How do families cope with autism

Coping Mechanism among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review

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Autism and Your Family | Autism Speaks

How will I deal with this diagnosis?

It's not easy to hear the news that your child has autism, and realize that your life will be utterly different than you had expected it to be. Daily life with a special-needs child presents many unique challenges.

How do you come to terms with the fact that your child has autism? How do you cope once you get over the initial shock? We aim to help you by providing regular features on topics ranging from how autism affects your family to day-to-day survival strategies.

You are never prepared for a diagnosis of autism. It is likely that you will experience a range of emotions.

It is painful to love so much, to want something so much, and not quite get it. You want your child to get better so much you may feel some of the stages commonly associated with grieving.

You may “revisit” these feelings from time to time in the future. Part of moving forward, is dealing with your own needs and emotions along the way.

Caring for the Caregiver

Changing the course of your child's life with autism can be a very rewarding experience. You are making an enormous difference in his or her life.

To make it happen, you need to take care of yourself. Take a moment to answer these questions:

  • Where does your support and strength come from?
  • How are you really doing?
  • Do you need to cry? Complain? Scream?
  • Would you like some help but don't know who to ask?

Remember that if you want to take the best possible care of your child, you must first take the best possible care of yourself.

Parents often fail to evaluate their own sources of strength, coping skills, or emotional attitudes.

You may be so busy meeting the needs of your child that you don't allow yourself time to relax, cry, or simply think. You may wait until you are so exhausted or stressed out that you can barely carry on before you consider your own needs. Reaching this point is bad for you and for your family.

You may feel that your child needs you right now, more than ever. Your “to do” list may be what is driving you forward right now. Or, you may feel completely overwhelmed and not know here to start.

There is no single way to cope. Each family is unique and deals with stressful situations differently. Getting your child started in treatment will help you feel better.

Acknowledging the emotional impact of autism and taking care of yourself during this stressful period will help prepare you for the challenges ahead.

Autism is a pervasive, multi-faceted disorder. It will not only change the way that you look at your child, it will change the way you look at the world. As some parents may tell you, you may be a better person for it.

The love and hope that you have for your child is probably stronger than you realize.

Here are some tips from parents who have experienced what you are going through:

Get going. 

Getting your child started in treatment will help. There are many details you will be managing in an intensive treatment program, especially if it is based in your home. If you know your child is engaged in meaningful activities, you will be more able to focus on moving forward. It may also free up some of your time so you can educate yourself, advocate for your child, and take care of yourself so that you can keep going.

Ask for help. 

Asking for help can be very difficult, especially at first. Don't hesitate to use whatever support is available to you. People around you may want to help, but may not know how. Is there someone who can take your other kids somewhere for an afternoon? Or
cook dinner for your family one night so that you can spend the time learning: Can they pick a few things up for you at the store or do a load of laundry? Can they let other people know you are going through a difficult time and could use a hand?

Talk to someone.

Everyone needs someone to talk to. Let someone know what you are going through and how you feel. Someone who just listens can be a great source of strength. If you can't get out of the house, use the phone to call a friend. Link to Family Services

“At my support group I met a group of women who were juggling the same things I am. It felt so good not to feel like I was from another planet!”

Consider joining... 

A support group. It may be helpful to listen or talk to people who have been or are going through a similar experience. Support groups can be great sources for information about what services are available in your area and who provides them. You may have to try more than one to find a group that feels right to you. You may find you aren't a “support group kind of person.” For many parents in your situation, support groups provide valuable hope, comfort and encouragement. 

Try to take a break. 

If you can, allow yourself to take some time away, even if it is only a few minutes to take a walk. If it's possible, getting out to a movie, going shopping, or visiting a friend can make a world of difference. If you feel guilty about taking a break, try to remind yourself that it will help you to be renewed for the things you need to do when you get back.
Try to get some rest. If you are getting regular sleep, you will be better prepared to make good decisions, be more patient with your child and deal with the stress in your life.

Consider keeping a journal. 

Louise DeSalvo, in Writing as a Way of Healing, notes that studies have shown that “writing that describes traumatic events and our deepest thoughts and feelings about them is linked with improved immune function, improved emotional and physical health,” and positive behavioral changes. Some parents have found a journaling a helpful tool for keeping track of their children's progress, what's working and what isn't.

Be mindful of the time you spend on the Internet. The Internet will be one of the most important tools you have for learning what you need to know about autism and how to help your child.

Unfortunately, there is more information on the web than any of us have time to read in a lifetime. There may also be a lot of misinformation. Right now, while you are trying to make the most of every minute, keep an eye on the clock and frequently ask yourself these important questions:

  • Is what I'm reading right now very likely to be relevant to my child?
  • Is it new information?
  • Is it helpful?
  • Is it from a reliable source?

Sometimes, the time you spend on the Internet will be incredibly valuable. Other times, it may be better for you and your child if you use that time to take care of yourself.

Fifteen Tips for Your Family

As a result of her work with many families who deal so gracefully with the challenges of autism, Family Therapist, Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D., offers these five tips for parents, five for siblings and five for extended family members:

5 Tips for Parents

Learn to be the best advocate you can be for your child. Be informed. Take advantage
of all the services that are available to you in your community. You will meet practitioners and providers who can educate you and help you. You will gather great strength from the people you meet.

Don't push your feelings away. Talk about them. You may feel both ambivalent and angry. Those are emotions to be expected. It's OK to feel conflicting emotions. Try to direct your anger towards the disorder and not towards your loved ones. When you find yourself arguing with your spouse over an autism related issue, try to remember that this topic is painful for both of you; and be careful not to get mad at each other when it really is the autism that has you so upset and angry.

Try to have some semblance of an adult life. Be careful to not let autism consume every waking hour of your life. Spend quality time with your typically developing children and your spouse, and refrain from constantly talking about autism. Everyone in your family needs support, and to be happy despite the circumstances.

Appreciate the small victories your child may achieve. Love your child and take great pride in each small accomplishment. Focus on what they can do instead of making comparisons with a typically developing child. Love them for who they are rather than what they should be.

Get involved with the Autism community. Don't underestimate the power of “community”. You may be the captain of your team, but you can't do everything yourself. Make friends with other parents who have children with autism. By meeting other parents you will have the support of families who understand your day to day challenges. Getting involved with autism advocacy is empowering and productive. You will be doing something for yourself as well as your child by being proactive.

5 Tips for Brothers & Sisters

Remember that you are not alone! Every family is confronted with life's challenges… and yes, autism is challenging… but, if you look closely, nearly everyone has something difficult to face in their families.

Be proud of your brother or sister. Learn to talk about autism and be open and comfortable describing the disorder to others. If you are comfortable with the topic…they will be comfortable too. If you are embarrassed by your brother or sister, your friends will sense this and it will make it awkward for them. If you talk openly to your friends about autism, they will become comfortable. But, like everyone else, sometimes you will love your brother or sister, and sometimes you will hate them. It's okay to feel your feelings. And, often it's easier when you have a professional counselor to help you understand them – someone special who is here just for you! Love your brother or sister the way they are.

While it is OK to be sad that you have a brother or sister affected by autism it doesn't help to be upset and angry for extended periods of time. Your anger doesn't change the situation; it only makes you unhappier. Remember your Mom and Dad may have those feelings too.

Spend time with your Mom and Dad alone. Doing things together as a family with and without your brother or sister strengthens your family bond. It's OK for you to want alone time. Having a family member with autism can often be very time consuming, and attention grabbing. You need to feel important too. Remember, even if your brother or sister didn't have autism, you would still need alone time with Mom and Dad.

Find an activity you can do with your brother or sister. You will find it rewarding to connect with your brother or sister, even if it is just putting a simple puzzle together. No matter how impaired they may be, doing something together creates a closeness. They will look forward to these shared activities and greet you with a special smile.

5 Tips for Grandparents and Extended Family

Family members have a lot to offer. Each family member is able to offer the things they have learned to do best over time. Ask how you can be helpful to your family.

Your efforts will be appreciated whether it means taking care of the child so that the parents can go out to dinner, or raising money for the special school that helps your family's child. Organize a lunch, a theatre benefit, a carnival, or a card game. It will warm your family's hearts to know that you are pitching in to create support and closeness.

Seek out your own support. If you find yourself having a difficult time accepting and dealing with the fact that your loved one has autism, seek out your own support. Your family may not be able to provide you with that kind of support so you must be considerate and look elsewhere. In this way you can be stronger for them, helping with the many challenges they face.

Be open and honest about the disorder. The more you talk about the matter, the better you will feel. Your friends and family can become your support system…but only if you share your thoughts with them. It may be hard to talk about it at first, but as time goes on it will be easier. In the end your experience with autism will end up teaching you and your family profound life lessons.

Put judgment aside. Consider your family's feelings and be supportive. Respect the decisions they make for their child with autism. They are working very hard to explore and research all options, and are typically coming to well thought out conclusions. Try not to compare children (this goes for typically developing kids as well). Children with autism can be brought up to achieve their personal best.

Learn more about Autism. It affects people of all social and economic standing. There is promising research, with many possibilities for the future. Share that sense of hope with your family while educating yourself about the best ways to help manage this disorder.

Carve out special time for each child. You can enjoy special moments with both typically developing family members and the family member with autism. Yes, they may be different but both children look forward to spending time with you. Children with autism thrive on routines, so find one thing that you can do together that is structured, even if it is simply going to a park for fifteen minutes. If you go to the same park every week, chances are over time that activity will become easier and easier…it just takes time and patience. If you are having a difficult time trying to determine what you can do, ask your family. They will sincerely appreciate that you are making.

How to support siblings in the family of a child with autism


A few tips for parents who are worried that the disability of one of their children will negatively affect other children

Source: Association for Science in Autism Treatment


I am a mother of three children, one of them has autism and requires a lot of time and care. I'm worried that this will reflect negatively on the other children, both of whom are older and acutely aware that our family has changed because of their brother's diagnosis. How to discuss this issue with them? nine0019

A child with an autism spectrum disorder inevitably affects the whole family. The stress and anxiety that comes with getting a diagnosis, the sheer amount of time spent sorting through treatment options and finding specialists, and caring for a child with autism directly are unique challenges for parents. Siblings without autism may also have difficulties, as their relationship with a child with autism will, by definition, be different from that of most other families. Not all of these differences are negative, they can also be positive and often contribute to the formation of a typically developed sibling personality. At the same time, it is important to understand that children in such a situation have their own special needs, and they need explanations and support from adults. nine0003

Young children may not be aware of a sibling's disability, but they are more likely to feel parental stress, changes in family life in general, and they will notice that parents are giving more time and attention to the other child (Feiges & Weiss, 2004; Smith & Elder, 2010). As children grow older, they begin to understand more and it may be difficult for them to adjust to the disability of another child in the family.

Such difficulties are largely dependent on factors such as age difference, gender and family size. The greatest impact of a sibling diagnosis is on children with a small age difference, younger siblings, and those who, due to their age, cannot find ways to cope with their feelings about it. However, there are many strategies that parents can use to support the sibling of a child with autism and help them better adapt to the family situation. Here are some of those strategies. nine0003

Encourage your child to talk openly with you about what is going on and about their negative feelings. Other children may be aware that life in your family is different from other families, such as the families of their friends. As a result, they may experience many emotions, including fear, anger, embarrassment, dislike, and guilt. It is very important to encourage open discussion of negative emotions and to allow the child to express their dissatisfaction in a safe environment. Take time to listen carefully to the child, do not argue or judge him for how he feels. Try to reassure him that it's perfectly normal to have these feelings, offer him a plan for how you can work through these feelings together. Don't be afraid of what your child says about unpleasant emotions - this is a great opportunity to improve family communication and help your child develop new skills to reduce stress. nine0003

Moreover, when siblings realize that their family is different, they need guidance from their parents and other family members. It matters how the parents themselves deal with stress and negative feelings - this is a role model for other children in the family. So it is important that parents are aware of how their actions, behavior and decisions affect all children in the family.

Make sure your child really understands what autism is. Parents often overestimate how well a typically developing child understands autism. Often children can retell an explanation for autism without fully understanding it. Children also hear bits and pieces of information from others, but as a result, they have more questions than answers. Always make sure that the sibling of a child with autism has information that is appropriate for their level of development. This will help reduce possible fears and delusions (Glasberg, 2000; Harris & Glasberg, 2003). The explanations that a child has for autism are a major factor in determining how a child will relate to a sibling with autism and whether they can explain what autism is to their peers. nine0003

If you are talking to a child under 9, keep the explanations short and simple. Talk about your sibling's problems with autism as specific skills he or she hasn't mastered yet. For example, that they have not yet learned how to play with other children or communicate in the same way that other children do. Phrases like: “Your sister learns a little differently than you or me, so she needs extra help” or “Your brother cannot speak, but we teach him how to tell us what he wants” are suitable phrases. nine0003

As children grow older, explanations must become more complex, for example, explaining to a child that autism is a feature of the brain, and that autism manifests differently in each child.

If a child with autism has severe behavioral problems, it may be necessary to talk to a sibling separately about them. It is important to help the child understand why the behavior occurs and what they can do to prevent the behavior from escalating. Explosive behavior can be frightening, embarrassing, or negative for typical developmental siblings. Therefore, it is very important to explain to them directly and clearly what is happening, this will help reduce negative reactions. Regardless of the age of the child, parents should reassure the sibling that they are safe and that they love and accept everyone in the family. nine0003

In terms of the age of the child, it is important to start talking about the diagnosis of a sibling as early as possible. Be sure to discuss autism with other children in the family before they start attending school or start inviting friends home. This way they will be prepared to explain to other children why their sibling's behavior might be unusual.

Find meaningful shared activities for children with and without autism and try to encourage them. Relationships between siblings are always unique, but communication and socialization problems associated with autism can cause siblings of a child with autism to not understand how to communicate with them.

It is important to specifically plan for situations in which children will have the opportunity to play with each other or in which children can find common interests. Simple shared activities, such as when children put together a puzzle or play a video game, have a huge impact on the quality and quantity of communication between children. It is this pastime that forms relationships in the family. nine0003

Another way to develop meaningful relationships between children is to teach typically developing children how to be mentors to younger children with autism. Such a role can increase self-esteem and self-confidence in a typically developing child. It also creates opportunities for positive communication between children.

The first step is to make sure that the typically developing child understands the skills, preferences, and interests of the child with autism. It is best to set the simplest tasks at the beginning to ensure that the child will be successful in helping the sibling. Examples of such tasks might include modeling for a child with autism how to play with a simple toy or perform self-care activities such as putting on a coat or washing their hands. nine0003

You can also teach a typical child the following skills to help them communicate with a sibling:

– How to get the attention of a child with autism.

- How to praise or reward a child with autism for some success.

– How to help a child with autism when something goes wrong.

– How to help a child with autism stop playing and clean up after themselves.

Take regular time to interact with each child to help develop their individuality. nine0009 Other children will inevitably be affected by the fact that so much parental time, energy and resources are spent caring for a child with autism. What's more, typical family activities, such as going to the movies together or going on vacation, may not be available. While this disparity exists in any family, it is especially noticeable in a family with a child with autism. If a typically developing child is dissatisfied with this state of affairs, then this will negatively affect the relationship with the child with autism (Rivers & Stoneman, 2008). nine0003

To keep this negative impact to a minimum, it is important to set aside at least some time for one-on-one communication with each child. This may seem like an impossible task with busy parents, but even a very short period of time when you completely focus on the other child will help him understand that despite all the attention that a brother or sister receives, he is still very much loved.

Caring for a child with autism can be almost 24/7, but if you manage to encourage different roles and interests for each child, it will greatly reduce the stress children without autism may experience. Encourage other children to play sports, join clubs or social events where they can make friends with peers or just have fun. In this way, other children will have space and time for themselves and be able to develop their own individuality outside of the child with autism (OAR, 2014). As a result, their motivation to communicate with a brother or sister with autism may also increase. nine0003

Finally, siblings of children with autism may need additional support. These may be counseling sessions or groups where you can talk to other children with similar experiences.

One way to help these children is to organize workshops with age-appropriate information about autism. Such meetings for brothers and sisters help them to reduce their fears and feel that they are not the only ones who have faced such an experience. Support groups for siblings will allow them to speak up and find friends with similar experiences in the family. nine0003

The problems of brothers and sisters of people with autism are often spoken about, and it is easy to forget about the significant advantages that they may have. Many brothers and sisters, as adults, say that this experience has helped them become more compassionate, tolerant, patient, and able to care for others. Many siblings of children with autism become autism researchers or specialists, or choose careers that involve helping others.

There are no ready-made answers about how one child's diagnosis will affect other children. The development of every relationship between siblings is a unique journey. But although the children did not choose to be the brother or sister of a child with autism, many of them accept and begin to appreciate this role. nine0003

Parents can be of great help to children with typical development if they create an atmosphere of transparency and openness in the family to talk about autism and the complexities associated with the impact of autism on a particular family. They can help other children learn to interact more effectively with a sibling with autism, and they can support them as senior mentors. It is also important for parents to ensure that every child in the family receives attention and the opportunity to follow their own dreams. Finally, it is important to remember that most siblings of children with autism become empathetic and compassionate people who appreciate what their family had to overcome when it was affected by autism. nine0003

Feiges, L.S., & Weiss, M.J. (2004). Sibling stories: Growing up with a brother or sister on the autism spectrum. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company

Glasberg, B.A. (2000). The development of siblings’ understanding of autism and related disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 143-156.

Harris, S.L., & Glasberg, B.A. (2003). Siblings of children with autism. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.
Organization for Autism Research (OAR). (2014). Brothers, sisters and autism: A parent's guide to supporting siblings. Retrieved from:

Rivers, J. W., & Stoneman, Z. (2008). Child temperaments, differential parenting, and the sibling relationships of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1740-1750.

Smith, L. O., & Elder, J. H. (2010). Siblings and family environments of persons with autism spectrum disorder: A review of the literature. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Nursing, 23, 189-195.

Weiss, M. J., & Pearson, N. K. (2012). Working effectively with families of children with autism spectrum disorders: Understanding family experience and teaching skills that make a difference. A. L. Egel, K. C. Holman, & C. H. Barthold (Eds.). School success for kids with autism. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

We hope that the information on our website will be useful or interesting for you. You can support people with autism in Russia and contribute to the work of the Foundation by clicking on the "Help" button. nine0003

Relatives of people with ASD

Autism: what can parents do to help their child?

The first 2-3 years are especially difficult for a couple who have had their first child. Young mothers and fathers are still learning to be parents, and it is quite difficult to understand that the development of their child is different from others. It's even harder to accept that your baby may have a mental disorder. Childhood autism, or as it is now also called, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), today occurs in every 88th child. How to recognize the disease and what should parents pay attention to? These and other questions related to autism were answered by the Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Narcology, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor Grechany Severin Vyacheslavovich. nine0009

What is autism? Is this disease born or is it an acquired condition in the environment in which the child grows up?

Childhood autism is a congenital disease. The fact of its occurrence cannot be the result of such external causes as, for example, the social or cultural level of the family. The decisive role is played by the biological factor that determines the birth of such a child. Of course, there are external circumstances that, ceteris paribus, provoke the appearance of symptoms of this disorder - a severe viral infection, in some cases even a sharp change in the family situation, for example, a sudden separation from the mother, hospitalization of the child in the hospital and more. Often an autistic child is the firstborn in the family, and parents do not yet know how the child should develop. Subsequently, they recall that they often thought about why their child did not develop like other children, but still they did not suspect serious deviations. Therefore, this day - April 2 - just calls for adults to take a closer look at the child in general and notice any anomalies in his development as early as possible. And whether this is autism or some other disease - this should be decided by the doctor. nine0003

How can parents tell if their child has the condition?

Unfortunately, often parents do not immediately pay attention to the atypical, age-specific behavior of their child. This circumstance gave rise to some myths that autism can occur with the wrong parenting approach or after some medical interventions, including preventive vaccinations. This cannot be believed, since childhood autism also goes through a latent phase in its development, when its symptoms are almost imperceptible, but this does not mean that it was not there from birth. However, you need to know the so-called "red flags of autism", with the manifestation of which it is worth contacting a specialist. These include:

  • child does not use pointing gesture,
  • does not make eye contact, does not smile in response to a smile,
  • does not respond to his name or requests addressed to him,
  • does not hear speech, does not understand why adults turn to him,
  • does not say a 2-word phrase by age 2,
  • does not use toys for its intended purpose.

Often the child does not develop a plot game. For example, a car for a boy is not an image of a car that he saw on the street, but only wheels that can be turned. With the help of a toy, a child cannot reproduce the plot seen in life. In the same way, for a girl, a doll is not an image of a little man whom she can put to sleep or feed, but an indifferent object with moving parts. It is also worth paying attention to how the child communicates, whether he can follow the simple instructions of an adult, and concentrate his attention. If parents notice these features, then you need to see a doctor. nine0003

Is it possible to cure autism or only bring adaptation to life to a certain level? Which doctor to contact in this case?

Any specialist can suspect autism. Suppose the district pediatrician assumes that the child has autism and advises parents to contact a psychiatrist. However, it is important to understand that the final diagnosis may differ from the initial one, and there are other mental disorders besides childhood autism at an early age. nine0003

Is child autism treated at the Pediatric University Clinic?

We don’t have a separate department yet, besides, working with an autistic child is a long-term, often many-year work of a large team of different specialists, including not only doctors, but also correctional teachers, clinical psychologists and their varieties, rehabilitation specialists etc. However, we consult such children and their mothers at the stage of early diagnosis, when parents, for various reasons, are not yet ready to go to official psychiatric institutions. Thus, difficult and doubtful diagnostic cases are solved, the very first recommendations are given. For example, I receive at the Multidisciplinary Center, Vera Vladimirovna Pozdnyak takes at the Consultative and Diagnostic Center. We provide primary care to these children. We give advice on how to treat a possible disease in a child, how to behave with such children and what options for drug therapy exist. Most moms walk away grateful as they get answers to questions that have haunted them for a long time. nine0003

As far as treatment is concerned, we do not provide it. In addition, parents, faced with the problem of autism, must understand that it is impossible to completely cure it, and they will have to accept that throughout their life the child will be special, unlike all others. There has never been such a case that the same classic autism ended in complete adaptation in society, even if the child at some stage was able to master the profession. Although it is believed that with age the diagnosis of "autism" cannot be reconsidered for a child, but most of the actual "autistic" traits disappear on their own over time. And already at the age of 6-7, other problems related to behavior, underdevelopment of abstract concepts, misunderstanding of the context of communication, i.e. purely intellectual difficulties, come to the fore. In the future, parents will need to adapt the child to life with what is, including special requirements for the learning process. At home, you should also follow a special system of rules developed individually for a particular child. nine0003

How can parents help their child cope with autism? Can you give any recommendations for them?

The most important recommendation, from our point of view, is to initially understand the child's capabilities, not to do too much and not to set too high goals. The biggest conflict arises precisely when parents are faced with a contradiction between the real abilities of the child and their own ambitions for him. And everything negative that can happen later - protests, disobedience, experiencing disappointment and despair - all this comes precisely from this conflict. nine0003

The main principle for parents is to gain a sense of confidence as a caregiver and get rid of excessive feelings of guilt. You need to know that an autistic child is very sensitive to the internal state of his parents, easily reacts to their anxiety, confusion. With regard to mental development, one should be prepared for the fact that it will take a long time to achieve success, even small ones. It does not happen that a child falls asleep with one person and wakes up with another person.

Another common mistake is the opinion that the most important thing for a child is to learn to talk. This is not true. If speech does not appear on its own, then there are objective reasons for this. As soon as the prerequisites for pronouncing words are formed, the child will begin to speak independently without our help. Therefore, you should not artificially try to accelerate the development of such a child. nine0003

Is it possible to say that modern communication devices, computers, gadgets, mobile phones can develop autism in a child? And do they somehow affect children who have already been diagnosed with this disease? (Can modern technology help to socialize or, on the contrary, contribute to the fact that the child withdraws more and more into himself?)

In autism, this is neither good nor bad. There can be no universal recommendation here, everything is individual. It is important for a mother to understand whether her child is now ready to master society or whether she still needs to wait, subsequently carefully “grafting” him to life. Here the advice of a defectologist, a psychiatrist will help. True, very often the mothers of such children are guided only by their own opinion, without accepting someone else's help. This happens if their relatives betrayed them, the father left, the grandparents did not accept the child, and the mother is left alone with the problem. nine0003

Why is autism thought to be more common in boys? And why is it more characteristic of them?

Indeed, this is a fundamental fact. And childhood autism is not the only example. A lot of mental disorders occur more often in boys. Why this is so is hard to say. There are many hypotheses for this, but an exhaustive explanation has not yet been received.

Perhaps there is some relationship between the mother's condition during pregnancy and the child's subsequently diagnosed autistic disorder? Is it possible to somehow predict the birth of a child with autism? What are the medical reasons? nine0019

Mothers often ask me: “Tell me, please, where, at what stage did I make a mistake? What did I do wrong? Unfortunately, despite the fact that we live in the 21st century, there are no prerequisites to predict the birth of such a child. With the exception of the examination of the amniotic fluid for gross genetic anomalies. If this is observed, then we can say with a high degree of probability that a clinical picture of autism should be expected here. In all other cases, it is difficult to predict anything. There is no data for this. nine0003

Is it true that autism is more common in children today than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago?

It is believed that the number of children with autism has not increased, diagnostics have improved. This happened due to the spread of information about autism and its manifestations. As a result, parents began to pay more attention to what they had not noticed before. And, as a result, the number of visits to doctors for the purpose of making a diagnosis has increased. What used to cause confusion and misunderstanding in parents, now prompts a search for answers in specialized literature, the Internet. As a result, the symptoms of autism began to be detected more often and at an earlier age. And here there is another extreme - the emerging trend towards overdiagnosis of this disorder. A special term has even appeared - autism spectrum disorders, the role of which is seen in drawing more attention of parents to any symptoms of deviant development, closely or remotely resembling childhood autism, in order to promptly apply for practical assistance. nine0003

Can a child with autism study in a regular school, or is it better to send him to a special school?

There are inclusive types of education that allow such children to study in a regular school. A group of 3-4 such children is recruited, and most of the time they study with a separate teacher. Periodically, the teacher selectively leads, as far as possible, such children to classes with healthy children. But the need for such classes must be considered individually. All possible consequences should be taken into account. For example, in practice, children with autism are not very physically healthy, they are characterized by weak immunity - this increases their risk of getting respiratory and other infectious diseases, which usually occur in a more severe form in children with autism.

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