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Things That a Kid with Autism Wants to Tell You

Autism spectrum disorder is not considered a psychosis, but rather a generalized developmental disorder. Kids with autism present some difficulties that make life in society a little more complex.

Deficiencies associated with the disorder generally include: language and communication difficulties, problems interacting socially, and lack of empathy. They feel more comfortable when they are part of a repetitive routine, unlike typical people who do not understand these attitudes or behaviors.

Another impediment of a kid with autism is his/her limitations with motor coordination and the processing of incoming sensory information. Each case is different. Each individual with autism is unique.

There are things that a kid with autism would like to tell you, especially if you are his/her father or mother, teacher, partner, or are related to him/her.

1. I strive to make friends

A kid with autism finds it difficult to have relationships with others, but that does not mean he/she doesn’t like having friends or making friends. However, these children face several types of social interaction deficiencies.

  • Distant: their behavior is indifferent. They act as if the other person does not exist.
  • Passive: accept social approaches but do not initiate them.
  • Active but odd: they try to establish social contact but in a particular way.
  • Formal or artificial: they do not adapt to social norms and their behavior is not the most appropriate.

Although he/she seems distant or disinterested in playing with other children, he/she simply does not know how to start a conversation or enter the game. You should teach him/her to join the game with other children and encourage them to invite him/her to the game.

The best games for children with autism are those that have a clear structure (a beginning and an end), that is, games without surprises or last-minute changes.

2. I interpret language literally

Double meanings, sarcasm, or puns are things that children with autism cannot understand. Other elements of communication, such as metaphors, allusions, or nuances, are complicated for people with this disorder because they interpret all information as it is presented. If you talk to a kid with autism this way, you will confuse him/her.

3. Sometimes I use different intonation from other people

Kids with autism sometimes use different intonation to communicate. The tone of voice can be heard mechanically and even robotic. This is common in children with autism.

4. Even if I have trouble communicating, I like to be heard

Depending on the degree of the disorder, some children with autism learn to speak late in relation to children of the same age, while others never learn to speak.

However, we should not interpret these communicative limitations with not wanting to be heard. A kid with autism will always want to be understood and heard, so we must be attentive to each of his/her signals and value their feelings despite their difficulties in developing expressive language.

5. I don’t like symbolic play

Spontaneous games without a fixed structure are not fun or enjoyable for children with autism. Games where imagination and surprises are part of the rules do not encourage those who suffer from the autistic spectrum.

Children with ASD love predictable, repetitive, and routine games, where they previously know what will happen. What can be something entertaining for neurotypical children, can be unpleasant or annoying for children with ASD.

Since now you know a little more about what children with ASD think, you can create a better environment to contribute to their development, but this is not everything. Maybe you would like to propose other ideas or share them with us? Leave us your comments.

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These kids just want to say lots of things, but they struggle with it.

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Meet the Children with Autism Who Are Excelling

The world is inhabited by exceptional people, geniuses who stand out for their abilities and who have earned our admiration for making a difference. Within the autistic spectrum, there are kids with unique conditions and qualities who never cease to surprise us. Meet the children with autism who are excelling and are true examples of overcoming.

Rafael’s story: the polyglot child with autism spectrum disorder

A story of overcoming that is worth knowing, Rafael is a Brazilian boy who since 2 years of age presented problems to articulate words clearly. He was born with autism and difficulties in learning to speak. Even his relatives came to believe that he suffered from hearing problems.

Today, at just 7 years old, he can communicate in 9 languages: an exceptional case that serves as an example to millions of people. He learned from a tablet, according to his mother, Juliana Lancer Mayer. His story caused worldwide shock and controversy.

 

From the moment the neuro pediatrician diagnosed him with Asperger’s at the age of 2, his mother sought other opinions from specialists, but they all agreed on the same diagnosis. Many doubts invaded her about what they could do to improve socialization and the possibility of communicating better. In this regard, Juliana Lancer Mayer commented to BBC News Brasil:

“My other children developed rapidly, but it took time for Rafael even to learn how to sit when he was little. Until 2 years old, he did not interact, did not look in the eyes and seemed to be deaf. We did tests that showed that he had no hearing problems.”

The kid received therapy to be able to communicate better despite the typical limitations of autistic disorder, but the methods failed to solve anything. Some people recommended the child’s mother to give him a tablet to improve some skills. At first, the family was reluctant but then decided to do so.

“I was worried because, suddenly, he (Rafael) began to speak as if he spoke the language fluently, without having received classes or leaving the country,” said the mother.

 

The device changed Rafael’s life. He focused on its contents until he started learning languages. The first one he learned was English.

Greta Thunberg: the pro-environment girl

These days everyone talks about Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish who has been an icon of awareness about climate change since 2017.

This teenage prodigy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her perseverance in the fight for the environment. If she won this award, she would become the youngest person to receive it, overtaking Malala Yousafzai, winner of the prize at just 17 years old in 2014.

Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2015. In relation to this disorder, the Aspergers Argentina Association clarifies:

“It is a condition of neurodevelopment, a variation of development that accompanies people throughout their lives. It influences the way they give meaning to the world, processes information and relates to others.”

“Aspergers was included among the Generalized Developmental Disorders (TGD) and is currently incorporated into the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).”

This condition and its difficulties in socialization were not an obstacle for the adolescent activist to work to raise awareness about the damage caused to the environment. On August 31, she added the following text to her Twitter account:

“When those who hate persecute you because of your appearance and differences, it means that they have lost their way… And then you know that you are winning! I have Aspergers and that means that sometimes I am a little different from the norm. And, in certain circumstances, being different is a superpower.”

The passion that moves her for the cause of saving the planet has aroused the admiration and respect of many, even revolutionized the networks when a #AspiePower hashtag went viral, that summoned all those who have the disorder to discover their talent.

The active participation of Greta in the Summit for Climate Action at the UN attracted the attention of the world. It was a very eloquent and passionate speech that greatly moved the attendees.

“They have stolen my dreams and my childhood with their hollow words, and yet I am one of the luckiest. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and the only thing you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare they?”

Everyone in the UN auditorium directed their applause at the defiant young woman, but Greta, with a content cry, long blonde braid and pink cheeks proved that difference can also be a super-power. The activist has become a symbol of the fight against climate change.

Her speech was directed vehemently towards the most powerful political leaders in the world and focused on the request for concrete actions to protect the planet.

“My message is that we will be watching them. All this is wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school, across the ocean. How dare they?”

 

The most important thing is that his message was seen and supported by millions of people around the world, overcoming the limitations of her disorder -which reduces the ability to interact with others-, a worthy example of perseverance and desire to overcome.

Federico García Villegas: Pablo’s voice in Nat Geo

His story is unprecedented. Federico García Villegas is a 10-year-old Colombian boy who dared to write a story to explain to his classmates and friends what his condition is like. He also created a foundation for those children who, like him, have Asperger’s syndrome.

It all started when he accidentally broke a vase at the house of one of his friends. From there, he came up with the idea of writing a story and selling it to get money to be able to replace the vase.

 

According to his mother, Andrea Villegas, the story told of a dinosaur that other animals did not understand, nor wanted. Through the story, Federico was able to express for the first time how he felt in front of others.

After opening up to his parents and exposing all his feelings in an unusual way, Federico said he did not want other children to go through the same thing he did, and proposed to sell his stories and create a foundation.

This is how the idea of ​​the Federico García Villegas Foundation came about in 2017 with the slogan “I am different, I am like you” with the mission of providing support, attention, and guidance to families with children with autism, and achieving true academic and social inclusion.

 

The foundation is financed by the stories of Federico. The first one is called Crylo, of which 500 copies were printed that were already sold out of the showcases.

Federico was diagnosed from a very young age. At the age of 8, he was encouraged to record a YouTube video in which he explained in general everything about his condition, what it was like to live with the syndrome and why he did not feel different. In a short time, the video received thousands of visits.

He has been a victim of bullying from his classmates for suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. For this reason, he was motivated to transmit it in a video.

The video popularized by the boy caught the attention of the Nat Geo Kids’ producers, who contacted him to propose participation in a television series called Pablo. He was selected to interpret the voice of the protagonist, Pablo, a 5-year-old boy with autism, very ingenious and artistic, whose drawings come to life in the “art world.”

The script was written by talented people with Asperger’s who incorporated original and funny stories about their own everyday experiences.

“I am very happy to give a voice to Pablo! If children see Pablo, they will know what the world of children with autism is like, and then they can learn to have more patience and be a more inclusive generation,” Federico told the local newspaper The Nation.

His participation in the series allows a beautiful message to be transmitted to the world.

Adhara Pérez Sánchez: the genius girl who wants to save the world

A neurotypical kid at the age of 3 is learning to speak or walk, but when this Mexican girl reached that age, he already assembled 100-piece puzzles, began to read and study algebra. She was diagnosed with the Asperger’s but with an IQ of 162, when the average score is 90, which makes her a gifted kid.

She is currently 8 years old and dreams of becoming an astronaut and belonging to NASA, “I want to save the earth,” she said. The CNCI University Cumbres campus awarded her a scholarship to complete her studies, including an English course for his future aspirations.

 

The people tell her “the genius girl” because of her IQ and because she is about to begin her career in Industrial Systems Engineering in Mexico City, and then study Astrophysics in Arizona.

At a conference offered at the CNCI University, Adhara spoke about her diagnosis with ASD and also why he was listed as a genius girl.

“My dream is to be an astronaut. I have an IQ of 162 and I want to be an astronaut to save the earth,” says this scientist, who is a Stephen Hawking’s little fan and his theory of parallel universes.

“I think that one day a very massive black hole can end this planet earth and what the human being has to do? Exploring other planets that have water and build ships seeing it from another point and if we imagine that we enter a hole black and we survive applies the laws of Einstein space time and parallel universes,” said Pérez Sánchez.

The academic institute promised to provide support so she can go to the University of Arizona to finish astrophysics studies, in addition to monetary support for her family nucleus.

If this dream came true, the girl would be the youngest physicist in Mexico and the world. Recently, Adhara was invited to an event at NASA because of her exceptional abilities.

Her high intellectual level and her special condition did not allow him to adapt to the traditional school, so the parents decided that she would study at home. In a short time, she finished elementary and secondary school; then, she was able to pass high-school with a single exam.

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Meet several kids with autism with incredible talents and achievements

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Autumn Activities for Children with Autism

The arrival of autumn brings with it a cold and agreeable atmosphere full of colors and fresh air ideal for going out and enjoying the outdoors. There are many activities perfect for children with special needs this season of the year. Do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of an extraordinary sensory experience!

1. Roll down a hill

Choose a hill and roll downward! This develops large motor coordination, motor planning, and vestibular orientation.

If your child is not interested in rolling, get a square piece of cardboard, and throw yourself with him/her down a grassy hill and the fun begins!

2. Heavy feet

In autumn, gardens are full of dry leaves. Encourage your child to look for leaves, pile them up and jump on them! Sounds and smells stimulate the senses and serve as sensory integration therapy.

3. Heavy work in the garden

Collect leaves from the garden! Take tools like rakes, brooms, and bags and ask your children for collaboration to clean the yard.

Activities such as raking, sweeping, picking up leaves, dragging the branches and placing them in the bag strengthen muscles, activate circulation, and promote good practices in children with autism.

4. Walk

You can not miss a healthy walk through trails. Create the route yourself! You can investigate the trails in the community where you live or nearby areas.

Remember to wear appropriate and comfortable walking shoes, take bottles of water to hydrate, a package with snacks, a mobile device and go on an adventure!

5. Treasure hunt

All kids enjoy the search for treasure. Start the training by developing a list of things to find, such as rocks, red leaves, sticks, and other surprises.

Tell them to tell you where they got them and everything you can think of.

This activity stimulates language, communication and the development of fine motor coordination, as well as encouraging the search for information, research, and organization.

6. Ladder launch

Use the outer ladder to implement a game. Hang the numbers 1 to 5 on each step.Then tell your children to throw balls through the steps. Each time they cross a step, they will accumulate points. This is a great strategy for visual monitoring and progress in visual-motor skills.

7. Carve a face!

October is the month of pumpkins! With great care, you can carve a face or take out the guts in the company of your son or daughter.

It is a sensory activity that stimulates the sense of touch. You can ask for suggestions on where they will place the pumpkins. Ask them to count and separate the seeds. Motivate them with a delicious pumpkin pie at the end of the activity!

8. Camping

Many people think that this activity is exclusive to the summer season, and it is not so! The autumn weather is fantastic for kids with sensory sensitivity. Prepare your tent and sleeping bags, flashlight, hamburgers and choose a nearby and safe camp.

Do not deprive yourself of enjoying one of the best times of the year, the sensations, the joy of sharing with your child, the colors, the smells, and the autumn landscape – an oasis of great sensory activity!

mother and son

The new season is here, check these amazing activities for your children.

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Good Practices for Autism

Today, several companies are responsible for providing better service to people with autism, adapting the conditions to create an environment conducive to the tranquility and well-being of children and adults with special needs. These good practices have extended to various areas of society.

In addition, these companies train their employees to face the challenge of including a series of activities in their work in which they must relate to people with ASD.

Discovery Cove: personalized attention for visitors with autism

Discovery Cove is an amusement park, owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, located in Orlando, Florida, that has a splendid resort and a variety of attractions such as a dolphin pool, a tropical river, and a saltwater pool. Children with autism can interact (talk, play, touch, and swim) with some aquatic animals such as dolphins.

There are also coral reefs where they can swim with tropical fish and a free-flight aviary with over 250 tropical birds. This oasis in the middle of the city was rated as a Certified Autism Center by the Autism Certified Center International Accreditation Board for Continuing Education (IBCCES).

One of the most significant initiatives and good practice to obtain the certificate was the training of employees to obtain greater knowledge about the spectrum as well as integrating the families of these people.

This certification constitutes a true commitment from the water park to keep the preparation and training of personnel up to date in terms of experience, skills, tolerance, and temperament to interact with people with autism and their families.

With the training participation of this center, the Discovery Cove staff intends to communicate how to deal with people on the spectrum to help them and their families enjoy a healthy recreation.

The main objective is to generate the conditions so that their stay and experience within the facilities is the most suitable and as favorable as possible. The park has made a great effort to provide activity plans that allow the inclusion of family members of children with autism and other special needs.

Discovery Cove is distinguished by being the first resort and park for close interaction with animals endorsed by the IBCCES. It is not the first time that a SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment company has received this kind of distinction, as in previous years Sesame Place and Aquatica Orlando had received a similar certificate so this would be the third park with this certification.

As announced by Kyle Miller (2019), president of Discovery Cove in a statement:

“Autism certification is a natural step for us as we continue to create meaningful and safe experience for our visitors.”

By acquiring this certificate, the park seeks to create a more relaxed environment that decreases the sensory recharge of visitors who have autism.

The IBCCES has been a pioneer for almost 20 years in training in the topic of good practices for ASD aimed at health professionals and educators around the world. This organization recognized that many families with children within the spectrum have some limitations in many activities related to travel and lodging.

Visitors on the autism spectrum receive up-to-date information on the different experiences and attractions of the park, as well as accommodation to help plan their stay at the hotel and take advantage of the benefits that suit their individual needs.

“For a long time, Discovery Cove has been recognized for its adventurous and relaxed atmosphere, for its spaces that make our services more accessible,” Miller added.

There are many additional services available to its visitors such as an area equipped with adjustable lights, food and beverage services, comfortable armchairs for rest and a web page with updated information and tools to plan visits on the site.

“Prior planning for the autistic community is very important,” said Myron Pincomb, director of the board of directors of IBCCES.

A waiting room for people with autism

Another novel initiative for the autism community is a place inside the Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania, dedicated exclusively to those who have this type of sensory disorder. The airport has a special waiting room that looks like the inside of an airplane.

The waiting room is a thematic version of an airplane; that is to say, it corresponds to a replica of the interior of an airplane. This ingenious creation has a purpose in that both children and adults with autism can familiarize themselves with the airplanes before boarding the flight.

The stage is complemented by videos that project some moving images and soft music that promote relaxation.

father and daughter

These changes are allowing them to go to places that seemed impossible to visit.

Fuentes:

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Tips for Parents: How to Help Your Teen with Autism Approach Dating and Intimacy?

Talking with your teenage children with autism about dating and intimacy may be difficult for you. Hence, we have prepared this post with some advice for parents to help their young people with autism understand the complicated atmosphere of dating, romantic feelings, and intimacy as a couple.

All teenagers are different, but most teens with autism suffer dating and sexuality problems late compared to typical teenagers.

Many of them have no interest in this until much later, but there are others overwhelmed by anxiety because of the physical and psychological changes of this stage.

Of course, these problems have an impact on the family environment, as the first date of adolescence can be an exciting experience but also a challenge for the life of any of them.

Teens with ASD face many difficulties, but they can be overcome. The most important thing is to support your teen in this difficult stage for him/her, in which dating produces restlessness, anxiety, and in many cases, feelings of insecurity.

Interpret and send the signals

One of the limitations of teenagers with autism is the understanding of the social signs involved in dating. Interpreting a flirt or an invitation is somewhat complex, so understanding these signals is a difficult mission for most teenagers with autism.

This situation can be confusing and disconcerting for your son/daughter, and for the other, it can cause frustration and discomfort because your child’s potential “date” perceive that their messages and feelings are not being heard or valued.

Talking with your child can help establish the qualities of a good partner. There may be important questions in this conversation, such as: should I tell the person about the autism spectrum? Should I relate intimately with someone else on the autism spectrum?

Tips to help your teen with autism approach dating and intimacy

Taking these aspects into account, we have put together a series of general tips so that your child can get closer to dating and intimacy, but its application will depend on a series of variables such as age, experience, etc.

  1. Promote family dialogue

Talk with your child openly about dating. Approach the subject as something natural- even mention that all people find it difficult this experience at first.

  1. Be proactive

Get ahead of the facts. If your son/daughter has not yet begun to talk about their dates, take an opportune moment to do it, for example, when you are in the mood. Let him/her know that you are willing to talk about these topics.

  1. Do not postpone the conversation about this topic

If your child is sexually active or is beginning to interact with others more intimately, you should immediately address the issue of safe sex and the implications of irresponsible or unprotected sex. It addresses other topics such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, preventive measures, among others.

  1. Use role plays to play a dating scene

Pay attention to their interest when expressing compliments, verbal and nonverbal. Explain that some behaviors convey positive messages to the other person. Show your child some examples of demonstrations of interest such as smiling, nodding and maintaining eye contact.

Tell your child that everyone likes someone to show sincere interest. The brainstorm technique is highly recommended for the adolescent to generate spontaneous ideas about the subject.

  1. Deliberate about who, when, where, and how to invite someone out

To whom? People your age, someone you like, people you know and talk to you, someone who treats you well.

When? When you already know each other, when there is interest from the other person.

Where? When you are alone with the individual you want to date.

How? Ask if the person has no partner, assess the interest, plan an activity that is enjoyable for both of you, request contact information to confirm attendance.

  1. Bear in mind that we are all exposed to rejection at some point

Express the possible reasons why someone might refuse the dating proposal. School/work responsibilities, the person is committed to another person, or is not interested in a relationship could be some reasons.

  1. Discuss the basic process of a date

Explain to your child that he/she should know the exact date and place of the date, and how the couple will arrive at the place.

  1. Educate your child in everything related to signs

Ask the teenager if he/she would like to hug or kiss at the end of the date, and emphasize that he/she must be sure that the other person has an interest. For this, he/she must know how to interpret the related signals. Kissing or hugging someone requires a mutual interest and should be asked politely.

  1. Discuss the different levels of intimacy

Explain that kissing on the lips is more intimate than holding hands and that the important thing is that you feel comfortable and that many things are different from what is shown in the media.

  1. Support your child on the day of the dating

Orientate your son/daughter about the appropriate customs to make him/her look their best. If you have already taken the first step and decided to invite someone, encourage them to pay the bill, and if someone else asked you out, encourage them to pay their share.

Dating is intimidating for any adult, much more for an inexperienced teenager, so parents must provide full support in this area. Emphasize that dating is a positive and enriching experience that allows people to get to know each other better and that mutual friendships can arise from there.

Fuente: http://bit.ly/2ZuF1sG

father and son

Living within the spectrum is not easy, but it can be twice as hard when they are starting experience dating and intimacy. Help your teens with these tips!

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How Important Is Social Skills Therapy in Autism?

The main difficulty faced by people with autism is social interaction. This problem can occur at different levels, some in a severe state, such as those who do not express themselves through speech, or in a mild way. However, even in mild cases, social communication can be limited and have an unfavorable impact on relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. That is why it is highly recommended to go to social skills therapy.

Social skills affected by autism

Autism is a disorder that triggers a series of signs; one of them is the lack of basic social skills. The limitations extend to difficulty making eye contact, asking questions, or giving correct answers, and using daily courtesy phrases such as: please, thank you, permission, excuse me.

These fundamental skills are necessary to interact with others, even for self-defense. There are cases of autism in which these communication skills are not affected, but complications can be evidenced for the understanding of the thoughts and for interpreting the feelings of others.

Most people have the ability to “infer” what others think through gestural signals of body language, and can even react quickly because they understand what is happening in their environment.

People with ASD do not possess these skills, so specialized attention and training are important; otherwise, they can make social mistakes without knowing it, hurt feelings, have inappropriate behaviors, ask awkward questions, etc.

Social skills therapist

Currently, there are many people with autism spectrum disorders. This has led to the existence of multiple businesses related to teaching and social skills for people of all ages.

For now, there is no specific certification or association of therapists, so people dedicated to this field come from different professions and specialties such as psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and language therapists with experience in the application of techniques to develop the social skills of people with autism.

The current virtual market also offers a series of interactive teaching tools in the form of texts and videos for parents and adults with autism.

How do social skills therapists help people with autism?

Therapists help people with autism through effective techniques to develop social skills. These are applicable depending on the environment.

School environment

  • Group activities: Games and activities that favor communication and exchange with friends and colleagues with autism.

Groups should be supervised by school psychologists or social workers both inside and outside the classroom.

External environment

In order to improve these skills outside of school, private consultations and sessions must be paid.

In general, children are incorporated into curricula organized by age and ability of each of them. Personalized professional attention is developed by experts in social skills therapy.

One of the variants of social skills therapy is dramatic therapy, characterized by being educational and fun. It includes video models, group therapy, among others, and is aimed at adolescents and adults.

Some parents opt for cognitive therapy specialists who can be referred by psychologists or psychiatrists.

Are social skills therapies effective?

Therapy is expected to give people with autism the ability to interact with others, talk, play, share, and participate in activities with typical people.

The idea is that it allows individuals with ASD to integrate into society fully and not distinguish themselves from each other.

The average duration of a social skills therapy session is two hours a week, and although it is effective in some cases such as getting the person with autism to look at the face of another when they talk through specific techniques, it is very difficult for them to achieve social behavior similar to neurotypical people.

To reach this level of impact, an intensive program is required compared to the social skills programs currently taught.

How to find a qualified social skills therapist?

In the absence of an official certification that supports social skills therapists, it is a challenge to find the ideal and qualified specialist in the area. However, you can follow these tips that can help you make the best decision.

  • Attend some sessions with your child. Inquire among the participants about the results obtained and the effectiveness of the techniques.
  • Find out if social skills therapy is included in your child’s school program.
  • Verify that the person who imparts these therapies is trained and has experience in a related area.
  • If you decide on a private social skills therapy, consult the Autism Society of America or AutismLink for information and knowledge about local professionals.

Source: http://bit.ly/2Kurv1M

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Find out why this therapy is highly recommended for everybody within the spectrum!

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Teens with Autism | How to Explain Physical and Emotional Changes?

Sex education is fundamental for teenagers; let them know that they are about to undergo physical and emotional changes and to be fully aware of that world at the right age. It is important to have good communication with them to nurture them of everything they need to know in this process that they will begin to experience.

When is the perfect time? 

The school is usually the main source of information, after the parents, that address this topic at an appropriate level and according to the age of the adolescent. Working with teachers can be an excellent idea to reinforce what is taught at school.

We know that children with autism need a longer and slower period to assimilate perfectly what they are being taught. Starting to address these behaviors a little before they reach puberty would be the right thing to do.

Language

You should be careful about using language when communicating with your son or daughter. Certain denominations and words can be strong for a child with the autism spectrum.

Private and public

Your child should know the difference between private and public, what to do and what not to do:

– Talk about puberty and sexuality only with parents, teachers, and family doctor.

– The door is knocked before entering; we must respect the privacy of all.

– Change of clothes should always be in private places (some individuals with autism spectrum take attitudes of removing clothes from one moment to another in any place, we must teach them that it is not right.)

Physical and emotional changes

Physical and emotional changes are the main springboard to puberty. If it is often a complicated process to understand for adolescents who do not have the spectrum, it is even more so for children with ASD. It’s all about knowing how to explain, communicate, therapies, learning materials, and always inform yourself, so you know what to respond to and be honest with your son or daughter.

Today, we give you a link to a page where you will get good information that will serve you on this topic: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/communication/sex-education.aspx.

 

dad and sons

Be part of the Autism Spectrum and becoming a teen is not easy, but you will always be there for them!


 

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LGBT and Autism | How is it Like to Be Part of Both Communities

Expressing a sexual inclination, different orientation, or identifying yourself as a person with autism and LGBT at the same time can be difficult for anyone.

Although progress in recent years regarding the rights of the LGBT community is evident, members still suffer discrimination, stigma, and political challenges. The challenge increases when it comes to people with autism because it is a permanent condition that affects the way a person perceives the world, as well as his/her behavior, communication and social interaction with others.

The causes are still unknown, not to mention the informational vacuum that exists about the biological characteristics of sexuality and the approach to gender identity. There are people who accept who they are and feel satisfied with it, but there are others who constantly seek to understand their identity.

Undoubtedly, having autism, and being part of the LGBT community can bring about social complexities, presenting a variety of challenges.

Fight for adaptation

For people with autism, everyday life can be overwhelming and involves a constant struggle to adapt to today’s world. According to the National Autism Society, “they see, hear and feel the world differently from neurotypical people.”

Generally, individuals within the spectrum have difficulties in communicating, expressing feelings, understanding social signs and interacting with others. For them to conform to social rules takes time and effort. This allows them to develop a unique identity.

A reality that seeks social claim and visibility

Sexual diversity and gender identity are part of a reality that seeks social claim and visibility, extending to people with autism.

On June 28, 2017, thousands of people gathered for a week in Madrid, Spain, to celebrate International LGBTI Pride Day (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transexuals, among others) and develop activities to discuss and show diversity.

This global event focused its attention on people with disabilities through the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI) and the Cermi Women Foundation (FCM), among other institutions, under the slogan “sexual diversity, human diversity,” promoted for the disability movement.

The representatives of CERMI, an organization of which Autismo Spain is a part, met in 2016 to form a Technical Commission to provide support and attention to persons with disabilities in matters of sexual orientation and gender identity.

United Nations (2016) considers that:

“The guarantee of equality and non-discrimination offered by international human rights standards applies to all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation and their gender identity or other condition.”

However, despite rights achievements, when other variables such as sexuality and non-normative gender identity are added to a disability, the problem becomes more complex because exclusion and discrimination come into play.

Autism and exercising rights for sexual diversity and gender identity

Autismo Spain has prioritized the promotion and effective exercise of the rights of people with autism, with the aim of improving their quality of life and granting them equal opportunities. To achieve this, it is important to include the different realities in the field of sexual orientation in a transversal way.

Sexual diversity and gender identity is a pulsating reality that demands a change of vision

about sexuality in the world. Fortunately, in recent years it has been more vindicated, observing a greater visibility from the social point of view, which also has an impact on the group of people with autism.

Expressing sexuality and gender

The difficulty in developing in the social environment and interacting with others complicate relationships with people with ASD.

There are manifestations such as repeating phrases and words, repetitive movements, talking about their own interests, inability to understand emotions, isolation, little eye contact and rejection of physical contact are determining behaviors at the time of consolidating a friendship or romantic relationship.

The above does not mean that a person with autism cannot live a normal life, but it requires greater tolerance and compassion on the part of family members, partners, and friends.

Be yourself

Jack Whitfield, a member of the Ambitious About Autism Youth Council and a Plymouth poet, says: “it can be difficult to express two different identities.”

“Many more of us are adopting different sexualities and gender fluency independently and with relative confidence,” says Jack.

By having contact with like-minded people, Jack says he “has been able to better understand his autism and sexuality.”

“The Last Pride Festival in Plymouth was fantastic in meeting many other autistic people being very open with both, which helps me as I learn more about my possible biromantic or asexual traits.”

“The two movements [autism and LGBT] always seemed to work well together, challenging the convention but with a view to equity and integration, rather than attacking those who are not autistic or LGBTQ,” he said.

“I am grateful because the awkward social encounters that I had previously attributed to my autism are becoming more complex to analyze, by contemplating and questioning my sexuality within it.”

He goes on to say: “As I see my autistic colleagues as brothers and sisters, regardless of where they are on the spectrum, the parallel values ​​of patience and welcome that I see in the Pride movement reassure me of being able to talk about how to navigate this new terrain for me.”

Not always visible

There are different types of autism and levels, and sometimes it is not easy to identify so many call it “silent disability.”

Jonathan Andrews, 24, who has expressed being LGBT and is on the spectrum, says that “both his sexuality and his disability are not immediately visible to people.”

“I don’t announce it when I meet people for the first time, unless it’s something natural in a conversation or if the other person realizes on their own.”

“With sexuality, people often assume that you must be” secretly gay “or similar. With autism, people assume that you are not really autistic, saying: ‘you don’t look autistic’, ‘you look good’ or variants, or assuming that because I’m smart, nothing else matters, or set a lower bar for you, often called “soft fanaticism of low expectations,” he says.

“That said, I would not say that my experience has been mostly negative: in general, I have worked and I am friends with people who accept me for who I am and recognize the advantage of diversity.”

The most important thing to keep in mind is that each individual with autism is different.

Testimony of a beneficiary of the Autism Federation of Andalusia who tells us his personal experience.

To know this reality a little better, we wanted to show the testimony of a person who receives the support of the Autonomous Federation of Andalusia and who wanted to tell us about his personal experience.

Tell us a little about yourself, how would you describe yourself beyond labels?

Personally, the labels cause me a certain rejection, beyond “person with ASD” or “LGBT person,” I am simply a person. In my opinion, the fact of putting so many labels excludes us more than it includes us. We would have to do more to see the person as a human being and not classify them according to their disability, sexuality, religion or color.

Have you ever felt discriminated against or invisible? Can you explain to us?

Everyone feels that way sometimes. I have been discriminated against, tried and rejected for being gay and for having Asperger’s until I discovered that no one has the power to insult you if you don’t give it. With Asperger’s, I felt invisible and displaced almost daily.

What has helped you overcome possible difficulties in this regard?

The power is within each and every one of us. To access it, we have to eliminate fears, complexes, and insecurities. You have to fight and not let yourself fall; never respond with anger (anger feeds anger) and bring out the good that we have inside so that others can appreciate it.

What is required of the society in general or the political class so that diversity ceases to be a barrier to total inclusion?

I don’t expect anything. I fear nothing. I am free.

How do you see yourself in the future?

Shining and giving light to those around me. That is my goal in life.

Source:

http://bit.ly/2KoAPoe

http://www.autismo.org.es/actualidad/articulo/una-realidad-poco-abordada-hasta-ahora-la-orientacion-sexual-e-identidad-de.

girls

Never think less of yourself because you are a person with autism and also part of the LGBT community.

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Tips for Parents: How to Approach the Sexual Topic?

The arrival of adolescence and the development of the body bring with them a series of normal sexual feelings in all young people, but in adolescents with autism, this stage is somewhat difficult. In this article, we give you some tips to address sexuality and relationships.

Most people within the spectrum experience sensations, feelings, needs, and certain sexual behaviors, as do all young people.

This experience does not have to be traumatic or overwhelming. On the contrary, with proper and timely sexual education, and teaching that allows them to know how relationships work, this stage can be satisfactory.

1. Don’t ignore it

At home, there must be respect for the privacy of every family member. Prohibitions and turning sex into a taboo subject is counterproductive. There are parents who forbid talking about sex at home and even see it as a sin. It is not possible to prevent young people from being sexually active if they have already reached the legal age.

When there is no privacy, sexually active youth can choose public places to perform sexual acts. For this reason, many young people keep their relations secret, in many cases uncontrollably and with insecurities.

Having sex in public places can cause severe penalties and can even lead to arrest.

To ignore the issue of sexuality is to risk the teenager with autism becoming a victim of abuse or confusing a kiss or a hug with a sexual act.

2. Explain that relationships come before sex

It is important to explain the importance of building social relationships based on friendship, in addition to consolidating emotional life as a couple. Young adults with autism should understand that it is a stage that is part of the development of life.

Social interaction is more difficult for a teenager with autism, so to experiment with new relationships, it is advisable to guide them on how they can develop an intimate or friendly relationship.

During adolescence, sexual maturity comes a few years before reaching emotional maturity, an essential moment to make key decisions.

Individuals with autism are growing in an era of technological evolution and visual culture in which the internet, social networks, media, games, music, and pornography convey messages that incite sexual relations, even making them look like socially accepted and habitual behavior.

This stage is full of confusing information. It is where parents must intervene by providing the necessary information to face it in the best way.

Disorientation can lead them to think that sex is expected behavior. Therefore, it should be clear that sex is not a mandatory act.

3. Where and when to start educating

Sexual and relationship education should begin immediately so that the child understands himself/herself, that is, as he/she grows, the parts of the body are explained in addition to touching, dressing, and undressing.

If he/she develops awareness about the physical appearance of adults compared to his/her body, it is a good occasion to start the discussion.

The beard, the breasts, and the hairs of the armpits are tangible and observable signs so that the child can perceive the differences.

Unlike previous generations, puberty occurs at an early age, first in girls, then, in boys. Young women and young men experience physical and emotional changes at this stage.

4. Plan what to cover

Adolescents should receive specialized attention and education, which should include health and hygiene, body changes, personal space, social norms, personal safety, and privacy rules in order to improve interpersonal relationships, communication, social behavior and understanding of the environment.

Clarifying the moment in which distance should be taken, as well as relationships and mutual consent that must exist in interpersonal relationships, are the greatest challenges parents face.

5. Make limits clear

When initiating a conversation with adolescents with autism, limits concerning the body should be established, that is, make clear which parts are private and should not be shown, which are the appropriate places or spaces and which are the private ones.

For some parents, it is uncomfortable to start educating teenagers with autism about limits, but if it is not oriented properly, the person will not be able to distinguish what kind of behavior is socially approved in adulthood.

6. Build trust

Highlight the positive in the teenager, recognize their abilities in their presence, and make them feel what they are worth. Supporting them and contributing to improve their self-esteem is decisive in the puberty stage.

Wearing age-appropriate clothing, having a unique and personal style are crucial factors in developing the ability to overcome adversity and obstacles in adulthood.

The idea is that in the adult stage, they do not need to receive guidelines, but suggestions to set their limits with judgment and conscience.

Source: http://bit.ly/2OWoX2j

Don't be scared, your teens will need you more than ever with all the changes that adolescence brings, besides the struggles with autism.

Don’t be scared your teens will need you more than ever with all the changes that adolescence brings, besides the struggles with autism.

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Teens with Autism | How to Balance the ASD with Adolescence?

Puberty is an important stage of transition characterized by many changes and alterations in the organism with psychological and emotional impact.

It is a stage in which people experience intense transformations in their body and mind.

Teenagers begin to worry about what they are, and what others think, in addition to beginning to understand what is socially acceptable and what is not.

There is a greater sexual and romantic impulse while encompassing a complex and difficult period for everyone who goes through it. But, in the case of teenagers with autism, it includes a challenge for family members.

Body changes

The human body warns of a series of changes due to its development; it is understood that it goes from childhood to puberty. When children reach this stage, the tone of voice changes and the penis becomes a little bigger.

Likewise, girls may perceive breast enlargement and menstrual periods begin every 28 days. In both sexes, puberty causes the growth of pubic hair, and underarms, showing a strong tendency to suffer from acne.

These changes in the body represent a stage of great difficulty for adolescents, for a child with the autistic spectrum, these body changes can surprise him and cause them certain fears.

 

Given this, it is necessary for parents to talk with their child before this stage, in the case of girls it is a priority to be taught about feminine hygiene and the care of their body in general.

To educate children with ASD, you can use audiovisual content, images, or cartoons that allow you to graphically the changes that occur in your body.

Recent research shows that during puberty there is a strong tendency to suffer seizures among people with autism, this particular situation is worth discerning with the doctor during childhood to detect in time the symptoms and signs that may occur.

It is a good idea to start conversations with the neurologist and other specialists to have several opinions on the subject.

Sexual feelings

Sexual impulses or excitement are typical in the puberty stage, an absolutely normal body behavior in kids with autism.

But in their adolescent years, some sensory problems can be suffered as a result of this condition which can generate feelings of anxiety.

Adolescents may have inappropriate behavior from a social point of view, being able to masturbate in a place not suitable for it.

Masturbation is a healthy and normal attitude in the developmental stage; however, despite being natural some adolescents with autism do not have the level of social awareness to know when and where it is convenient to do so.

In this sense, direct communication with the child on the subject is essential to discuss all the concerns and doubts that the child expresses.

If you don’t feel comfortable when you start talking about sexuality, then establish a communication with the child’s therapist that will surely give you some guidelines to help you face this stage of shock.

School challenges

Generally, entering primary school causes many concerns in children with autism, which represents a real challenge for them when trying to get good grades. It is difficult to configure a willingness to study, without initially causing a psychological and emotional impact on them.

To exemplify the above, if the kid is in a class, teachers will demand more abstract thinking and tasks that don’t need to be memorized. This complicates things a bit because they have ample memory capacity, so they are very good at remembering information.

However, abstract thoughts are not the strength of children with autism; for them, abstract concepts are quite complex, which could negatively impact their self-esteem.

Before reaching adolescence, parents should address the issue of esteem with therapists and other specialists to improve the kid’s self-esteem and an appreciation of themselves that is not linked to their school grades.

Besides, the therapist can help you learn to cope with the frustration of having to ask for help from classmates or teachers constantly.

The specialist can also guide on the strategies necessary to summarize and analyze the content of the subjects both teachers; school counselors can help to achieve a greater understanding.

It is about involving all those who make up the educational community to support and facilitate the learning of the child with autism.

Everyone goes through puberty at some point in life, and it is essential to plan together with the child’s therapist, the school teacher about to know what to do when the child enters the adolescence stage.

With professional help and consistent planning, this stage can flow satisfactorily.

Source: http://bit.ly/2OWoX2j

family

Don’t be scared your teens will need you more than ever with all the changes that adolescence brings, besides the struggles with autism.

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Twitter: Autism Soccer

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