My story is about our family living with Autism. Well, a great way to start this blog is to explain what Autism is? Everyone has their own perspective but I will share mine.
Autism is a spectrum of disorders. Kids living Autism are all so unique with varying levels of severity and then factor in the family dynamic, their peers, teachers and so on and you end up with well a very interesting puzzle, hence the Autism logo. A family works to find the right pieces of the puzzle that fit nicely together, in other words provide an environment where the child can be successful.
From what I’ve learned about my 5.5 year old son, Owen who has High Functioning Autism and this journey is that Autism is a neurological disorder that affects social and communication skills.
In plain English, people with Autism don’t understand the social and hidden cues in our society. Say what, their are hidden cues in our society? Yes, most definitely. Neurotypical children learn the social and communication rules without being told repetitively, without the use of social stories and visual charts. When you have Autism you have to actually learn the rules over and over again until they become innate and ingrained in your psyche.
This is why early intervention is key. When Autism is detected at an early stage of development, kids are more receptive to the learning tools that provide them with the necessary communication skills to understand the social cues in their world.
Owen began ABA therapy when he was 4.5 years old. ABA stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis. In a nutshell, for Owen this type of therapy was one on one with a therapist providing consistent review of how to read emotions in others, teaching social responses to what if situations, helping him to self-regulate his emotional outbursts and learning what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviours. This therapy proved to be an amazing experience for Owen and timing was perfect as he was entering Junior Kindergarten.
As it stands, today his biggest challenges are impulsivity and learning to self-regulate himself . We are actually beginning a 10 week program tomorrow night at ErinOak Kids. This program is in a group setting with children at the same level and age as Owen. The focus will be learning appropriate social behaviours and learning how to self-regulate. I am excited for Owen as he is going to learn alot of valuable skills.
I will be sure to share a post in the next couple days on what Owen thought of the program.
Be safe, sheila