Living with someone who has an autism spectrum disorder or ASD is completely challenging. You have to understand that marriage is going to be difficult to handle. Notwithstanding this difficulty, it is still possible to live a happy life. There will be problems and struggles along the way, but as long as you keep your vow to stay for the rest of your life with your autistic husband, then everything will become more comfortable as days go by. The trials will be apparent during the first few months of the marital union. However, the longer you stay in the relationship, the more you will realize that your partner’s mental condition does not get in the way of your marriage.
The thought of introducing your boyfriend to your parents is terrifying. What if they will not like the person that you are currently dating? What if your teenage lover ends up making a big mistake in front of your mom or dad? What if something goes wrong during the introduction? These are just some of the things that are probably making you feel anxious about this matter.
Autism Spectrum Therapies
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the common mental illnesses in children. Kids with ASD have difficulty connecting with others. They experience different challenges, which prevent them from building friendships or relationships.
Most of the time, these young ones also encounter trouble in communicating with those surrounding them. Because of this, children with autism often struggle with so many things in their lives.
“Traditionally, intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has focused upon reducing interfering behavior and teaching language, academic and self-help skills.” Marlene Driscoll, MA, LMFT said. If you are one of the parents with kids suffering from autism spectrum disorder, then be sure to read the rest of this article. In this write-up, we are going to address the favorite questions asked by other moms who also have children with autism:
Autism Spectrum Therapies:
“Is There Something I Can Do About It?”
Luckily, there are many ways on how you could handle ASD. All you have to do is to understand what are the symptoms and implications of the illness. Once you have a clear understanding and overview of the disorder, it will be easier on your part to deal with the condition. After this, what you need to do is to know the exact diagnosis of your child’s mental health. This is where you need to see a doctor and engage his services for consultation. “It is important to help people with autism notice when they are stuck on details. Over time they can get in the habit of recognizing when they are focused at the detail level and learn to zoom out to see the big picture.” John Strang, Psy.D. explains.
Autism Spectrum Therapies:
“Should I Bring Him To A Therapist?”
Therapy can help your kid in so many ways. As such, it is highly recommended that you find the perfect therapist who could handle the medical condition of your child. A good therapist could teach your little one how to act accordingly and communicate appropriately. The therapy sessions will be made personal and exclusive for your child. This means that your kid will receive special attention during the meeting with the therapist. The treatment plan is created based on the attending circumstances and essentials matters present in your child’s case. “Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.” Chris Corbett, PsyD said.
Autism Spectrum Therapies:
“What Makes Him Special?”
A child with autism is undeniably someone with special needs. This is the reason why they must be given distinct attention at all times. As much as possible, you must never leave your child all by himself. There must be someone who will watch over him while you are away. Take note that your kid can be awkward in a social group. He usually has no idea what to do or act. For this reason, it is imperative that someone must be there for him at all times. Keep in mind that autism has adverse effects too and this is something you need to prepare yourself with.
Autism Spectrum Therapies, Autism Spectrum Therapies
If you still have other questions that are not answered in this article, the smart thing to do is to research it. Read more books about the condition. Do not hesitate to check videos and documentaries highlighting autism spectrum disorder and therapies. At the same time, you can also ask your questions about your child’s therapist or psychiatrist. Do not be shy or hesitant when it comes to asking questions or making inquiries. Remember always to make your child feel that he has your full attention, love, and support.
One of the developmental disorders common in children is autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions about this mental health problem. Not everyone is aware of the implications when a child is diagnosed with ASD. In this article, we are going to provide some of the necessary information about this disorder as well as the role of psychiatry in its treatment.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
“Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is more common that we realize and there are increasing numbers of high-functioning adults who are self-identifying or being diagnosed.” That is according to Eva A. Mendes LMHC. When we speak of autism spectrum disorder, it refers to a condition that is characterized by impaired social behavior and difficulty in communication. This neurological condition can be classified into different levels, which is why the disorder is considered as one having a spectrum. This means that there are different combinations of symptoms and severity for the children with autism. As such, you cannot find two autistic individuals who behave similarly. Most likely, each autistic child possesses unique characteristics.
What Are The Characteristics Of ASD?
As already mentioned above, you cannot find two kids with autism who behave or appear similarly. There is a specific range of symptoms. Below are the standard categories of characteristics:
- Problems In Communication – “Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes difficulties in many areas, with varying degrees of severity, most notably with social interaction and communication.” Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT elaborates. Children with autism may go through challenges when it comes to an understanding or use of language. Some may use other alternatives to communicate efficiently. There are also those who need repetitive words or sentences before they can get the message.
- Having Anti-Social Concerns – This is where the trouble in connecting with other individuals come in. Kids with autism experience difficulty in making friends or interacting with the people surrounding them. They cannot use body language or facial expressions to share what they have in mind. Some of them also have fears of making eye contact.
- Requires Repetitive Movements – Because of their difficulty in connecting with people and in communicating with others, they need special attention. As such, parents, teachers and friends of autistic children must know how to use repetitive movements or sounds so that the latter could have a complete understanding of the message.
How Can A Psychiatrist Help?
The assistance of a psychiatrist is essential in improving the condition as well as the mental health of the kids with an autism spectrum disorder. Its role is to provide a complete diagnosis and treatment plan for the disorder. He needs to ensure that the child undergoes a thorough process of examinations before making a diagnosis. When choosing a psychiatrist, it is essential to look for a professional who specializes in handling autism cases in children. Robert Jason Grant Ed.D, LPC, RPT-S, ACAS emphasizes that “The uniqueness and ever-changing information about ASD require mental health professionals to be consistently upgrading their knowledge and training and staying focused on best practices.”
Dealing with autism in children is not an easy thing to do. It can be complicated at times. This is why it requires a consolidated effort of several people to ensure success. Parents cannot only rely on the assistance and help of professionals in the healthcare industry. They are the individuals who are primarily responsible for the well being of their kids. This is the reason why both mothers and fathers must work hand in hand in treating ASD.
There are several ways on how to deal with a difficult situation in your life. For example, you can talk to a family member or a close friend about your problem. At the same time, you can also try to engage in exciting activities that will fuel your passion or desire. Another effective way of getting over a sad experience is to go through counseling. Nowadays, online therapy has become an option for several people who are going through mental health illnesses. Continue reading Online Therapy: For You?
My vision started to get blurry. I was having a hard time processing what this guy in front of me was saying. My mind starts wandering, thinking about what would happen to my poor child now. I felt terribly helpless for my kid.
Studies show that around 30 to 90 percent of people with autism ignore or overreact to familiar sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations. The Simons Simplex Collection autism research project showed that 68% of children who participated had unusual sensory interests and about 65% have sensitivities to noise.
Your child may be one who belongs to the group with noise or sound sensitivity where it can be painful and cause a panic attack. When this happens, your child will have difficulty focusing on the task he is doing, escalating his anxiety level. Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC explains that “An anxious or angry child is in flight-or-fight mode with their body primed to handle a perceived threat.”
Loud sounds may seem ordinary to us – the sound of the washing machine, sounds of a motorcycle, barking dogs, ringing bells, an approaching train – but to a child with autism, such noises can cause him to cover his ears and cry. Reducing the noise by taking him for a stroll in the woods, visiting a church, or going to the library can make him more relaxed and focused.
Categorization Sound Sensitivity
- Hyperacusis is the person’s intolerance to daily conversational sounds. It is said to be related to having tinnitus.
- Susceptibility to sound once it reaches the frequency that is intolerable is said to be related to autism. A person may tolerate some sounds at their average level but becomes intolerable at given frequencies.
- Recruitment is distinctly linked to the person’s nerve deafness. Due to damaged hair cells, one cannot perceive the sound, but when it increased to a particular decibel level, the healthy hair cells are “recruited” to spread the sound, and the person experiences a sharp rise in sound perception which can shock him and may cause pain.
- Phonophobia is the fear of sound or fear of possible exposure to sounds, especially loud ones.
- Misophonia which is the emotional reaction to certain sounds may lead to anger or rage. It could be soft sounds, like the sound that one makes while eating or breathing.
How Noise Can Be Reduced And Improve Autism’s Tolerance
Amy Keefer PhD, a clinical psychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders, says, “Another potential stress reducer is practicing acceptance,” Dr. Keefer said. “Parents who accept where their child is today seem to do better.”It’s important to help your child with autism manage or tolerate noise and enjoy them rather than fear them.
- Visit an audiologist to help you pinpoint which type of sensitivity is affecting your child’s quality of life.
- Provide relief. They can be in the form of earphones or earplugs which can offer immediate comfort.
- Make a list of places where he feels safe and encourages him to participate – being in a library, walking in the forest, playing in the park, or attending services and social events in the church.
- Help him control some noises that affect him negatively, like have him around when you’re using the washing machine, let him enjoy using it and explain what it does, until he becomes comfortable with its sound. Allowing him to play with cute little bells will make him more familiar with it until he learns to identify sounds and its sources wherever he goes.
- Give him something to distract him from the noise, like an iPad or TV or let him hold his favorite toy.
- Gradual desensitization may help relieve noise sensitivity. First, try to observe from a distance and then slowly take a step closer given the opportunity. Reading books about stories of firefighters, imitating the sound of sirens, buying him a firefighter costume, and make-believe play will help him be familiar with the sound until the sound of sirens and alarms don’t bother him that much anymore.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy involves listening to broadband pink noise to familiarize a person through the ringing in the ears. It can help someone with hyperacusis to regain tolerance to sound.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is recommended for phonophobia and anxiety. The therapist teaches the person how to self-manage his emotions and some coping skills. It aims to rework someone’s thought process regarding the cause of his anxiety to increase his quality of life.
- Often, hyperacusis or tinnitus is due to a deficiency in magnesium and other minerals. If this emerged to be the case for your child, ask your doctor if nutritional supplements can be of help.
- Food additives, like the ones that belong to the salicylate family, are related to noise sensitivity. Some diets, such as a diverse whole food diet, eradicate those additives to help reduce sensitivity to sounds.
The world is an overly noisy place. Some may be able to tolerate it, but others just cannot. If you notice such sound sensitivity in your child, have him get evaluated so you can seek guidance on how to properly handle these sound issues.
“Autism tends to shine a bright light on whatever issues were already there.” Janeen Herskovitz, MA, LMHC said. Don’t let your child’s hypersensitive hearing hinder him to enjoy music, sounds, and other activities.
[Discrediting The Myth]
One of the most common and wrong misconceptions about people diagnosed with ASD is that they are not interested in romantic and sexual relationships, that people on the autism spectrum have no interest regarding human interaction that involves social and communication skills. It is very wrong. We cannot generalize the population of people with autism to be incapable of love and intimacy.
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have higher chances of landing a job if they undergo cognitive enhancement therapy.
Let us talk about the different tips on how you can travel with your child who has autism – with less or no hassle at all.
I will be sharing with you some insights from research and experience on how to deal with the side of the spectrum when you want to bring a child with autism somewhere nice for a vacation. I hope this can help you in some ways to turn an autistic buddy into your engaging traveling buddy.
Overwhelming Tantrums And Meltdowns
When your child has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can mean that your child’s social development is affected in many ways. He may have a hard time communicating with others, unable to interact appropriately in different casual situations, and may lack the ability to concentrate or focus on some tasks. ASD has a variety of conditions that affect his behavior, especially in social progress. “People with ASD are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” Eva A. Mendes LMHC also added.
Autism is more common among boys than girls. Studies show that roughly millions of individuals are diagnosed with autism. It is a common conception that genes are the primary cause of autism. There are also studies stating that there are many situations on how a child developed autism, including environmental, biological and genetic factors. “Autism is a result of neurological differences in the structure of the brain that distinguish it from what we call the neurotypical brain. It is not mental illness or a personality disorder.” Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC elaborates further.
People with autism are predisposed to having tantrums and meltdowns. Tantrums are their signs of a need for attention or control. People with autism do this if they feel they are not satisfied or are not comfortable with their current situation. They even have tantrums as a means to get what they want. On the other hand, meltdowns are far more different. Meltdown is the violent expression of feeling that occurred when triggered by stressors such as noise in the environment, confusion because of their intellectual difficulties, and difficulties in expressing themselves emotionally.
Handling Your Kid With Autism
Patience is of most importance, which you should always carry with you to manage the tantrums and meltdowns and unwanted circumstances with a clear mind.
You must be equipped with a broad scope of information especially when your buddy gets uneasy.
Be very prepared and attentive to all kinds of situations that you and your buddy will encounter because you cannot know if this is an agent of his stressor. Your buddy is hypersensitive when it comes to things or environments new to him.
Traveling with your autistic child through land and air can be a hard task. It is a new environment for him and it usually takes more hours of patience in having to be still which is very uncomfortable for him. “Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation.” Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP said.
Securing the best seat in the vehicle for your child helps make him feel comfortable especially on long travels. You can have short discussions about how he can handle himself during long trips. Ask him about what things he would like to bring and toys he will play later to reduce the stress and anxiety of the environment that’s new to him.
Be sure to pack all the things you know that your son needs and stuff he might want or look for, like his favorite book, stuffed toys, or pillows. The last thing that you want to avoid would be the tantrums, especially if he does not get what he wants.
Make him familiar with traveling, especially with airplanes, so as to have less trouble when you are about to go. You can do make-believe plays when you intend to travel by plane. Know your kid’s rights when traveling within the US by making yourself familiar with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA, 14 CFR 382), because no one should discriminate your child when flying.
Be sure to play relaxing music that he loves on your gadget that can calm him or distract him when he is having an attack. Music can help him sleep and not focus more on the chattering noise of the passengers and the plane engines when you are about to take off and even upon landing. And also, avoid watching television on the trip because the content may act as a stimulus for a meltdown.
Before traveling, be sure to have a visit to his doctor to give him a clearance to fly. You may also request his doctor to prescribe him sleeping pills to ensure that he will be sleeping during the whole trip.
Knowing the necessary precautions before having a trip with your autistic child is a must. It will reduce the cost and hassle for you and your buddy and will make the trip enjoyable for both of you.