Identifying and Accepting Autism in the Family

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The first step to overcoming autism in the family is identifying and accepting the condition. Learn how to recognize if you have a special child in the family.

Five-year old Francis has been pounding his fist on the table for almost 20 minutes non-stop. In all of his five years, his parents have yet to hear him utter an audible word. There are occasions when he expresses his needs by whimpering as he points towards objects and persons.

Francis is but one in a special class of five autistic children now enrolled in a school for special children. It is his second year in school. While he hasn’t spoken a word and has shown a much delayed development in his communication skills, it took his parents three long years to finally accept and consequently address his condition.

This unnecessary delay in addressing autism in children is mostly caused by the parents’ denial of the child’s special condition and needs is a common reaction, to the jeopardy of the autistic child’s development. Accepting your child’s condition is the first crucial step otherwise, tell-tale signs of autism may easily be dismissed.

Autism is the condition characterized by an unusual fixation with fantasy or imagination and a lack of concern for and involvement with if not a total disregard of reality.

Early signs of autism in infants include an indifference to affection. Autistic infants may not show any response when being carried or embraced. While normal babies may smile, communicate and acknowledge an adult’s presence, an autistic infant usually does not relate to adults that attempt to communicate.

While there are usually no signs of any difficulty in learning to crawl, stand, and walk, autistic toddlers show little interest in learning to speak, as well as in eating. Training autistic children to use the potty may be quite difficult and will need extra attention, too.

Changes in the surroundings, including rearranging furniture in the room and the introduction of new faces and environment distract and upset children with autism. The introduction of changes should, therefore, be made as gradual as possible and in the presence of familiar comfort.

Many autistic children, while undemonstrative of emotions and normal reactions, have been known to possess extraordinary skills. Some children specialize in the arts, while others have shown a knack for math and the sciences. There are those who have proven to possess an excellent memory and an unusually high level of intelligence.

Autism is a special condition. Depending on the parents’ acceptance of the condition as well as their readiness to address it, a child may retreat further into the imagination ore learn to respond and cope in the real world. Persistent and patient attempts at communication as well constant and intense display of affections, hugging and expressions of love are a most necessary therapy.