I'm losing an autistic buddy soon (and a simple autism test for your knowledge base)

@TheHorse (93672)
Walnut Creek, California
October 9, 2019 2:24pm CST
I may have mentioned in the past that I have a bit of trouble working with autistic kids, because that profound sense of connection isn't always there. Autistic kids tend to struggle with eye-contact, understanding another's perspective, and showing affection. But there's a 4-year-old at the preschool where I work who has "won my heart," and I will miss him when he transfers to a "special school" next week. Several teachers have said he "rarely speaks," but for some reason, he often comes up to me and starts a conversation. I have learned through our conversations that he can read some words and is very good at math. But he's often "in his own world," and doesn't always follow directions, leading to frustration in some of the teachers. I wish I could continue working with him, as I've seen improvements in his emotional expressiveness, his interactive play with other children, and his ability to show affection. An interesting factoid: There's another kid in the toddler classroom who was thought by some to be autistic. But he actually only suffers from an expressive speech delay and occasional impulse control issues. I could tell he wasn't autistic from the first week I worked with him. He makes eye-contact, is very emotional, and also very affectionate. And he will bring a crying child a toy, a sign of empathy, which many autistic kids lack. Have you worked with or been around autistic people? I'm going to end this post and continue it in a separate post. I don't want to have this post be too long. In my next post, I will tell you about my "autism test" that confirmed my suspicions about the two kids I've mentioned here. Tune in next week for the next episode of Lost in Space...
16 people like this
17 responses
• Serbia
9 Oct
I have never been around autistic people. You give your best to help this chidren, that so nice from you. It must be hard and i think it requires patience and compasion.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
Patience and compassion are two attributes I believe I DO possess. I want everyone around me to live to their fullest potential.
1 person likes this
• Serbia
9 Oct
@TheHorse i believe you do. You are so noble and caring my friend. God bless you!
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
@CreativeMadness Either that or I fake it well.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Oct
There used to be another member here who would work with autistic children as well. I've dated someone on the spectrum but have never met a child with autism.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
What was it like dating someone on the spectrum? Was there frustration when they couldn't fully empathize with your emotions?
• United States
9 Oct
@TheHorse Actually, I think I probably lucked out quite a bit. He had aspberger's and while it could be frustrating when he couldn't empathize, I had very few times where I was ever truly frustrated with him. He told me from the get go "you have to tell me things and not expect me to just know by your body language, because I can't" and that helped a great deal. I don't talk to him often anymore, but he was a very good friend before and after.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
@ScribbledAdNauseum I had an Asperger's adult tell me, "I have a tendency to launch into discussions about WWII history. Just stop me if I go overboard." We were driving together. He did, and I did. It was funny. He recgognzed the humor in the situation.
@Corbin5 (159609)
• United States
9 Oct
I do hope someone at the new school will also be very attentive and understanding.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
My hunch is that they will. But, as I've written about, I've met some surprisingly bad teachers recently.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (159609)
• United States
9 Oct
@TheHorse I have seen quite a few bad teachers in action also.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
@Corbin5 I wonder how they got there and why they're still there.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (246212)
• Switzerland
10 Oct
There are two users here who have autistic kids, they are older than this one you are mentioning and for what I read from their posts are getting better with the age.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
I'm glad that they're doing better with age.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (246212)
• Switzerland
10 Oct
@TheHorse They are still pretty emotional and need special care, but they are better now.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
@LadyDuck Do they sometimes have the adult version of "tantrums"?
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (24048)
• Marion, Ohio
9 Oct
I hope the school is good for him.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
I do too. I will miss him.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (24048)
• Marion, Ohio
9 Oct
@TheHorse You might see him somewhere again. Hope you do.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
@wolfgirl569 I'd actually like to keep working with him. Perhaps I can figure out a way to do so. His parents aren't rich, though. Could I get the State or County to pay for my services? I'm not sure.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (13063)
• United States
9 Oct
I hope he finds someone at the new school that he connects with as much as he connects with you.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
I hope so too. I wonder if the fact that I'm male makes a difference.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (13063)
• United States
9 Oct
@TheHorse Maybe...and I didn't know that! lol
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
@LindaOHio He's so sweet. He doesn't rush to hug me when I show up like most of the kids do. But after I've been there awhile, he'll just show up, standing before me or behind me with his hand on my shoulder, saying something interesting.
1 person likes this
@rsa101 (22796)
• Philippines
10 Oct
I have a cousing that suffers from that behavior. He is already grown up and I think he's working already. When he was young it was kind of a struggle to really understand him since he would just stay in one corner at times speaking gibberish. But as he grew the parents manage to develop his communications skills and now he still is autistic but productive in his own level.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
What kind of work does he do?
1 person likes this
@rsa101 (22796)
• Philippines
10 Oct
@TheHorse I am not sure what work he does. But I think the work are not that heavy and it is monotonous one.
@celticeagle (123449)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Oct
The mind/brain has always been very interesting to me. So little we still do not know about it's workings.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
We actually know a lot. For example, I don't worry that much if a kid has expressive aphasia (Broca's area of the brain) so long as his or her language reception (understanding) is good (Wernicke's area). Development of the latter often precedes development of the former. I have informal "tests" I give kids with expressive aphasia to make sure that Wernicke's area functionimg OK. If it is, expressive language generally develops well in its own time.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (123449)
• Boise, Idaho
11 Oct
@TheHorse .......A lot but so much more to be learned. And language is so important. I think these tests are fascinating.
@JudyEv (174272)
• Bunbury, Australia
10 Oct
It's a shame your little buddy is moving on. I hope he finds someone to take your place who can connect with him on some level.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
I hope so as well. I work tomorrow, but with another group. I don't know if I'll see him.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (174272)
• Bunbury, Australia
13 Oct
@TheHorse It must be tough sometimes to 'love 'em and leave 'em' so to speak.
@FourWalls (21428)
• Louisville, Kentucky
9 Oct
My neighbor across the street is high-functioning autistic.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
Is s/he aware of the condition?
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (21428)
• Louisville, Kentucky
10 Oct
@TheHorse -- yes indeed. He's a great guy, too.
@CarolDM (45672)
• United States
9 Oct
I have a friend that has an autistic brother. I used to be around him years ago from time to time. He was all into his video games all the time, stayed to himself and seemed very smart. I didn't have a lot of direct interaction with him. I know you will miss this precious child.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
I may let his mom know that I've love to continue working with him.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (45672)
• United States
9 Oct
@TheHorse She would probably love that as much as you would.
1 person likes this
@Starmaiden (7976)
• Canada
9 Oct
My nephew is autistic. (He's an adult now) I also have a friend who is raising his 2 autistic grandchildren.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
What are some of the "symptoms" they show?
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Oct
@TheHorse The two young children don't speak at all. They don't associate with anyone and seem oblivious to all that goes on around them. My nephew is in his early 20's, has graduated highschool (in the special education group) and is very sociable. He is shy and will study you before he opens up in conversation. It's like he has to 'read' you first.
• United States
9 Oct
The son of my daughter's former BF (who is also the bio father of Little Miss) was exhibiting behaviors that I recognized as possibly being that of an autistic child. I mentioned it to my daughter first. She in turn mentioned it to his father. The boy was 3, almost 4 and never made eye contact with anyone. Conversations with him were difficult, although he could repeat a television commercial jingle word for word. When he returned the boy to his mother, he told her she needed to bring this up with his pediatrician. When she did, it was found that yes, he was autistic. I am not sure how he is doing now. Not even sure he is going to a special school that can help with his needs.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
Interesting story. I hope he is getting the help he needs.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Oct
@TheHorse I no longer have contact with the father. He has some issues that I don't need to be involved in. I do hope that the little guy is doing well though.
• Philippines
10 Oct
Nope I have not, but i think i have seen some. They say that people with autism is the next phase of evolution. So in my opinion they're not a disability.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
10 Oct
Who says that? Evidence in favor of that hypothesis would be the prevalence of autism in Silicon Valley.
@NJChicaa (68566)
• United States
9 Oct
I've seen a few autistic kids (and many Aspergers) at our school. I always feel badly for the autistic kids during pep rallies. They can't handle the noise and overstimulation. To be fair though. . . it is difficult for me as well with my anxiety.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
Yes, I've noticed that kids with autism AND OCD tendencies can't handle over-stimulation.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (27549)
• Denmark
9 Oct
I have a couple of friends who have Asperger. I have known them for many years and I am happy to have them in my life, but sometimes I notice the differences between me and them. One of them sometimes says things I would never say. I might THINK those things but I would keep the thoughts to myself or express them indirectly. Some of those things are not directly rude, but the comments are just things that most people wouldn't say. My friends struggle with the unwritten rules that I follow intuitively.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
I understand what you are saying. Tey might say things that are "true" ("you are fat and have a big nose") but aren't appropriate or relevant.
@marlina (85267)
• Canada
9 Oct
He must have felt a connection to you. My daugther in law works with 2 autistic children and said that it was very difficult.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (93672)
• Walnut Creek, California
9 Oct
It can be difficult. I should post about how I got through to one older (early teen) autistic kid using air traffic controller language.