April is Autism awareness month. For us, it is every day with three kids on the spectrum. It seems like each year more and more kids are diagnosed with this. So, I think it is important that people understand what this is and what it isn’t. We’re not bad parents with out of control children. Spanking. Let me repeat that super loud. Spanking will not correct the behaviors that our children with this have.
Now, before someone freaks out and thinks I’m saying don’t discipline. I never, ever said that. Period. Yes, for a behavior they know is wrong they need to have consequences. For example, my twins have to sit in time out. They hate it. Like, hate it more than eating vegetables, hate. It works for us.
There’s a major difference between meltdowns and a child having a fit over something they want. Those on the spectrum can’t control when a meltdown happens. It can be as simple as going into a store and the lights humming annoys them, or a smell. These sweet babies can’t help that. They have can have extra sensitive hearing and smells going on. A child having a fit knows what they’re doing. They know if they scream loud enough, then they might get what they want. Doesn’t work in my house.
Now let’s look at what Autism is. Now I got this straight from Autism Speaks.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math, and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.