UNIT 2 – Why Is It Autism?
UNIT 2 – INTRODUCTION
UNIT 2 – CHAPTER 1 – Diagnosis & DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition; published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
UNIT 2 – CHAPTER 2 – Denial & Misdiagnosis
UNIT 2 – CHAPTER 3 – Doctors & Direction Unit 1 – REFERENCES
UNIT 2 – REFERENCES
UNIT 2 – APPENDIX N/A
Consistently, parents were asked, “Who was the first person to mention the possibility of your young child having ASD?” Response was – “the first person was a parent, or other family member, and/or pediatrician.” As compared to children who were later diagnosed at 3-5 years, generally by the child’s pediatrician or classroom teacher.
Concerns with the timing of the diagnosis may determine a choice of starting with a ‘short-term’ intervention, as well as deciding what the family should do to support the child while they waited.
< My Thoughts > “…while they waited…”
The impact of the symptoms on the child and the family may also be a deciding factor, as to the timing and the nature of the interventions considered; as well as the actions taken while they waited. A ‘short-term’ intervention may be needed immediately, especially if the child is at risk for hurting self, or others.
Farmer & Reupert (2013) quote a parent as saying, “I feel as if I now understand what it’s like in my son’s world. I now know what Autism is.” When parents have an explanation of their child’s behavior and possible thinking, they are better able to accept that picture of their child. It’s very important for parents to accept the possibilities and expectations for their children, because treatment and intervention depends greatly on parent reports and observation.
< My Thoughts > “…that picture of their child.”
Parents may become convinced that special treatments and/or interventions will ‘cure’ the autism. But, to date there are NO cures, and there are NO specific ‘autism’ blood tests. Real 'data' may be found from assessments, much of which relies on ‘parent reporting’ information on questionnaires; parent responses which are open to interpretation by a technician.
To complicate things, the child’s developmental trajectory may take a zig-zagging course over time. Severe symptoms may even seem to abate or disappear periodically. This becomes especially difficult in separating these changes from the results of any therapies the child is engaged in. Sometimes therapy results overlap. And, sometimes it seems as if the ‘picture’ is just never really clear or complete. But, getting an accurate diagnosis is the critical first step towards finding your child’s future independence and wellbeing.
CHAPTER 5 – FUTURE CHALLENGES
Many parents of children with autism hope that they will one day become a somewhat ‘normal’ adults with autism.
Rudy (2018) – What do you mean by normal? A fast-shrinking number of ‘everyday’ people actually have a full-time job with a pension, heterosexual marriage, 2.5 kids, and a mortgaged house in the suburbs.
Young adults are moving in with their parents. Older adults are moving in with their children. Homosexual marriage is now the law of the land. Many couples live together without marriage. Jobs are not guaranteed, and pensions are nearly extinct. Virtual jobs, temporary jobs, contracting jobs, and commission jobs are more and more common. So, which form of ‘normal’ might be right for your autistic child?
< My Thoughts > “…which form of ‘normal’…”
Today’s ‘new normal’ can be most anything which allows a modicum of happiness and independence. Parents live with their children or other family. Adult children live with their parents after circumstance’s change. Jobs and education both can be ‘brick & mortar’ and/or ‘virtual, in many or most areas in the world. In some cases for an adult in the autistic world this generalization makes it easier, for some more difficult.
< My Thoughts > "Adult children..."
With today’s diverse workforce and work locations, may more ‘able’ autistic adults find satisfying and fulfilling careers. According to Forbes Magazine (2022) only 32% (usually with Asperger's) are successful. Much depends on another spectrum of factors. Psych Central considers social interactions, sensory processing issues, and learning styles to be among the most important.
My take is that many are ‘underemployed’, but if the person feels important and productive, then that may be okay. Some problems for many may be lack of ‘flexibility’ when it comes to work schedule (time) changes, work increase/decrease, and/or having the support needed when troubles arise.
The message here too, is that your ‘child’ with autism will one day become your ‘adult’ with autism; or, as we call Sonny, our ‘adult-child’.
REFERENCE: Lisa Jo Rudy | Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD | Updated December 13, 2018 Will your autistic child grow up to lead a normal life?