Specific Parenting Techniques for Children and Teens with ASD Level 1

Stories from Parents and How They Discovered Their Child was on the Autism Spectrum

Told by Jayne and Charles Z.—

“On a Saturday morning, my husband and I were enjoying our steaming cups of coffee while basking in the sunlight that was streaming through the windows of our cozy kitchen. Our three-year-old son, Jack, was playing with his toys in the living room, and we could hear the sound of his laughter and joyous chatter.

As we were chatting, we couldn't help but notice that Jack seemed to be in his own world, lost in his thoughts and completely unaware of our presence. His behavior was becoming increasingly repetitive, and he seemed to be struggling to connect with us and other children.

We took Jack to his pediatrician, who referred us to a specialist for further evaluation. After several tests and assessments, we were told that Jack had autism. The news hit us like a ton of bricks. We were overwhelmed with a range of emotions - fear, sadness, confusion.
==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Parents' Comprehensive Handbook

But we refused to let the diagnosis define our son. We were determined to help Jack in every way we could. We enrolled him in therapy and started working with him at home to improve his communication and social skills. We learned everything we could about autism and how best to support Jack.

It was a challenging road, and there were times when we felt exhausted and overwhelmed. But we never gave up. We were determined to help our son overcome any obstacles that came his way.

Over time, we began to see improvements in Jack's behavior and communication. His laughter became more frequent, his smile more radiant. He started to make eye contact more often, and he even began to say a few words. It was a joy to see our son making progress, and we felt proud of every milestone he achieved.

Looking back on that day when we received the diagnosis, we realize that it was the beginning of a journey. It was a journey that taught us so much about ourselves, our son, and the world. We are grateful for the resources and support that have helped us along the way, and we are proud of the progress that Jack has made.”


Told by Shelley H.—

“It was a summer day, and our family had decided to spend a lazy afternoon at the park. Our daughter,  Lily, was playing on the swings, and we were watching her with pride and joy. But then, something caught our attention. Lily's behavior was different from the other children. She was flapping her hands and seemed to be lost in her own world. It was as if she was in her own little bubble, oblivious to everything else around her. We watched her for some time, trying to understand what was happening.

As time passed, we noticed more unusual behavior. Lily would avoid eye contact, had difficulty communicating and would become easily overwhelmed in crowded places. We were concerned and knew we had to take action. We decided to take her to a specialist, hoping to get some answers.

After several tests, the news we received was not what we had expected. Our daughter had autism. It was a shock, and we felt a range of emotions - from fear to sadness to uncertainty. We wanted to do everything we could to help our daughter.
==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Parents' Comprehensive Handbook

We began to work with therapists and educators to help Lily develop the skills she needed to thrive. We were amazed at the different types of therapies and interventions available, from speech therapy to occupational therapy to behavioral therapy. We tried several of them to see what worked best for Lily. We also found a community of other families who had children with autism, and they became a source of support and encouragement. We shared our experiences with them and learned from their wisdom and insights.

It wasn't always easy. We had many ups and downs, and there were moments when we felt overwhelmed and discouraged. But we kept pushing forward, knowing that our daughter deserved the best possible support. Over time, we saw Lily make progress that we never thought was possible. She began to communicate more effectively, form friendships, and develop interests that brought her joy. Now, she's a thriving young adult who has taught us so much about love, perseverance, and what it truly means to be a family.”


Told by Jason and Lisa M.—

“When my partner and I first welcomed our little one into the world, we were absolutely ecstatic. Every moment with her felt like a precious gift. As time went on, however, we began to notice that she was experiencing developmental differences compared to other children her age.

At first, we tried our best to remain positive and patient, believing that she would eventually catch up. But as the weeks and months went by, we couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right. Our daughter struggled with social interactions and had difficulty understanding our emotions.

Despite our best efforts to stay optimistic, we couldn't help but feel concerned for our daughter's future. Finally, we decided to take her to a specialist to see if there was anything we should be worried about.

We thought that every child develops at their own pace and that our daughter just needed a bit more time to catch up. But as time went on, we couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right. Our daughter struggled with social interactions, had difficulty making eye contact, and seemed to lack empathy for others.

We tried to remain patient and positive, but deep down, we were worried. We knew that we needed to find answers and support for our child. So, we decided to consult with a specialist who could help us better understand what was happening.
==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Parents' Comprehensive Handbook

The specialist ran a thorough evaluation, observing our daughter's behavior in various situations and running a series of tests. When the results came in, we were relieved to finally have some answers, but also overwhelmed with emotions. Our child was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Learning about our daughter's diagnosis was difficult, but it also brought a sense of relief and understanding. It explained so much about her behavior and gave us a starting point for how to move forward. With the help of therapists and support groups, we began to learn more about autism and how to support our daughter in a way that worked for her unique needs.

We had to adapt to a new way of thinking and parenting, but we were committed to helping our child thrive. We learned about sensory processing disorder and how to create a sensory-friendly environment for our daughter. We worked with therapists to help her develop her social skills and emotional intelligence.

As we continue on this journey, we know that there will be challenges, but we also know that our daughter is an incredible and unique individual. We are grateful for the opportunity to raise her and support her in every way possible. We understand that every child is different, and we are committed to helping our daughter achieve her full potential.”

Traits That Suggest Your Toddler May Have Autism: 


Note to parents:

It's essential to understand that every child has their unique personality and develops at their own pace. However, if you suspect that your toddler might have autistic traits, it's crucial to pay attention to some common signs that may indicate the presence of autism.

One of the most common early signs is delayed speech or language development. Toddlers with autism may not babble, point, or use other gestures to communicate with others. They may have difficulty expressing their needs and emotions through language, and they may not respond when their name is called. The child may also have trouble imitating sounds or words, and their speech may be repetitive or delayed.

Another sign to look out for is difficulty with social interactions and eye contact. Toddlers with autism may avoid eye contact and not respond when their name is called. They may also prefer to play alone and not engage in pretend play with others. They may not seek comfort from caregivers or show affection in the same way as other toddlers. They may also have difficulty understanding social cues and may appear indifferent to the presence of others.

Repetitive activities or routines are also a common sign of autism in toddlers. They may engage in repetitive behaviors such as lining up toys or spinning objects. They may also have specific routines or rituals that they need to follow. Any disruption to their routine may cause anxiety or distress.

Sensitivity to sensory stimuli is another common sign of autism in toddlers. They may be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to sounds, textures, tastes, or smells. They may have a strong reaction to certain sounds, such as a vacuum cleaner or hairdryer, or avoid certain textures, such as sand or grass. They may also have unusual food preferences or be very picky about what they eat.

If you notice any of these signs, it's best to consult with a pediatrician or specialist who can evaluate your child's developmental progress and provide guidance on necessary interventions or therapies. Remember that early intervention is crucial for your child's development and well-being.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:


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