Telling Your Child He Has Autism

Conversations About Autism

Does your child with autism know about the diagnosis?

When did you tell him or her? As an adult on the spectrum, how did you find out that you have autism?

At my cafe book signing last fall, a young woman walked up to my table with her daughter. I don’t think she was in the café already. It was as if she just appeared. She had no purse and told me she was walking down the street to meet someone, so I can only assume she came into the café after seeing my sign in by the front door.

She immediately began talking to me about her ten-year-old son. She told me that he is in a special class for exceptionally gifted children. He has ADHD. Oh yes, he has autism also. She and her husband have not told him about the autism diagnosis, which I felt must be…

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3 responses to “Telling Your Child He Has Autism

  1. We have always been completely open with son.

  2. Neither of my children has been diagnosed but I can see it in them. When they attended school 10-20 years ago, the autism spectrum wasn’t a thing out here yet. One’s issues were chalked up to ADD or OCD or some other thing. They both had IEPs in school but high function autism wasn’t on their charts.

    To get those IEPs we had to go to war. The school didn’t even mention to us that IEPs were a thing. It was just a behavior problem and it was all on us to make it better. We found out online all the hoops we had to jump thru and what to ask for. I think it was a matter of economics and that many of the admin staff didn’t want to be bothered. Once we got “into the system” we discovered that classes that were available.

    More recently, I was doing some subbing last year and at least in the early grades kids were finally being recognized as “on the spectrum.” The teachers had some specific training on the subject but the aids I had to work with often did not. A child had to be a major disruption in a class over a long time to be checked out and the observers only came once to evaluate. If they were quiet that day, it skewed the whole process.

    I don’t understand why more parents don’t take the lead. The schools don’t seem to want to be proactive.

  3. Interesting. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts to learn more of your story. When I returned to teaching in 1994 and had a child in my classroom with autism, I was at a loss. Over the next 20 years before I retired I saw changes as the special ed teachers learned more about autism and as I learned more. Your children fell right into that time frame. I was fortunate, as were my students, to be in a school with a staff that continued to learn and grow with a diverse population. The more stories I hear, the more I realize how different things are depending on the school district or the school building. I will be searching some of your other posts to learn more about your story and am glad I stumbled on one of your blogs. Thanks for sharing.

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