Friday, October 30, 2009

More Dominoe, Autism, and Money

So now Dominoe wants a pair of shoes. I tried really hard to convince her to wait till tomorrow after work to go get shoes. She was insistant.

I could tell by the look on her face and the way she looked out of the side of her eyes….She had enough today.

Finally she said if she waited they (the shoes) might be gone!

I told her if she pitched a fit in the PCAs car they would come home without shoes. I told her if she pitched a fit (we call it a floor show) in the store they would come home without the shoes.

She got her shoes.

Although I am excited she has finally figured out she has to have money. Now what? She cant spend like this forever.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What to Look for When Helping a Person with Autism

People working with people who have autism need to understand how behaviors are a form of communication. Tantrums and meltdowns are not just willful behaviors. Sometimes they are the only way a person with autism can express themselves. People especially need to understand this within the framework of positive behavior supports. An additional need is to plan for repeat problems. People need to look for usable strategies and techniques to teach social skills to people with Autism.

Specifically people should look at enjoyable socialization methods so people with Autism may experience success and the desire to build skills. Social deficits affect life at home, school, and eventually in the workplace. People need highly beneficial strategies that can be used across a variety of settings and routines. The strategies should be practical and effective solutions to assist ‘typical’ people. The strategies should also assist people to become more understanding, accepting and engaging of those with social difficulties.

Part of behavior management strategies is the process of building a relationship on as many levels as possible. Then within the context of the relationship people with and without Autism can work on collaboratively solving problems with behaviors. It also includes doing whatever possible to avoid power struggles.

Another part of behavior management for people with Autism is to build social skills. This should be done with formal lessons on social skills. A social skills training program should also teach strategies for the person with autism to be able to generalize the skill from one situation to another.

At the same time a person with Autism needs social skills training, a typical person needs sensitivity training to better be able to work with an individual with Autism. People can use a variety of ways to practice both the social skills and the sensitivity, such as lunch buddies, peer buddies, and class buddies. Other techniques to be investigated with a person with Autism are conversation skills, cooperative play skills, emotion management, understanding others’ feelings, and dealing with teasing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dominoe, Autism, and Money

or a long time I have known that Dominoe does not have any idea about money. On the other hand she always surprises me….

She came running into the living room yesterday morning. She says you only gave me five dollar.

Let me explain. I don’t cook. I give her spending money from her check everyday to eat and buy stuff she wants. When she runs out of money I give her money anyway.

Well, I told Dominoe no that was her regular amount of money. She says but I want to buy another jacket. Yesterday, she came home with a matching jacket and pants.

It was time to investigate. I went to the PCA and asked where the money had come from for the jacket and pants. This PCA is young and they go to young people’s stores. Remember Dominoe is 21 now. Anyway the PCA started laughing. She said they had seen the clothes and Dominoe had told her(the PCA) she wanted to get them. The PCA told her that she did not have enough money. The PCA tells me (laughing) that when they got home Dominoe started pulling a dollar from here and five dollars from there. Dominoe kept asking if that was enough!

You see I usually give her enough money to get up to a certain amount each day. So if she has extra money I just put enough to get her to that amount. This has been going on for years and years. I am just tickled to death that she decided to hide her extra money.

And yes I gave her extra money for the jacket she was after. (So much for the budget.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

7 Tips for Raising a Child with Autism...and a Promise

Tip 1 - Changing the Environment - When we have a child with autism many times we spend time looking for the reasons why a behavior may be occurring. In the process of looking for reasons we sometimes overlook the easy solutions to the problem. One of the solutions is to change the environment to meet the child’s needs.

Tip 2 - Look for Free Services – A parent is going to use every resource available to help their child. They need to stop and take a breath. It takes extra work to look for free resources but this will help preserve their insurance for as long as possible. Insurances have caps that may limit the amount of services. They also have co pays that can figure into a formula that determines how much help your family can get.

Tip 3 – Is the Behavior the Result of Their Age or Their Disability- Many times parents are discouraged because they believe a particular situation or behavior will go on forever. If you have older children you might be able to compare where this child is in the process of growing up. If you do not have older children ask someone who does! As a matter of fact you may want to ask someone anyway. It helps to consult with someone who has a little distance.

Tip 4 – Is It Reasonable or Fair- If you run into a situation or a decision you think is unfair say something. Your child has no one else but you. You have to stretch out of your comfort zone and say something.

Tip 5 – Do Not Give Up – Everyone becomes discouraged at times. You can do this. I know many mothers who never thought they could and they are doing it. They are raising a child with autism are all the time.

Tip 6 – What Other People Think Does Not Matter – My child has melted down in a grocery store and a restaurant. Of course I thought about all the people who looked at me disapproving or even made comments. It is easy for people who do not know what is going on to judge. Sometimes I explained and sometimes I didn’t. And it was OK either way.

Tip 7 – Not All Children with Autism Are Alike – Sometimes what works with one child does not work with another. Along this some thought sometimes one thing works with one child with autism and sometimes it does not work with the next child. That is just the way it is.

And the promise – Your child with autism will make you the person you will become. You will be stronger, smarter, and more creative than you ever thought possible.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Having a Blog Is Interesting

I write what I like here.
It makes me happy.
I wonder if anyone reads it or cares?
I love being a mother.
Especially Dominoe’s mother.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Discussing Autism Types

There are many autism types. When people typically think about autism, they think about people who are non verbal or people who have savant like abilities. Athough these are two types are important autism types there is more to it than this.

Autism is considered a spectrum disorder. What this means is that people on this spectrum can be at any point. Some have speech and some only have some speech. Many people with autism have conversational and public speaking abilities.

It is a disservice to think that people with autism are all one way or another. Just as many people with autism have savant abilities as not. Those abilities can also be in a variety of subjects.

To further complicate the topic of autism types is the problem of co occurring disorders. Disabilities like ADHD and cognitive disabilities can complicate autism. Another complication that can make a person with autism seen to have more problems is sensory integration problems. If the sensory integration problem is severe enough the person with autism will seem to be unable to communicate. This is because of the pain they experience in what we consider a normal day.

Hopefully you can see that autism types is a complicated subject. Whether autism, aspergers or pervasive developmental delays is important to people as a more definitive diagnosis. Then of course knowing and understanding the co occurring disorders is imperative.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My 15 Yr Olds Post About Autism

Another name for AUTISM is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). PDD is the same thing as autism but in a more proper language. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a name for all kinds of autism.
Autism seems to affect more on boys than girls. The reason it affects more boys than girls is not yet proven. Stuff like family income doesn’t usually affect a child with autism.
One symptom of autism is pretend play. Another symptom is social interactions. A third symptom is verbal and non-verbal communication. Another is repeated bodily movements. One other one is if they show unusual attachment to an object.
Have you heard of the MMR Vaccine? Well I have, and most parents believe it causes autism in children. The only proof parents have is around the time the vaccine was given autism increased tremendously. Doctors think it was only a coincidence that it increased around that time but parents seriously don’t agree.
There are a lot of different treatment options for different types of autism but I’m just going to name a few. One is medication. Two is (ABA) Applied Behavior Analysis. Three is Occupational Therapy (OP). Four is Physical Therapy (PT). The last one I’m going to name is Speech-Language Therapy (SLT).
Medicine is used for a lot of things but I’m only going to name a few. One is mood swings. Another is tantrums my sister has them a lot. Another is outburst. Another is sleep difficulties which my sister has a lot and so do I. One other one is anxiety. One last one is Hyperactivity which me and my sister both have.
Complications can be caused by a few things which I’m about to name. One complication can be caused by Fragile X Syndrome. Another complication is Mental Retardation or some people call it a mental illness. The last complication I can think of is Tuberous Sclerosis.
Autism is been proven to be inherited by other family members. Take identical twins for instance if one has it so will the other. Which is really sad because they both have to have the same everything in every way? The risk of having a second child with the same disorder is very low but it’s possible. So watch it carefully.
Autism can improve over time with treatment and age. With some kids it might not though. With some children modifications have to be made because of the illness. But others get at least a little bit better over their life span and some get all the way better.

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