Since its officially Autism Awareness month and there might be parents reading my blog who are either beginning their journey raising an Autistic child or they are curious and want more information, I thought I’d share this resource material. Just like every child is born different and are individuals, its is the same for people that are Autistic. Each Autistic person relates to part of this list of attributes in their own way .
As I was reading the list I thought I should look back and share how Johnny was at age 3 when he was diagnosed with a check list similar to this and then do another post and attempt to show what has changed even thought he will always be Autistic.
Going back in time 4 years…..when Johnny was 3
Repetitive Behaviours – Johnny really liked experiencing a cause and effect toy over and over again with limitless repetition even when he was just a little baby. The positive side is that we could use this natural urge to help teach him and embed a new skill because as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”
Unresponsive to Commands or Questions – Many times I would hear people comment when they could not get his attention that “he was in his own world again.” Sigh.
Delayed Speech & Language – Yes he lost all of his words he had learned by 2 and then was completely non-verbal until age 4 when he began to attempt word approximations.
Lack of Imitation of Others or Imaginative Play – Yes, as toddler he was not interested at all.
Indifferent To the Feelings of Others – Johnny has never been indifferent, but instead he has failed to show others his empathy in the way others expected.
Sensitivity of Light and Sound – Very sensitive to loud sounds especially unexpected loud sounds. He loves lights and is fascinated with them.
Self-Stimulatory Behaviours – hand flapping, watching things that spin,
Echolalia – N/A he could not talk when he was 3 so we didn’t hear it
Unusual Emotional Responses – laughing inappropriately when someone cries even though he knows its the wrong feelings he is showing. We think its a response to the anxiety he is feeling.
Frequent Temper Tantrums/ Meltdown – it was really hard then he was a toddler because he couldn’t tell me what was bothering him so very hard to help him.
Responds Adversely to Physical Affection, Hugs, Kisses etc – We had to teach him how to give a hug and he needs to work more on how to receive a hug and not run away or just lean in and let them hug his head.
Shows No Interest in Making Friends – at 3 Johnny was more happy playing by himself or with an adult then a peer
Does Not Initiate Conversation – N/A Johnny could not speak at 3 so no verbal conversation
Very Poor Diet – At 3 Johnny only liked eating 7 different foods and that was it.
Frequently Walks on tip-Toes As A Toddler – He did this all the time when he was too stimulated
Socially Withdrawn or Socially Awkward – When I look back, Johnny looked so sad when he was 3.
Shows Little Expressive Language – N/A Non Verbal at 3
Clumsiness – Johnny could suddenly fall down, fall off of a chair or bump into a doorway
Improper Use of Pronouns, Statements, and Questions – N/A he was non-verbal at 3
Unusual Tone or Rhythm of Speech – N/A he was non-verbal at 3
Self Injurious Behavior – This is hard one to type because yes he did at 3. He would slap his cheeks on his face very hard. He would also scratch his legs.
Frequently Makes Irrelevant Remarks – N/A he was non-verbal at 3
Difficulty With Abstract Language and Concepts – N/A he was non-verbal at 3
Preoccupied With One or Only A Few Narrow Interests – Yes. At 3 knew what he wanted to do and there was no changing his mind.
Need For Sameness – At 3 he loved routines.
Severe Tantrums When Routines Are Disrupted – Yes
Attachement to Unusual Objects Such As Car Parts, Leaves etc – Yes
Fascination with Spinning Objects or Spinning One’s Self – his favourite toy as a baby was a spinning rattle.
Very Good At Rote Memory Such As Repeating Lists or Facts – Yes. He has always had a very good memory which we are realizing how good now because he can share because he can talk now.
Johnny was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the medium to severe range of Classical Autism at age 3. My next post I will go over the “symptoms” list relate it too how he is doing today as he gets closer to turning 8.