitted. “In my twenty-five years of experience, I’ve found it best to let the children work out their own problems,” she explained, not unkindly.

“But Trent doesn’t always know how to work out those problems — that’s a classic issue with Asperger’s!” Janine protested.

“I know it’s trite to say that boys will be boys, but frankly, it’s been said so often for a reason,” Lisa responded. “The more I push them to include Trent, the meaner they will be to him.”

Janine was at a loss. “So the answer is to do nothing if my son is being bullied or ignored?”

The teacher sighed. “Look, I don’t condone name-calling or bullying. But even when they invite Trent to join in, he doesn’t want to unless he’s in charge of the game. He always wants to play with the same toys and he hates to share. Asperger’s Disorder or not, that doesn’t make for a good experience for anybody.”

Janine left the meeting frustrated, with no solutions. She could understand why other kids didn’t like Trent’s bossiness. It was a lot to ask elementary school kids to understand a disorder she didn’t always understand herself. She just wished Trent’s behavior didn’t result in kids turning on him. How could she help her son recognize and protect himself against bullying? Did Trent even see how the other kids treated him, beyond name calling, beyond being excluded from Wall Ball on the playground? Trent had never been invited to a birthday party, and when she occasionally went to have lunch with him at school, she noticed other boys shuffled around to avoid sitting next to her son at the lunch table. It had to hurt Trent in some way. It certainly hurt Janine.

Even now as Janine glanced cross the playground at Trent again, two boys walked up to the pile of dirt Trent was building. Janine held her breath, waiting. Maybe they’ll ask to play with you. If they do, please remember to share your shovel and bucket. She could hear the two boys chuckle. That could be a good sign. Then the shorter of the two boys kicked the pile of dirt at Trent.

As Janine stood up, Trent yelled, “Hey, give that back!” He pointed to his bucket and shovel, now in the hands of the taller boy.

“You’ll have to catch me,” the boy taunted.

Trent scrambled up, red-faced. The new boys took off, running across the playground as if it were an obstacle course, with Trent awkwardly chasing from behind.

With a quick check to ensure Lila was securely buckled in the stroller, Janine pushed the stroller as she ran, trying to catch up

“Trent! Wait!”

The boys continued to dodge Trent, pausing behind the slide and swings so he could almost catch up, then running ahead again.

“That’s my stuff! You took my stuff!!” Trent shouted, loud enough that the other parents in the park looked up.

“Hey! You boys! Give my son his toys back!” Janine yelled, catching up to Trent as the boys circled the sandbox once more. She put a calming hand on Trent’s shoulder. Trent stared at the boys, fists clenched, breathing heavily.

“Brice, Daniel—give that child back his toy!” a woman sitting on a bench near the playground called tiredly. “We’re going home.”

“Stupid kid,” the taller boy mumbled as he walked close to drop the shovel and bucket at Trent’s feet. “We were just playing with you.”

“Yeah. Just playing,” the shorter one chimed in.

Trent launched himself at the boys. The taller one dodged, but Trent tackled the shorter one, knocking him into the sandbox. Janine pulled Trent off, but not before he landed two punches.

“Get your kid off of my son!” The other mother ran to the sandbox and hauled her son up. “You okay, Daniel?” she asked, brushing sand out of his hair.

Teary-eyed, Daniel nodded. His mom turned to Janine. “Your son is a bully. Daniel didn’t deserve that. You really need to get control of him.”

“Your sons started it,” Janine shot back, and then stopped, feeling childish. Looking around the playground, at the parents and children avidly watching them, Janine was exhausted.

Was this what it was going to be like for Trent? Would the only kids who interacted with him be mean to him? Would he start believing he was a “stupid kid” or a “dork” because that’s what his peers told him? How could she help him at school and at home when the difficulties associated with Asperger’s Disorder made it hard for him to read, understand, and react to social cues and situations?

She reached out to put a gentle hand on Trent’s stiff back, but stopped. He would hate to be touched right now. Turning the stroller, she said wearily, “Let’s go home.”

The truth about bullying

Unfortunately, for children with Asperger’s Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder, bullying can be a fairly common event. Not only are children with Asperger’s bullied frequently, recent research shows that some bullies actually use the bullied children’s emotional vulnerability against them, frequently trying to trigger meltdowns. That makes it even more imperative for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to educate themselves and acquire the understanding and tools to help their children.

Here’s what the ORP experts, both parents and professionals, suggest:

  • Understand the seriousness and impact of bullying and know that it must be addressed, not ignored.
  • Observe your child’s behavior. Is he reluctant to go to school, does he avoid certain classes, or complain of frequent headaches and stomachaches? Does he have bruising or cuts? Is she missing personal items? Does he act like a bully toward younger siblings?
  • “Check in” with your child. Ask your child if anyone is being mean to them and if so, what is happening and how it is affecting them.  Reassure them that you want to help and just want to make sure they are okay.
  • Help your child practice assertive responses such as “I want you to stop doing that,” “I want you to leave me alone,” and to also be ready to go to an adult as the next step if this doesn’t work. Inform the school of your concerns. Many schools have improved “anti-bullying” programs and want to be informed of bullying incidents. Work with teachers and school administrators to develop a plan for your child to get additional support.
  • Involve your child in peer support groups and additional therapeutic groups directed to help kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder build social skills, improve self-esteem, and foster increased self-efficacy.
  • Involve your child in extracurricular activities with peers who have similar interests to develop more potential friendships and beneficial social interactions.

Unfortunately, bullying is a fact of life for many kids, not just for those with Asperger’s Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. But there is good news: you and your child are not alone. And, with a willingness to help, a commitment to open communication, and a few new tools – you can help them develop the skills to negate bullying and build positive relationships.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals interviewed for this story.

Autism and Parenting Part Four – What first gave you the idea that your child might be on the autism spectrum? Come over and read the stories of other parents of children with ASD!

A boy who developed autism
A boy who developed autism
A few days ago I asked this very question on our Facebook page AutismTalk. Three days later that have been over 500 responses with literally hundreds of interleaved comments. So clearly it is one of the most valuable of the conversation we have run.

Due to the , rather, transitory nature of social media we though it would be useful to keep some of the comments and use them as the basis of a discussion blog. It would be great if you could use the comment boxes at the bottom of this post to share your answer to the question “What first gave you the idea that your child might be on the autism spectrum?”.

I have covered our son’s diagnosis on this blog before. You can read John’s story here. It is worth mentioning that John was recessive and the first sign of classic autism really only became apparent when he was two. In his case this was loosing much of his ability to speak which had been pretty typical of a developing child up to that point.

Looking at our responders there seems to be a very wide range of symptoms and signs of autism.

Jade, for example shared “I had 3 children under three. My Autistic son was the middle child.
I could see the girls thriving, playing, talking, looking at me and my son did none of that.
He didn’t say his first word till he was 4 and a half, he wouldn’t and still doesn’t make eye contact, he didn’t comprehend what I was saying or asking of him. He threw some mega tantrums ( he was frustrated and trapped in his own world) He hated loud noises and bright nights. He didn’t and doesn’t like to be touched or hugged. Couldn’t stand not to have socks on, he hated the feel of the carpet, grass or sand on his feet. It was very scary for me, I was a single mum when he was diagnosed, no one in my family knew anything about Autism and their was very little support in my area. My son is almost 17 and doing amazingly”

While Tammy was brief and to the point. “No eye contact and lining up toys” In fact another of John’s early symptoms was loss of eye contact!

For Derek “Not pointing or following others point. Lack of shared enjoyment. Very little babbling. Food aversion, and dislike of food utensils in mouth. Sound & light sensitivity. Meltdowns in shopping centres! All this before 12 months. We did DIR Floortime with him and everything changed.

Now at 6 he is unrecognisable in some ways. He’s bright, bubbly, friendly (dare I say popular), polite, helpful and lovely. Still autistic, and still has many challenges, but also has amazing strengths. Don’t give up on your kids!”

“Speech was repetitive starting at around age 2, lined up his toys, and covered his ears when we sang happy birthday to him at age 2.” said Jaclyn.

Dawn mentioned our old friend “Hand flapping, toe walking, and lack of speech and eye contact at 12 mos old”.

Even some symptoms did not have an immediate impact for Dawn “No speech and only babbling at 3.5, but even then I still had my head in the sand about a diagnosis of ASD”.

Shawn was helped by her mother “My mom, she was a manager in a public school cafeteria. She saw a older child who display similar characteristics to my son who only 2 at the time. Before she uttered it 11 yrs ago I had never even heard of the word! May she rest in peace. u mom & thx for everything.”

” I knew absolutely nothing about autism but my daughter always seemed different. She had no interest in learning, words came and went, some people asked me if she was deaf, she loved to spend hours throwing things over things, and she just always seemed to live in her own little world. I’m very grateful that I have always been included in her little world even though most are not.” mentioned Dixie.

Calre some was spotted by “A health professional from our schools team when I tried to get my boy some counselling help for his ‘outbursts’ or ‘meltdowns’. She recognised it, talked it through with me about making an assessment referral and all the pieces fell into place. My handsome young man was diagnosed as high functioning autistic just before his 11th birthday. Strangely, it’s made life easier :))). Maybe that’s because we all understand a little bit more each day x”

While there are many many more I would like to end with Christine’s moving post “This might sound kind of weird – but I knew from the first day that my daughter was different. My daughter always seemed so far away and “wise” compared to other babies. She scared away the little old ladies looking into the pram or into her crib at home, trying to catch her attention by just looking through them very seriously. She didn’t crawl but on her first birthday she started shuffeling around on her bottom and didn’t try to stand up before she was 19 months old but then all of sudden she stood up and walked without falling even once. She always talked to her cats and dogs more than she did to other people. As a child she didn’t talk to strangers at all, even if these strangers were her teachers. My daughter is 19 today, she has Asperger’s and her “therapy” are our family animals (cats, dogs, chickens, horses) and she works at a horse farm, training young horses and even drives visitors around with a horse-drawn carriage with two horses. In that surrounding she can even talk to the people on her carriage and engage in conversation with strangers. 12 years of school resp. college were very hard and stressful, although she never lacked intelligence – until a little more than a year ago she decided, that she didn’t want to go to University but only work with horses. So she quit school and took on an apprenticeship on that horse farm… Our children on the spectrum are challenged, we are challenged to guide them into their lives – and they teach us and other people around them so much “.

So over to you. What was the first thing that made you think that your child was on the spectrum. It would be great if you could add your comments to the comments box below.

Thanks very much in advance.