Seeing my brother exceed expectations and improve everyday is really awesome. When he first started school he had limited social skills, really anxious, a lot of sensory processing issues but now 4 years later a majority of the time you almost wouldn't realise.
When he last had access he was showing me a book he made with his group at school which was pictures of them talking to people and ordering at a cafe and stuff I thought that was pretty cool.
Both my brother and sister go to respite services so they get to go and do activities like cooking, trampoline park, the movies, heaps of different stuff and that enables them to make friends with other kids who might be similar to them, and their carers get a break too. It's really cool what those services do and help with.
@N1ghtW1ng that's a really interesting observation you made re support for adults vs. younger people, I agree with you that a lot of the focus is on ASD in younger individuals like children or adults, and not so much those in between. It can definitely make it hard for those who don't fit into that category, so good on you for sharing your experience! I guess that's one of the ways that we raise awareness and remind people that ASD is something that can affect people at all ages
Hey @j95 thanks for starting this thread and to everyone who has contributed!! I've loved reading all your knowledge and experiences!
I am really passionate about how animals can support people with autism! I've done a lot of research on this and there are some absolutely incredible stories out there!
I think that animals can be a really powerful source of companionship that is non-judgemental and unconditional and they also have a calming effect that is really helpful for managing stress and promoting wellbeing. Temple Grandin is a animal scientist who has autism and she has a theory that some people with autism may process information in a similar way to animals, using sensory-based thinking (this means processing information using pictures or sounds rather than words), which might make them easier beings to relate to and connect with. So incredible right!!
@j95 I think you are doing an incredible job of supporting both your siblings! You seem to have incredible insight and understanding of their needs, and patience! Have you ever considered working with other children who have autism? I think you'd be wonderful!! I worked with a young boy who has autism for a few years and it was such an amazing and rewarding experience! If you're interested, I could give you some more info about it
The boy I worked with was also non-verbal when I started, and one thing we did which was really helpful was to use lots of pictures when communicating with him or letting him know what was happening and any changes to the schedule! I think it's called making a "social story" if you want to google it! We had little picture cards with Velcro on the back which we could stick in order to explain the schedule for example first we'll play with lego (pic of lego), then we'll have lunch (pic of food), when we'll play outside (pic of playground). You can also hand-draw pictures too! And once one activity was completed we'd tick it off/cross it out/put in a "finished" envelope, and move onto the next one! Having this displayed while I worked with him was great because if he was worried/confused about what was happening next, I could talk him through the schedule again using the pictures and he also learn to reference it himself! We used this technique a lot when he started school, and it was really helpful to break down situations that he found stressful or confusing into steps, or if there was a sudden change to the schedule because we could move the pictures around and he could visually see the change. We also used this technique when giving him a choice. For example "would you prefer to watch TV or do some drawing?", and while you say this you can also show them a picture of each activity. I think seeing it visually really helped him to process the information/change/choice. Have you tried anything like this with your sister?
@DruidChild I totally agree the label thing is really complex! I'm currently studying psychology and it's really drilled into us that we should always refer to the person first, but I too have met a lot of people who identify strongly with the "autistic" label and much prefer that first. I personally think the best approach is not to assume either way, and to just ask what people prefer
@N1ghtW1ng thank you for sharing with us, I hope that the experience will help you to better understand some things about yourself
Hey @N1ghtW1ng, I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling lonely If you still feel like chatting more about autism I'd be happy to talk to you! I also wanted to tell you about an amazing organisation called Yellow Ladybugs, have you heard of them? They're basically a community of women and parents of girls who are on the autism spectrum. Here's the link to their Facebook page where they have heaps of amazing information, articles, discussions, personal stories ect: https://www.facebook.com/yellowladybugs/
I thought it could possibly be a safe place for you to have more conversations about autism with people who really get it, and to meet other women and girls on the spectrum (if that's something you're interested in doing)
I'm feeling very isolated, to be honest. I have no one to talk to and I feel uncomfortable with what to call myself. Because technically it's asbergers and I feel like a liar talking about anything with autism.
I guess the new classification of autism as a spectrum, and the removal of Aspergers can be quite difficult when it comes to thinking about and describing the conditions. Am I right?
Hey Guys - I use to be a reachout user but thought i might come back on and share my story
This is a great story about everyday life that i face each day. I live in North West Sydney and suffer with Autism. Life has given me everything that i wanted but there is one thing that Autism rules over me is not having a best mate (Best Friend) or bunch of males (being good mates). I feel i will never get that opportunity to enjoy that last little bit life with someone that like me and will have friendship with me.