We need to remember that Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, along with all other Diagnosis, is just a label. It does not outline your child's individual strengths and struggles. It is merely a checklist of boxes that your child falls in to. If he or she falls in to the category of enough boxes, they will receive a diagnosis of ASD. Your child will have struggles in three areas:
This doesn't mean that your child can't talk, isn't motivated for any social interaction or exhibits challenging behaviour. Your child may try to speak, but just not as much as his peers.
Alternatively, he or she may talk much more than his or her peers, and about something which is of his choosing and perhaps not too relevant to the other person. If your child does communicate, he may not be able to follow communication cues. He or she may butt in to conversations,
This doesn't mean that your child can't socialise or doesn't want to socialise. It may mean that your child doesn't understand social cues when out and about, in the classroom or at home. It may mean that he or she struggles in certain situations, experiences upset or anxiety or just has a few 'querks' which make him stand out from the crowd in not the most desirable way. On the other hand, it may mean that your child doesn't make any attempt to initiate or maintain social contact. He or she may not greet people, may not reference them and may be completely in her or his own world.
A diagnosis of ASD does mean that your child has a struggle in the area of, 'behaviour', however this doesn't necessarily mean that your child has frequent 'meltdowns'. Your child may engage in self-injurious behaviour or behaviour that puts others at risk. It may mean that your child has tantrums, often screams and shouts and can't express his frustration appropriately. It may mean that your child runs away. On the other hand, your child may be the child who is the 'good boy' or 'good girl' at school. He or she may be too quiet in class and at break-time. He may not disrupt the class, but he may not participate or be getting the most out of the enviornments that he is in. Motivation is also something that falls in to this area of struggle. Your child may have unusual motivations. He or she may be too motivated for certain items or activities or he or she may have very little motivation for hardly anything at all. Your child may be the child who is only motivated to make himself sick, the child who is only motivated to play with a piece of string or fluff on the floor. Your child may be the child who has to play with his 22 trains in the same order, every day.
Whatever strengths and struggles your child has, we are here to help. You can contact us at any time on:
info@networkinterventions or UK 03333 440 201