Jump to content


kbutton and OhElizabeth.... maybe you will like this one?


Recommended Posts

I need time to process it. It's a little weird. The lady mentions that her boy only just started interactive play. They still treat him like Quasimodo. Those kids might be familiar but he still needs friends based on common interests. I think those will tend to be ADHD/ASD kids. And that boy was lower IQ. Gifted ASD is much more intense. But the behavior like the kicking, yeah that's my ds. But if I tried to have him with kids it would NOT look like that. He shows no affection or response to pain, wouldn't notice if the left, and would either run them or forget them or bang into them and disrupt. I'm saying SS got it to look a lot swankier than it looks at my house. That would be moving up. And that boy was 8/9 where their audience is 3-5. So even if it comes at age 9, at 3-5 it won't look like that. Or I have a hell child.


But I guess the mom can whine about NT kids not wanting to play when they're never GOING to. Get him access to another pool and maybe that would change. Or maybe only NT kids are good enough for her kid. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not saying it is all sunshine and roses, but that is a pretty pessimistic view.  


I think at a certain point you have a choice:  focus on the differences, or focus on a common humanity.


At a certain point, it is valuable to focus on differences.  At a certain point, it is important to focus on a common humanity.


I think it is very important to have a deep foundation of "we are all people, we are a lot alike" and then on top of that, have differences.  


But I think it is best to have two focuses, one that is "we are all people, we can find value in each other."  And two, "we also have a need to be friends with people who are like us."  But if you look at one of those focuses, and think "well, if I value one, then I don't value the other, because they are opposite," then I don't think that is helpful.  


I think it is helpful to say "well, these are two ideas that could be seen as opposing, but they can also be very complementary and balanced."  


I think that is a valid critique, to say that only one is focused on.  


But, I think it is over-assuming to think that only one has value, and that people are picking sides, and they either pick one side "I want my child to have some NT friends, I want to be able to continue my pre-child friendships with our kids growing up together" OR they pick the side "well, I am only going to be friends with special needs parents now, all my friendships will be based on my child having other ASD/ADHD friendships only."  


But I think those are not mutually exclusive things.  


I do agree there can be too much focus on "the value of being around NT peers" but I think in context, it is often just a response to a mindset of "let's put all the special needs kids together in their own room."


But I think that ideally both are good and valued, with a balance.  


But just one way or the other, I think either way is limiting.  




  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I'm coming at this from the perspective of a parent of an NT kid who has had some interactions at preschool with kids on the spectrum.


Kittygirl attends a really awesome play and discovery based parent-teacher cooperative preschool that welcomes both typical kids and special needs kids. The vast majority of kids are NT, but, because the school is so open and embracing, sometimes parents of special needs kids choose to send their kids there. I don't think all kids on the spectrum would do well at the school, but I've seen it work well for two higher functioning autistic kids. The other kids sometimes try to engage them and sometimes just leave them alone, but the teachers do their best to teach the kids to be kind to all of their classmates and to welcome other kids into their play. "Everybody can play at Coop School" is a common phrase.


A boy started in the two's class with her two years ago and didn't really know how to interact with other kids. He threw frequent tantrums and it got to the point where they had to ask his mother to come back to the building during circle time in case he became so disruptive the class couldn't continue. However, by the end of the year he was improving. The second year he still didn't always know how to interact with other kids and still sometimes threw tantrums, but not to the extent he did last year. He made a best friend who was NT and they often had playdates outside of school. Sadly, his dad got a new job last spring and the family moved away. HIs mom said she wasn't sure she could find another preschool that was so accepting of him. Now, of course he was receiving occupational therapy and working on social skills at home all this time too, but I really think the environment of the school helped him a lot.


This year a girl on the spectrum has moved up from the two's class to the 3-5 year old class. She's different from the boy. She's often in her own world and has little interest in engaging with other kids. However, the other girls still sometimes invite her to join their games. Two months in, I'm starting to see her talk to the other kids more than she did in the beginning of the year. 


So I say this to say that SOME autistic kids really can have relationships with NT kids, in the right environment. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son was in special needs pre-school, with half kids with and half kids without some kind of special need.


He started out not responding to other kids wanting to play with him.  The teachers talk to the kids about how it is still nice to invite him to play, and they keep inviting him.


In his second year at pre-school, he started responding to kids inviting him to play, and he had some things he would do with other kids when they played outside.  


Now he responds pretty regularly to other kids inviting him to play, but he usually doesn't respond verbally.  He just goes over by them and participates.  We are trying to get him to talk in these situations.


Then, we are also trying to get him to initiate.  


He initiates at home with his siblings, but he doesn't at school or in other settings yet.  


I have seen kids who were in pre-school with him, who started out with some responding in their first year, but no initiating, who respond very well now, and are making progress in initiating.  


But it takes kids who will keep initiating to kids, instead of quitting after a few times of getting no response.  It also takes kids who will respond to a child who initiates but doesn't do it really well (yet).  That is needed for children to have an opportunity to increase their skills.  


I really think these are just life skills.  Maybe you don't need this to hang out with some ASD friends, and that is great, but it is still basic building blocks for just plain functional living.  



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OhE, there's a lot of positive and hope if we seek it out. I have been reading Grandin's "Different... not Less" and there are so many encouraging stories in there! I get you have not been in the right place right now, which is why I did not suggest it. Praying for the best for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me personally, it has been an easy conversation to have when people say (common stereotype, but not a "the child is not capable of emotional connection with any other person, the child is locked in an internal prison" stereotype)..... "oh, does that mean your son doesn't like to be touched?"  B/c that is a common stereotype, but one that is coming from a place of "I am interested in connecting with your son, but I don't want to do it in a way that will not be helpful to him."  So it is very easy for me to say, that he doesn't mind being touched in general, and go from there to "he likes to give high fives."  Or "ask him such-and-such."  


All the stereotypes that are "autism can be this way" but that include a message of "go ahead and try to engage," are all ones I can easily handle, b/c there is a foundation of a person who is interested, and just looking for the right way to go about it.  Or, for the right explanation for their kids.  


Not that I am a round-the-clock autism ambassador, because I really am not.  But it comes up when it comes up.


I am fine with any general message that includes that my son is inherently worth trying to engage or interact with.


I am not fine with the much-older stereotypes of a kind of in-human or incapable-of-learning or incapable-of-loving-his-mother child, that I think exists with some much older people, and then I will get only pitying comments and ZERO effort (from certain people) to try to smile at my son, say hi to him, speak to him, etc.  I cannot stand that.


In the face of that, I am pretty fine with all the generally-positive messages, even if it means I will explain "oh, my son is different in this way," and give a small explanation.  It is too easy to say that something is expressed in a different way b/c my son has sensory needs but he is generally sensory seeking instead of sensory avoidant.  And similar things.  (Though to be fair, I used to dread things like this much more, but we are coming up on the 3-year anniversary of my son's diagnosis, and is has been a lot easier since the first year, as I have been more comfortable and more knowledgeable about what information is helpful to share..... at first I did not even know a lot of things myself.)  


I may be starting from a pretty low level and not expecting much nuance, though.


I read the LA Times article, and I think it is great, with that explanation, that they picked a girl partly b/c of a stereotype that "only boys have autism."  That is something that could help a lot of girls.  And, it can help a lot of boys, too, by taking it away from the "he is just acting like a boy" place that some people get caught up in (in unhelpful ways).  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been a really busy week! I'm building up my youngest son's school time to 5 hours with one break, trying to keep up with his other passions (he likes having me involved), and have a migraine on top of that. Reading is really difficult when I have a migraine so I just managed to get through the article.


To discuss the gifted thing a bit first, I don't think that saying that ASD gifted kids are more intense is an accurate description. The levels and forms of intensity can vary greatly among ASD only kids, gifted kids, and gifted kids with ASD. Not all gifted kids exhibit high levels of intensity. Common sense, to me, says that a gifted ASD child will exhibit a combination of signs from the gifted world and the world of autism. That has been my experience in my home and that is as far as I go on the gifted topic. Too much emphasis on giftedness from those around me growing up has affected my life. With my boys, I give value to their passions. I encourage them, get involved as much as they want me involved, and my husband and I do anything in our power to give them the tools they need to advance in those areas. I just try to balance everything in any given day. This is why I try to find methods that fit my kids and blend well into our day when tackling some of the challenges autism brings. I don't compare my kids or look at what works for others. I just look at what will fit them.


Coming to the article, it describes exactly how I saw their new character, Julia. This is why I feel they have done a wonderful job of approaching autism. I was actually thrilled that they chose a girl. It didn't even occur to me that this would be an issue with others! Girls NEED this recognition! So many are now, as adults, coming out and getting evaluations. It's on my to do list as well but my primary focus is on my boys at the moment. I don't come at this from the NT perspective though, so I can see that others will have different feelings on the matter. I also was not looking for this new character to be representative of my kids. They touched the most obvious markers and even showed that she is smart. They represented autism in a very respectful way as far as I am concerned. I feel this can help, not just the NT world see what autism can look like, but also parents that may have not realized their child may be on the spectrum. A post on the K-8 boards opened that door for me. Julia can be that door for many others.


In closing, I just wanted to say that I did not want to leave without clarifying certain things. I come and I go. It's the way I am. I seek out people but I mostly enjoy solitude. It helps me reflect and grow. I want to clarify that I do not hold any animosity towards anyone. I am just returning to my solitude, reading, and reflection. That's what my "me" time is and the kind of me time I enjoy. I know that most can't understand this but I was the kid that could have many friends, function well socially, but still go home feeling empty at the end of a social outing. This is not because I could not empathize. I over empathize sometimes and it takes a lot out of me! I cannot always relate to what people find as being important in the NT world though. This is why I prefer processing things on my own.


This is all I had to say and now I think I am ready to walk away :) All the best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...