Accepting Child’s Autism Through Counseling

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There was a lovely family in the apartment complex where I grew up who was loved by many. They always had good food and were more than willing to share them with everyone. Mrs. Lopez even saved many parents in the building from daycare centers because she opened her doors to the little kids whose moms and dads had nowhere to leave their children as they go to work.

When I said that the Lopez family was loved by many, I only meant the elderly couple. It did not extend much to their only child, Luna. Luna was around my age, and she grew up to become an average teenage girl who craved going to parties more than anything in the world. And as an only child, she was used to getting her way out of everything.

But then, one day, gossip buzzed throughout the apartment complex. We heard that Mr. Lopez had enough of Luna’s antics and disowned her. Later, we found out why: she got pregnant at 16 years old.

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When The Prodigal Daughter Returned

Two years already passed, and no one thought that we would see Luna come back. However, I saw her come up the building on a Wednesday afternoon with a toddler. I didn’t see much of the child’s features, but it was safe to assume that that’s the same kid she was carrying in her womb when her father threw her out.

After an hour, Mrs. Lopez was knocking on our door. When I opened it, she hugged me and said, “My Luna came home with this little angel. Can you watch her for a minute so that we could talk to her mother?”

That’s only when I saw the child – a little girl named Charlie – for the first time. She was so cute with her golden locks and porcelain skin. I said hi to her, and she did not reply, but I thought that most kids around that age were a bit shy.

The family discussion turned out to be fruitful as Luna moved back in with her parents on the same day. She apparently promised to clean up her act and start working hard to provide for her child.

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Love And Concern For Charlie

Luna’s return allowed the entire apartment complex to get to know Charlie. Everyone grew to love that little girl. She was pretty and quiet; she did not act up like the other kids. However, some concerned individuals mentioned that Charlie was too quiet for her age and kept to herself most of the time.

Back then, I was already a sophomore in college, taking up psychology. Though my expertise was still lacking, I saw some possible signs of autism in Charlie. I let another year pass before I voiced my concerns to Mrs. Lopez as I gave the child the benefit of the doubt. Some kids develop slower than others, after all.

To my surprise, Mrs. Lopez said that she had been noticing the same symptoms in the house as well. She wasn’t just not saying anything in hopes of them going away on their own.

“Perhaps you could discuss this with Luna during dinner, and then I will accompany you to a child psychologist that I know,” I offered.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Lopez told me that she would not go through with the consultation the next day. “Luna took it badly,” she confessed. “My daughter accused me of not loving my grandchild for wanting to have her seen by a psychologist.”

I felt terrible for Mrs. Lopez upon hearing that, but I honestly felt worse for Luna. She was clearly in denial. It was pretty certain that she had seen the symptoms in Charlie, too, but she refused to believe that her child needed help. I dropped by the restaurant where she was waitressing so that we could have a chat.

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Counseling A Parent In Denial

Though Luna and I were never friends, we were cordial to each other. When she saw me waiting outside the restaurant, she came up to me and agreed to go to the nearest cafe. 

After a few small talks, Luna opened up about the situation at home.

“Mama must have told you about her wish of taking my daughter to a child psychologist,” she started.

“I suggested it to her,” I admitted, “But please don’t take it the wrong way. You will be able to help Charlie better when you know what’s going on with her.”

Luna sighed. “I know what you mean. I also know something’s wrong with my baby’s behavior. But letting a doctor see her means that I’m accepting that I failed Charlie. I failed as a mother.” With that, silent tears flowed down her cheeks.

It was the first time I witnessed how much Luna matured, and I could not help but feel sorry for her. I decided to extend the counseling duties I took on during summer break at the university hospital and counseled Luna. I helped her accept that she could not have prevented her child’s mental condition. All she could do was ensure that Charlie was getting all the help she needed.

A few months later, Charlie got diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and Luna showed bravery by not crying in front of her child. In truth, she worked harder than ever so that Charlie could continue getting therapy and whatever support she might need in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety, Psychology, And Meditation

My son, Lucas, had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was eight years old. My husband and I started consulting a child psychologist about his condition before turning five. Still, we had to wait for three years before the mental health professional could provide a diagnosis because my son was still very young. And in those three years, I kept on praying and wishing that Lucas was not on the autism spectrum, that we were merely reading too into his behaviors.

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Some people might say that I was in denial at the time, and I would agree with them. I knew deep down that my son was not born normal, but I refused to admit that to anyone – not even to myself. If I did, I would start questioning everything that happened while still carrying my child in the womb and wondering what went wrong. Then, I could spiral down the anxiety lane, which I already had a history of. I thought that’s the worst thing that could happen, considering my husband would have to take care of me too, aside from Lucas.

Little did I know, the child psychologist who had been monitoring my son noticed the changes in my behaviors, too. She pulled me to the side one day when I went to her office to pick up Lucas earlier than usual to talk about her observation, and I had no choice but to confide in her. I established that I did not want to retake antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, and she respected my decision. When I asked about what else I could do then, the psychologist suggested mindfulness meditation.

Here are the things I learned about anxiety and meditation.

Does mindfulness help with anxiety? 

 Yes, mindfulness helps with anxiety. It is one of the new useful techniques for anxiety treatment that mental health professionals recommend to their patients at the present moment. After all, when you are paying attention to your thoughts and emotions all the time, you will be able to assess and remind yourself that there is nothing much to worry about wherever you may go. 

What is mindfulness in psychology? 

 Mindfulness pertains to a person’s nonjudgmental awareness about their thoughts and feelings, or whatever may change either over time. It is positive psychology that mental health professionals and support groups recommend, especially to individuals with bipolar disorder, chronic pain, eating disorders, anxiety, and stress. By performing mindfulness practices, such folks may have an improved outlook on life.

What are mindfulness techniques? 

 There are four kinds of mindfulness practices that you should know about:

  • Sitting: Start by sitting cross-legged or extending your legs in front of you on the floor. You can use a mat or pillow and plant your back on the wall to focus on what you are doing instead of worrying about your pose. In case that is not possible, you can sit in a chair and relax your body without slouching.  
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  • Visualizing: With your eyes closed, you can visualize the sky, sea, birds, and other aspects of nature that may bring calmness to your heart and mind. In case you wish to DIY your visualization meditation, you may imagine water flowing through you, bringing your stress, anxiety, and depression with it as it leaves your body.
  • Mantra Chanting: Chanting a mantra is quite similar to talking about self-affirmations in front of the mirror. However, instead of talking and standing, you need to sit down as if you’re doing sitting meditation and listen to your breath as you inhale and exhale. When you manage to do that, you may begin to utter short phrases like “I am calm” and “I am happy” in your head until you feel what you’re saying.
  • Walking: Walking meditation is recommended for people who practically cannot sit still or keep their eyes closed for whatever reason. You can walk around your garden or street and pay attention to every movement required to bring one foot in front of the other. It is also ideal to live near the beach because you can go barefooted and feel the sand and water and focus on that.

How does mindfulness help mental health? 

 Mindfulness practices are supposed to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. According to researchers who look at how it affects the nervous system, mindfulness meditation can shrink the gray matter’s size in your amygdala, one of the tiniest parts of your body (or brain, rather) that influences your thoughts and feelings. The bigger it is, the more stress you deal with, the more you cannot embrace positive psychology.

How does mindfulness make you feel? 

 Mindfulness may be a bit intimidating at first, considering it requires you to sit still and work on your thoughts and feelings. Some even find it silly to do, especially when they are doing mindfulness meditation on their own. But once you get past that, stabilize your blood pressure, pay attention to your breathing alone, and stop worrying about different parts of your body. You can use mindfulness for anxiety, chronic pain, bipolar disorder, etc.

Do mindfulness activities work? 

 Yes, mindfulness practices genuinely work, provided that you do them well. For one, you cannot meditate when the TV is on, or your kids are playing nearby since that will prevent you from finding inner peace. It would help if you also were optimistic about its efficiency because willpower works wonders for everyone. Nevertheless, mindfulness meditations are not foolproof, especially when you do them without a master’s guidance.   

What are the four foundations of mindfulness? 

  • Mindfulness of the Body: It encourages you to recognize that the various parts of your body are unique, even though they all makeup who you are. You may start with feeling your lungs expanding and deflating as you inhale and exhale or being conscious of which parts of your body move when you stand, sit, and walk.
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  • Mindfulness of Feelings: It gives you a chance to understand every emotion you feel and why. For instance, being with your family makes you happy, going to a church makes you spiritual, and watching cat videos makes you laugh. This way, you are aware of what emotions an action will evoke and avoid depressing situations.
  • Mindfulness of Mind: It refers to your consciousness about the validity of your thoughts. This is important since many people tend to speak before they think, causing them to hurt others.
  • Mindfulness of Dhammas: It signifies the dhammas as mental objects, which feelings, mind, and body can eventually become. 

What are the three positive effects of mindfulness? 

 Mindfulness can offer your stress relief, especially when you try the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) technique, a mix of yoga and mindfulness meditation. It is helpful if your nervous system seems close to breaking down due to the high number of stressors in your life.

Anxiety mindfulness is another thing. When you meditate with the sole intention of coping with your anxiety, it can eventually soothe your nervous system and prevent you from acting irrationally at any given time. 

And even when you don’t have mental health issues, mindfulness allows you to know your true self and live your best life.

What are the three components of mindfulness? 

 Whenever you do mindfulness-based meditation, you need to have:

  • Intention: Mindfulness will not positively affect you when you do it half-heartedly or because a friend has forced you to do it. It would be best if you wanted to be mindful to increase your chances of gaining its benefits.
  • Attention: You must bring your attention to your breathing when you meditate instead of your hands, shoulders, ears, or other parts of your body. Some people lock themselves in a quiet room or use noise-canceling headphones during the process so that you won’t hear anything and get distracted.
  • Attitude: While meditating, it matters to embody positive psychology and open yourself to kindness, acceptance, and love. You cannot find inner peace when you stay angry and sad or keep your walls up.

How can I be mindful every day? 

 Before your day begins, you can start meditating on the quietest or most comfortable part of the house. Whether it’s your couch, bed, or porch – it’s all good. Focus on your inhalation and exhalation, clear your thoughts, detach yourself from adverse feelings, and open your eyes when calmness spreads all over you.

Once you leave the house, you can demonstrate mindfulness by being aware of everything you do or say. If someone overtakes you on the road without a signal, for instance, you think that the driver needs to be somewhere ASAP instead of dwelling on the fact that they’re rude. If you don’t like what a colleague did with your project, you find out why they did that instead of picking a fight or calling them names.

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How can I live a mindful life? 

 The first thing you can do is try following guided meditations that gurus upload on various online platforms. If it does not work, you may find a therapist in San Diego, New York, or wherever you live. There are also support groups that offer mindfulness-based counseling.

On a practical level, though, you can live a mindful life by staying grounded. Understand that we are all specks of dust in the universe and lucky to be alive. The money, social status, and superficial things we think we need do not honestly matter more than our friends, family, and peace of mind. Hence, there is no reason to waste your time over the former.

How do I start mindfulness? 

 You can start a mindfulness-based life even before you find a therapist who can help you with it. When you let go of greed, jealousy, anger, and other awful thoughts and feelings, you are already exhibiting mindfulness. When you open yourself up to the possibility of healing your physical ailments through meditation and other holistic treatments, you are also showing mindfulness.

It may seem challenging to do all these – specifically getting rid of all the negative thoughts that come to mind – but you can see a positive change in yourself when you remove at least one of them from your system. For instance, if your typical reaction once you see your rival crying is to smirk and mutter, “Serves you right,” try putting yourself in their shoes and be a little sympathetic for a change. The more you avoid resorting to thinking ugly, the more you start becoming mindful.

How can I practice mindfulness and reduce anxiety? 

 Mindfulness for anxiety is one of the hottest topics in psychology nowadays. There are various ways to practice mindfulness and reduce your anxiety, namely:

  • Meditating before you leave the house
  • Calming your thoughts before you enter a building
  • Validating your worries and emotions as you feel them
  • Taking deep breaths and focusing on it

Does mindfulness help memory? 

 Yes, mindfulness helps memory retention. When you do it correctly, your mind becomes free of worries and other exhausting thoughts, so it is effortless for you to remember whatever you need to do for the day. The more you practice mindfulness, the more your memory and concentration may improve.

Is mindfulness good for depression?

Yes, mindfulness is excellent for depression. Most depressed individuals lack nonjudgmental awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, after all. But once they meditate, they may begin to gain inner balance and get rid of their problems.

Final Thoughts

I was honestly skeptical about trying mindfulness meditation when my child’s psychologist recommended it to me. I did not know what to think of it because I did not have friends who practiced it. Luckily, she happened to be trained in this area, so she managed to guide me through it. It only took a few sessions before I realized what’s going on in my head before anxiety would attack, and I could always catch it and put myself back to zen mode.

 

My Son Has Low Functioning Autism, What Now?

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Having a child with autism can be very challenging, and it is even more so when he is in the low functioning end of the spectrum. People who are diagnosed with Level 3 Autism, like my son, will require all the support, love, and understanding that he can get from our family and me. The symptoms of his autism are very evident, and at most times, it affects his daily functioning. He has struggles being social, and have issues communicating both verbally and nonverbally. Because of this, his behavior can also be rigid.

But I didn’t lose hope. I know for a fact that there treatment programs available for my son and other children with this disorder. This is the reason why early intervention is essential, and the immediate implementation of the program is necessary.

What Is Low Functioning Autism?

There is low functioning autism and high functioning autism. The difference between the two disorders is the behavior of the individuals challenged by it. People with low functioning autism cannot function properly in their daily lives because of their disorder. They will have problems expressing themselves, communicating with other people, being social, and they will also have issues in managing their behavior.

How Is Low Functioning Autism Diagnosed?

For experts and specialists, they can diagnose ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder during a child’s early childhood years. Some can even diagnose ASD during infancy. How do they do it?

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There are guidelines in determining if a child has ASD. This is also why most kindergarten schools all over the world have psychometricians who observe the behavior of their learners. If they see signs of the disorder in a child, they will inform the parents and recommend for them to see a neurodevelopmental pediatrician for a proper diagnosis on their child.

Children with ASD are delayed in these neurodevelopmental abilities such as talking or communication, self-soothing, cognitive skills, and more. They will not be able to function properly, and they need physical assistance most of the time. Also, children with low functioning ASD will most likely have a correlating condition like epilepsy, or Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X Syndrome And Low Functioning ASD

Researchers believe that ASD is genetically predisposed, which is why it is sometimes diagnosed together with another genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome. The latter is a condition wherein the development of a child, mostly his learning abilities, are gravely affected. He will have delay issues with his speech and reading. The child will also manifest anxiety, hyperactivity, and low impulse control. Studies show that a third of the kids with ASD are suffering from Fragile X Syndrome.

Epilepsy And Low Functioning ASD

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It was assessed by Dr. Patrick Bolton and his team the relationship between epilepsy and ASD. They observed that 22% of the children with low functioning autism ASD also have epilepsy. The kids were having seizures at least once a week or every two weeks by the time they were ten years old up until they were eleven. These seizures were controlled by medication, and girls were more prone to having it than boys.

There are so many things to know about low functioning ASD. Next week, another blog about the topic will be discussed. Until then, good luck! See you next week!

Don’t Be Offended When Your Child’s Teachers Tell You That Your Child May Have ASD

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I remember that very day, five years ago, when the neurodevelopmental pediatrician told me that my son has ASD. It was September 9, 2014, and after waiting three months for the appointment, the doctor confirmed the suspicions of my son’s teachers; he has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I didn’t believe his teachers before when they told me that my son was displaying symptoms of ASD. He was “normal” for me and acting like a regular, active, and playful child. What I failed to see was that he had a condition and that he needed help.

The teachers in Kindergarten were telling me before that he was too hyperactive. He was also inattentive in class according to his playschool teacher and lacked focus too. His Nursery teacher said to me last time that whenever someone passed by their classroom, he would leave his seat or whatever activity he did and go outside to follow the person who caught his attention. For them, this wasn’t normal behavior.

Back then, I asked them, “So, what is normal?” They said that while they are teachers for toddlers, they are not experts in clinically ascertaining neurodevelopment delays or special needs learners. What they have is a course on seeing the signs and symptoms of behavioral disorders in children, and that is all.

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The school psychometrician, who has more knowledge on these matters, evaluated my son, and she also told me the same thing. “Ms. Carter, I recommend that you send Michael to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician for proper assessment and testing. With my specialization and studies, I believe, he has a developmental condition. As to the extent of that condition, or the levels of what he has at the moment, I cannot be sure. A doctor in that field will be able to provide the soundest medical assessment and diagnosis of Michael.” She handed me a list. “Here are the best neurodevelopmental pediatricians in the state. If you need help with the scheduling of appointments with Dr. Smith, tell me. I may be able to squeeze in Michael for an earlier meeting. He is my cousin, and that is if you want to go with him to Michael’s testing.”

Of course, I went with Dr. Smith since everyone in the school recommended him. And yes, I asked help from the psychometrician for a schedule, and so, the appointment which was supposed to be in 4 months was lessened to 3 months. That’s how jam-packed neurodevelopmental pediatricians were in our state.

I don’t mind the doctor telling me that my son has this autism disorder or this hyperactive behavior. That’s not my point at all – I don’t care about that. He can be a super and extremely hyperactive or lacking focus during class. My son is my son, and I love him. I will support and care for him, as long as he needs me to do it for him; even more when he can’t function as well as he can in this world, like how his teachers were telling me back then. I am his mother, and I will do anything for him.

And so, my son was assessed and no surprises there, he has ASD and luckily, one of the high functioning ones. He just needed treatment, which I submitted my son to go for the past five years.

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Is he better now? I believe that he is because his OT has told me that next week will be his last therapy session. His symptoms are getting less since he knows how to cope and manage it on his own. Therapy is not anymore necessary with him at this point.

As a mother, I feel that I have done the right thing with him, and I will continue to have his back because that’s just how it is with our family.

High And Low Functioning Autism

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Low and High Functioning are very common terminologies that are utilized in determining levels of autism. Usually, their use is based on the subjectivity of the observer (whether parent, doctor or teacher) and do not have a precise measure of intelligence or mental capacity.

With recent studies and updates on DSM-5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) 5, autism is generally categorized as Autism Spectrum Disorder and is segregated into three levels. The terms High and Low Functioning persist though as these are more colloquial terms, but it must be emphasized that these terms are outdated and don’t accurately describe a person diagnosed with autism, or simply ASD.

The following are some points to consider when it comes to the subject of high and low functioning autism:

  • Both have no prevailing measures for intelligence, talent, anxiety, aggression, or sensory challenges levels.
  • Both are non-descriptive of a person’s performance in school as intelligence is just one measure of educational acuity.
  • Both are non-descriptive of the capability to function in a public setting.
  • Both provide no measure for success in job capability and performance.
  • Both have no means to identify aggression as it is present in autism of all levels.

Perception Versus What Is Normal

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High and Low Functioning Autism are terms used by observers to categorize the behavior of people with autism against what is perceived as “normal.”

A person is coined as “High Functioning,” for example, when they can use speech and language to communicate, can perform in a standard academic setting or can engage better in social situations. Low Functioning, on the other hand, is used to describe those who look or sound distinctly different; those need special education or who are visibly socially separate.

These distinctions, however, are superficial and subjective. There are gray areas within the behavior of people with autism that blur common perceptions of high or low functioning; like how a perceived low functioning autism person that’s socially withdrawn can converse normally online or a high functioning autism person needing special education due to learning challenges.

While it is convenient to categorize the behavior of people with autism to manage public perception, these labels are not reflective on one’s performance in a social, academic or professional setting and shouldn’t be used as a measure for that either. The bottom line is, using these terms are misleading and not faithful in determining where autism lies on the spectrum.

The Three Levels Of Autism

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According to DSM-5, the three levels of Autism are as follows:

Level 1 – Requiring Support: People with Autism under this level shows difficulty in flexibility, have poor organizing skills, switch between activities (and not finishing them), have problems making friends, and communicating, and more.

Level 2 – Requiring Substantial Support: People with Autism under this level shows severe difficulty in social communication skills, both verbally and nonverbally, with repetitive behaviors that are post-normal, and other signs.

Level 3 – Requiring Very Substantial Support: People with Autism under this level shows extreme issues with social skills, cannot talk as much, odd behavior, and displays basic needs only.

For a better reading, it’s recommended to use the DSM-5 as it contains a more contextual basis on the three levels of autism and everything about it.

My Son With ASD Is My Protector – Therapists Advice Family Counseling

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Who would have thought that my special needs child, my boy, who is only eight years old, enrolled in a Montessori school and has Autism Spectrum Disorder, would be protective of me? When he was diagnosed at the age of 5, the neurodevelopmental pediatrician told me that he would have trouble relating to me, to his sisters, and other people. His therapists said to us that he will be withdrawn, and would isolate himself at times. But he wasn’t like that at all. He is very loving and very much caring of me, his siblings, and everyone around him.

I said he is protective of me because he is, and we have all seen that with him. We have problems at home, his father and me. You could say that I am a wife who takes all the bullshit, the screams, and the hits for many years. Yes, I am that woman – I was that woman, and now I am done. I am not going to be a battered wife anymore. This is for myself and my children. Whatever happens to me will affect them, and if I continue to let them witness what their dad has comfortably bestowed upon me, it will be the end of my kids. They will all suffer mental health issues, I know for sure, and I don’t want it for them.

We’ve were married for 20 years, and for nine months now, we’ve been living apart. I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety – most of which was because of the trauma I had suffered by being with him. I am not blaming myself, but I let him use and abuse me. In a way, it was a shortcoming of mine, but it’s okay now. You can say that I have awakened from this terrible nightmare of a life, and I am moving on.

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Going back to my boy with ASD, I saw how protective he was of me. His father visits them, and when that happens, my anxiety attacks will trigger. I would tremble in fear that he would hurt me and such, but I tried my best not to let the kids see this. The problem is that my boy with ASD, the one who was supposed to be not “relating” to people because of his disorder, have seen this no matter how hard I tried to conceal it.

Every time his dad would come, he would push me inside my room and say:

“Mom, dad is here. I want you to stay in your room. Don’t go out until he leaves.”

I replied to him, “It’s okay, babe. I’ll be fine.” (We call him “babe” as a nickname.)

“No, mom,” he insisted. “Dad is here, and he will shout at you. I don’t want that. You stay in this room. Don’t go out, mom. I mean it. I will lock this door right now. I will come back to open this when he is gone.”

And he locked my door. A few minutes passed, he also opened it and told me that his dad already left and that I can go out.

This is my child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I thought, we all thought that he wouldn’t be anything. We all thought that his disorder would leave him blank. On the contrary, he wasn’t blank at all. He was the opposite of it. My boy with ASD was like any regular boy without the disorder. He was his mom’s protector and in a way that made me proud but worried.

I was worried because what if this isn’t normal behavior? Is it common for an 8-year-old boy with ASD to be protective of his mom? In my mind, he must have been very affected by our domestic problems. This must have pushed him to act this way, and what are the consequences of it? How can I help him? What if he has other mental health issues because of me and his dad?

My worry pushed me to seek advice from another therapist, a child specialist. I brought my son to her and had him evaluated, in case he has other disorders that need to be dealt with immediately. After a couple of hours, the therapist called me and said that there is no need to worry that much. My son is a high-functioning boy with ASD. He is brilliant and intelligent, and his protective nature is typical. The therapist told me that he has some temper issues (my fear – just like his dad) and that with early intervention, together with his regular OT sessions, it will be addressed. The therapist also told me that I might need to go with him during therapy and get the help that I also need.

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I told his sisters about it, and they agreed that we both have to do it. They even want to join in and make it a family therapy meeting. I called the therapist, and she said, it would be the best move to make as a family as we will heal together from this tragic event.

My love for my son and all of my children are more than enough push for me to make myself better. I am standing up now, because my 8-year-old boy, who is special, is standing up for me. If I can’t see that, then, I would be forever lost.

Parenting Tips: For Those Who Have Kids With Autism

If there is one thing that you need to understand at this point, it is the fact that parents only want nothing but the best for their children. However, achieving this objective is not an easy thing, especially if some factors are out of the control of every mom or dad. Whether you like it or not, you have no choice but to continue to make an effort to thrive despite all these struggles. Psychology tells us that parents are willing to do whatever it takes as long as it promotes the welfare of their kids.

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In today’s article, our focus will be about children with autism. How can parents survive the difficulties that come with it? Are there techniques and strategies that you can use to course through these trying times? Can you get everything done all by yourself or do you need some help? If you want to find the answers to these questions, be sure to continue reading below:

 

Increase Your Patience

 

The first thing that you have to learn is the value of patience and understanding. Make an effort to show your kid that you are willing to take good care of him no matter how tough the situation is. Keep in mind that some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are hard to handle. As such, you may find it easy to get mad right away. Take note that when it happens, your kid may feel terrified of you to the point that he will no longer be comfortable when you are around.

 

Consult With A Doctor

 

You need to remember that you are not a medical doctor with a license to diagnose diseases. As such, you need to prevent yourself from making any diagnosis, especially after checking the Internet. What you need to do is to set an appointment for a meeting with a doctor or psychiatrist. It is crucial or vital that you consult with a professional so that you can get a clear understanding of what your kid is going through. Remember that there are various kinds of autism and each type may require a different mode of treatment.

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Accept Everything About Your Child

 

Stop wishing for your child to change his attitude or personality as it may hurt him, especially if he will know that you are not happy with his condition. As much as possible, show him that you accept his quirks and all the little things that he does. While it is good to hope for the best, you must not forget that your child does not need constant bickering from you. Instead, he wants to receive acceptance regardless of who he is as a person. Never make him feel that he is less of a person because of his autism.

 

Use Positive Reinforcement

 

Do not forget the significance of giving rewards to your child whenever he does something great. As already mentioned above, a kid with autism may be challenging to handle because of his unusual behavior. It is one of the reasons why it is quite hard to get him to accomplish certain things. Hence, you must take notice whenever he does something that deserves a reward. Make sure to use positive reinforcement so that he will keep on repeating the right behavior. He has to associate good action with presents or gifts.

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Spend Quality Time Together

 

Another essential thing that you must never forget is to find a way to spend special time with your kids. If possible, learn how to balance your family life with business or work. Once you get home from the office, be sure to avoid taking calls or doing work-related tasks. It is best if you will spend the entire afternoon or night playing with your child or communicating with him. Take note that you have to show him that you care and value him. Remember that an autistic child always craves attention and focus from other people. Be sure that you can give those two things to him.

 

Being a parent of an autistic child can change a lot of things in your life. Accept the challenges and struggles because they are the same things that can make you stronger and more fulfilled.

Real Talk: How My Memory Improved Despite Having Asperger’s Syndrome

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Getting diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome after years of wondering why therapy does not seem to help improve my mental state has made me feel more relieved than sad. At last, someone has been able to put a name on my issues. I no longer need to go on with my life without understanding what I need to deal with.

As a high-functioning form of autism, Asperger’s has honestly not hindered me from following my dreams. I managed to enter a prestigious university and get on an academic program that I wanted without a hassle. Despite that, remembering things has proven to be an issue at some point, primarily during the exam period. After trying a few things that my therapist and friends recommended to me, the following helped me immensely.

Playing Board Games

No one is ever too old for board games. Twister, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers, and RISK — they are accessible to all ages because they can be played anytime by two or more players. Thus, you, your friends, and your family members can have a nice mini battle among yourselves.

Another perk of playing board games is that you do not need to use any electronic gadget to be able to make use of them. It means to say that you will be less exposed to radiation and stress because, if you are not aware of it yet, computers do contribute significantly to your anxiety. I think by now you know how bad it can be for your memory, yes? I have a grandfather who is 90 years old at the moment, and yet he still plays Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly with his grandchildren. In my opinion, he is the living proof that old age is not the main reason why there are people who suffer from memory decline.

Source: flickr.com

Play Warcraft Games

Although it may appear as quite contradictory to what I have just said above, and I am not sure either if there are already studies about this one, I cannot pass the opportunity to say that maybe, just maybe, the kind of hype that the players get from Warcraft games are being transferred to their academic and salaried abilities. Hence, they excel in their expertise more than others. Of course, I have met a lot of people already, and almost all of the brainiacs that I know of are the ones who spend more time killing each other’s avatars and less in reviewing their lessons. Still, they emerge at the top of the class or work.

I am not a player of any online game, but I got curious about it one day and asked them what they get from playing such things. They said the same thing: “We can focus more on studies and jobs when we play.” Furthermore, I guess it is the intensity of the game that draws them into it, and so they can discharge all of their stress by intensely clicking the mouse and the keypads. As I said, I don’t think my theory is proven already, but there can be no harm in trying. Who knows, maybe this is going to be the answer as well for your memory problem.

Read More

Reading books, articles, and novels of diverse genres are what I believe as the reason why I only have minor hitches with my memory these days. They have never failed to make me visualize and gather exciting ideas and look forward to more. I am pretty sure that not most people appreciate reading, but it is worth to give it a try. To toughen your memory, of course.

Source: pexels.com

Relate Eclectic Things To Each Other

Relating general things to each other is the type of activity that will be able to show a person’s strong mental ability. Just like multitasking, after all, it cannot be done for everyone. This does not need much explanation, but if it does, let me set one of my professors’ usual manners of teaching as an example.

Mr. Rodriguez teaches Organic Chemistry. One day, he explained the free radical substitution of methane and chlorine by saying that one of the chlorine atoms will elope with its boyfriend methane. Because of that, there will be another free and sad chlorine atom, which is ready for the taking by anyone. Do you see how unrelated chemistry and elopement are to each other, and yet the analogy still seems to be correct? Your brain will always have great exercise when you try to connect two or more diverse things all the time.

Final Thoughts

Strengthening your memory can seem tricky, especially if you have a neurological condition like Asperger’s or another form of autism that alters your brain function. However, that is not something you can get rid of easily since you have practically been born with it. The only thing you can do is try the tips given above to reduce memory fluctuations somehow.

Good luck!

Diagnosing and Understanding Autism

Autism can be a tough condition to deal with in a child and adult. For families, they don’t always know how to spot the signs and even after diagnosis it doesn’t ring true. It can be hard to take in the news that there is something wrong with your child and it’s devastating, too, because you think you must have done something wrong to cause it. Unfortunately, it’s a condition that occurs through no fault of your own at times and it can have a lasting impact on a family. What about diagnosing the condition and understanding what it all means?

If In Doubt, Talk To Your Doctor

Sometimes, mothers and fathers have a gut instinct about their children’s health and, if that’s the case, you need to see a doctor. Children can develop slower than others but it is always good to check them out just in case. If you want to get an autism diagnosis you must speak to your doctor. Now, you might think you can spot the signs but there are different forms of autism so, while some may be able to instantly notice autism, many others will not. The condition can vary considerably so the child can be functioning fairly normally. That is why if there is something you are concerned with, it’s best to talk to a doctor. They will be able to run a few tests and diagnose the problem. View details from here.

Understanding Autism

When you or your child has been diagnosed with autism, it can be a very frightening time. For some, it’s hard to understand and really struggle to come to terms with the news. That is why you have to sit down, calmly talk things through with the doctor or specialist so you can understand what autism is and what it means for the child. Remember, there are different forms of autism and it’s necessary to understand what it means for your child. This is the first step in being able to fully grasp the situation and take the steps necessary to understand the condition far more.

Help Is Available

When there has been a diagnosis of autism given, doctors will be able to arrange some support for your family. Care workers can help ease the burden and there are many support groups available too. This can be especially important if you don’t have a large network of family at home to help. What’s more, it can be good to talk to people in the same position as you and who have gone through this as well. There has never been a better time to seek out help.

Living with Autism

Once you have been given the diagnosis and have understood what it means, you can get on with life and being able to have as comfortable life as possible, either for you or your child. Autism can be treated and while there are many forms of it, it is life-changing in a sense. You must look at all support options available so that you aren’t alone in this and get the help whenever you need it.