Can you imagine being happy to have someone tell you your child may be Autistic? If you hear that from me, chances are, you ought to be happy! Why?
Before I answer that question, allow me to tell those who don’t know me a little bit about myself.
Firstly, you should know that I’ve been a parent for over thirty years. Though I didn’t get the chance to see each and every period of life for each of my children I’ve had a good deal of experience nonetheless. By the way, I count myself as a parent to at least four children (arguments can be made for a couple of others).
Secondly, the last of my four children is moderately Autistic (somewhere in the “middle” of the Autism spectrum).
Finally, I have been dealing with that level of Autism for the last seven (plus) years, and I spend much of my time with him alone. The result being that I have had a lot of experience not just dealing with Autism, but spotting it.
This is so much the case, that I have virtually never not been able to tell that an Autistic person who exhibits symptoms of at least moderate Autism, was Autistic. Obviously, I mean after dealing with my son, not before. Before dealing with him, I can only say that I don’t recall seeing very many Autistic folks—which probably means, I didn’t notice them.
What all of this means is, diagnosed or not, if your child is moderately or severely Autistic, I will very likely be able to tell that was the case. So if I say your undiagnosed child might be Autistic, it probably means they’re moderately so in the “worst case.”It also means they’re likely towards the “mild end of moderate,” again, at the very most.
By the way, that would be even more likely the case, if to this point, your child has not been diagnosed as beingAutistic at all. I think you would find that, most people caring for or otherwise dealing with at least moderate Autism would tell you that they had little choice but to recognize that their charge was different to an extent that required them to take action in behalf of the individual in question.
What that means is, if I am telling you it appears your child is Autistic, to begin with, it probably means they are truly most likely to be no more than mildly Autistic, though they may “qualify as” moderately Autistic (probably towards being mildly so).
Don’t get me wrong, even mild Autism is nothing to sneeze at. To say the least, it can be a very challenging thing for the Autistic individual and those helping to guide them through life. By comparison to more severe Autism though, most mild Autism is relatively easy to deal with in the long term.
The thing is though, when I say it seems possible your child is Autistic, not being a person trained to diagnose Autism, it’s also possible they’re not Autistic at all.
On the other hand, if I am correct, and the individual about whom I “make the guess” actually is Autistic, the fact that it was not entirely obvious to me, they were Autistic, the chances are good as I have said, they’re only mildly so.
That’s just a part of the reason you should be happy. Another piece, is that, if your child is Autistic, it may answer a bunch of questions about apparent “bad behavior,” and potential learning issues. It may also explain some things you might not have expected, for example, you may be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t little Johnny or little Jane have any friends?” or “Why do people look at my child as ‘weird?’”
These are potentially things that—believe it or not—even a mildly Autistic individual may deal with all throughout life.
You may not be able to do a great deal about how other people view your child, though knowing they’re Autistic may actually help you learn or know how to deal with that to some degree.
Sometimes, for example, just being able to explain that your little boy’s or girl’s “brain doesn’t work like the brains of ‘normal’ kids,” can help parents of playmates, classmates or even total strangers to at least grasp the fact that your child is not “trying to be” weird or different. That alone may give your child enough “latitude” to make it possible for him or her to “make friends.”
In a more significant case, you may find that your child is struggling to keep up in school, doesn’t vocalize or verbalize well, or seems to be “off track” with those around him or her much of the time. Obviously, the aforementioned can be “combinative.” That is, “Your child may deal with more than one of the symptoms.”
This may be cause for either you, or the school or daycare in which your child finds him or her self to at least be dealt with differently for part of the day. It may even be a reason for your child to be in a “special classroom” (often only for a limited period of time). This may sound bad, but in reality, it can make it so the kid in question has a much better chance of living a relative “normal” life in future.
In the end, the point is, if someone like me (a person who has dealt with Autism for years, and relatively closely) tells you your child may be Autistic (regardless the “level”), it would probably be in your best interest to listen.
You’re better off heeding the statement of such a person and them being incorrect, than to ignore that person, and have them be correct.
So if I or somebody like me, tells you your child may be Autistic, my simple advice to you is, “Listen, but take it with a grain of salt, and seek to have it verified.”
Okay, I guess I’m about done yammering.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.