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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Talk to me About Autism

    So I have a part time spot available, and a woman contacted me today about her son, who is 2 and a half and has mild autism. She mentions that he is very easy to transition, is gentle, and although not very verbal, is happiest around other children. I am excited. I feel like he would be a good fit for our group. Is that weird that I am excited?? I think I am partly excited that it's not another infant inquiry, and another part of me is excited for the challenge.

    Am I being delusional?

    Do any of you have experience with autism? Mild autism? Anyone with autistic children? I am reading like a madwoman, and can't wait to meet this family.

  2. #2
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    I know several children with varying degrees of autism. The autism spectrum is so broad and encompasses so many other disorders that it is hard to say what you will come across. Being that it is mild autism, it may not be overly evident that the child even has autism.
    I would have no problems meeting with the mom and child to see if they fit into my program. I would just make sure the mom gives me detailed descriptions on his routine, his interests, what may or may not upset him, how to calm him when/if he gets upset, etc...

    Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I don't have experience but I'm sure when you talk to the parents you will find out lots of organizations that have helped the family already. If it were me and I accepted the family into care I would make sure they are taking good care to help their child cope and thrive and I would want to some research so I knew what to expect and how to give the best care to the child. It sounds a little frightening. Will you have the time to give the special attention while caring for 4 other children? Those would be my main concerns. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Ashleigh, most definitely a good idea to get a very firm sense of his routine etc during the interview so that I can decide if he would thrive here. I will definitely focus on this when I meet with them.

    Momof4, not sure that I will use any outside resources to help care for the child, but it's worth looking into for sure. I don't feel frightened at all! I am excited. I do think that I will have the time for a little special attention, as all of my kids (except one at nap time) are settled nicely. I only have four at a time, too. It's a very good point about seeing how the parents are approaching his autism, and whether they're interested enough to have taken measures to help. I do acknowledge that naps will still be chaos for a while, especially if this new child has any sleep issues.

  5. #5
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    Alpha,

    I worked with autistic children for 7 years with the school board. PM me with any questions you might have. I'd be happy to share some of my experiences with you

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  7. #6
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    My nephew is on the "spectrum". Very high functioning, though, which is what this little boy sounds like. We treat him just like any other child, with the idea that some things may be slightly different, but the same rules apply to him. For example, he is insanely picky about what toys he plays with. That's fine, but he is still expected to share, and not grab things from other people, or take toys away. As in, we understand that there may be a difference in HIS reactions to situations, but OUR reactions are consistent. He thrives on routine, knowing what is coming next. He is incredibly smart, and has practically a photographic memory. He throws one HELL of a tantrum when he wants to, but I personally think that's a parenting issue as opposed to an autism issue. They don't use the coping skills that they have been taught.
    I don't like to discuss autism with people, because my personal regard for the current medical profession's "treatment" is not very high. While I agree that there are children that have a very real problem, I believe that too many kids are being given this "label". This diminishes from the children who do indeed, need the help. But that... is a discussion for another day.
    I think you should go for it, as long as you get a good feeling from the parents. Like any high/special needs child, you will need to have a good working relationship with them, with open communication and all of you on the same page. It sounds like mom's very upfront, and wanting to be involved. GOOD LUCK!!

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  9. #7
    Expansive... dodge__driver11's Avatar
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    Honestly Alpha its all in how the parents handle it---I had one boy in my care last year that had VERY HIGH NEEDS, and the parents were in total denial about what he needed or how to handle his "behavioral outburtsts" and tantrums. He was 11 and very strong for his age, and in the end, he wasn't a good fit.

    That being said, I have no doubt that if the parents are HONEST about what thier boy needs and what they expect from you, that it will be a wonderful addition, and a good social exp. for your group.

  10. #8
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    I have a situation where I am convinced he boy I have - 3 years is on the autism spectrum but have tried everythign to convince his parents of issues without coming out and saying get him tested for autism please since I am not in a position to diagnose just believe to myself. Luckily I have some stuff from my teaching days on how to deal with some of the issues and for him it is more the sensory angle of things so just knowing when to back off and when to force him is working but he will start school in Sept and he should have been receiving help before school not after the fact when critical periods will have been missed. I only have him 2 days a week. The rest of the time he is one on one with an adult at home or grandma which is part of the reason they don't see that he can not interact with other children - not won't interact can't big difference.

  11. #9
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    I worked with children with autism for a while in treatment centres, it's what I went to school for and did before I opened my daycare. Like the ladies said it is a VERY big spectrum. After you meet him, PM me and I'd be able to give you more information based on what you tell me.
    When interviewing look for a few things
    Is he able to be engaged? Interested in doing activities?
    Does he interact with other children? How?
    Is he shy with you? excited about you?
    How does he react to touch?
    Ask about how he shows anger and frustration. How is it handled?
    Ask about his reaction to public places: at ease? overwhelmed?
    Ask for his triggers (things that produce instant negative reactions)
    What are his coping mechanisms (rocking, picking, rubbing, shutting down? etc.)
    Ask for the story of how he was diagnosed. When did they notice changes, what were they?


    These things will help you get a handle on whether he would fit into your program and help me give you any tips I have

    You might not even be able to tell that he is different or you may see it right away

    Anything you try to teach him could take a bit (or a lot) longer than other children. You need to be prepared to have A Lot of patience.

    Your not silly for being excited but I would do a VERY good screening and make sure that taking him on will not affect the other children negatively.

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  13. #10
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac View Post
    I worked with children with autism for a while in treatment centres, it's what I went to school for and did before I opened my daycare. Like the ladies said it is a VERY big spectrum. After you meet him, PM me and I'd be able to give you more information based on what you tell me.
    When interviewing look for a few things
    Is he able to be engaged? Interested in doing activities?
    Does he interact with other children? How?
    Is he shy with you? excited about you?
    How does he react to touch?
    Ask about how he shows anger and frustration. How is it handled?
    Ask about his reaction to public places: at ease? overwhelmed?
    Ask for his triggers (things that produce instant negative reactions)
    What are his coping mechanisms (rocking, picking, rubbing, shutting down? etc.)
    Ask for the story of how he was diagnosed. When did they notice changes, what were they?


    These things will help you get a handle on whether he would fit into your program and help me give you any tips I have

    You might not even be able to tell that he is different or you may see it right away

    Anything you try to teach him could take a bit (or a lot) longer than other children. You need to be prepared to have A Lot of patience.

    Your not silly for being excited but I would do a VERY good screening and make sure that taking him on will not affect the other children negatively.
    Thanks, lady! I am going to have all your questions/lists of observations on paper for when they come. VERY VERY helpful. I will deffo pm you and michelle both after we've interviewed.

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