10 Q&A about Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that can affect several skills in a person, especially language, motor, and social skills. It’s classified in three levels for diagnosis; however, many people still don’t fully comprehend it completely, and the different aspects that are associated with it. With these ten questions and answers, we hope to expand your knowledge about it.

What are the causes of autism?

This is the most common question about the disorders in the spectrum, but scientists and medical professionals haven’t found a specific cause or causes. There are many studies about the possible reasons, but the results haven’t been conclusive; some think that a genetic mutation is the main cause; others point to differences in the development of the brain in during the pregnancy, which would cause the behavioral conditions associated with it. Still, this question doesn’t have a specific answer.

Is it common?

Yes, it is. Autism is the most common developmental disorder, 1 in 150 children can be diagnosed within one of the three levels of the spectrum.

Who can suffer autism?

Anyone. ASD doesn’t distinguish among social status or ethnicity. However, gender seems to be a factor, as it has been proven that 4 out of 5 people within the spectrum are male.

How does autism influence behavior?

It depends on the level, but the primary challenge among people with ASD is social interaction. People with autism tend not to be able to grasp all the aspects of human communication fully, so subtle details can be tough for them. Besides, people placed in level 3 tend to have erratic and compulsive behavior; which is why they’ll always need a caregiver.

How severe is the behavior of a person with autism?

This can be subjective; it will depend on the level in which that person is placed, with the third level being the most severe. However, behavior can be controlled with a correct diagnosis during the early years and with the proper treatment; children with autism can be calm and behave normally. The real problem here is that parents struggle to accept their kid’s condition, and it can take years for them to start the correct treatments.

Can they manage to be independent?

Again, this will depend on the level of ASD, but many of them can manage to have an independent life when they reach adulthood, just by following the right treatment and having the correct guidance.

Is autism a cognitive disability?

No, both terms are not synonyms. ASD is a developmental disorder, while cognitive disabilities affect learning and motor skills; some children within the spectrum can show display these disabilities, but not necessarily all of them. As noted before, the more significant challenges are social interaction and personal relationships.

Can autism appear with other conditions?

Yes, there are other disorders associated with developmental skills that are present with ASD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), learning disabilities, bipolarity, and epilepsy can all appear in kids with autism, sometimes in combinations. It’s for this reason that doctors recommend for parents to be very observant of their children’s behavior during the early years so that these problems can be adequately identified and treated.

Can people with autism work?

Yes, with the correct therapy people within the spectrum can work in many different areas, as a matter of fact, people diagnosed with the first level of ASD can become very successful on their fields; some of them can even have above average intelligence.

What type of work can a person with autism perform?

Because of their compulsive and repetitive behavior, structured jobs tend to be the best for them. They develop better with routines and repetitive activities; however, many prefer the type of job where they don’t have to interact with the public, or with large amounts of people. Keep in mind that individuals within the spectrum tend to struggle with social interactions.

As you can see, autism is no longer a disorder that few people know, it has become a thoroughly studied condition; in this era of inclusion, we as a society are trying to give people with ASD the space that they need, and to understand them the best way we could. Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Autism Soccer answer your questions regarding autism

On today’s article, we answer all your questions.

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How to Understand a Friend with Autism?

Making friends and sharing great memories with them are some of the highlights of growing up; but for children within the spectrum, this is a delicate subject because one of their main challenges is their difficulty engaging with traditional social skills. However, if both sides make efforts there can be an everlasting friendship and common understanding.

When a neurotypical child wants to make friends with one with ASD, as parents you should explain to them what are the differences between them, and what is the correct approach. These tips can help you prepare all the family to welcome their new friend!

Let’s make new friends!

Acceptance

The first step is to accept the differences between each child. Children with ASD face their own challenges, but they also have abilities that can surprise you! An excellent way to help them connect is finding a common activity or hobby that both kids can enjoy. Remember that while we have different abilities and personalities, those make us the people we are.

Learning

After the first few encounters, you can start to learn the kid’s routine and what he or she can enjoy at your home. For example, you can ask the child’s parents what kind of food he or she likes, and try alternatives to make their food time an enjoyable activity with your children. Both families can become close while the friendship between the kids is growing. It’s vital to learn the preferences of the members of that family, as it can be useful for the future. Who knows, maybe you can plan a trip together!

Understanding

Now that you know what the new friend likes, you have to understand that sometimes he would prefer to be alone or immersed in a game or activity. TV, an external conversation or game will require focus, and it might be hard to keep their attention if they’re focused on something else. But that doesn’t mean that they’re rude, it’s just how they focus on specific tasks.

Invitations

Try always to invite and include your new friend in the activities and gatherings that you host. Kids within the spectrum want to be part of said activities but don’t know how to ask, or don’t catch the rules of the game. Try to explain to them while playing and most important go to their pace.

Never be afraid

If you are worried about how to act in front of your new friend or don’t know how to approach a situation, just ask them directly. More often than not, they’ll be more than ready to explain the reasons behind their behavior or what is affecting them. Also, you should always speak the truth; when they ask a question about participating in a game, and you think that it couldn’t be good for them, discuss it and get a mutual solution.

Communication

Some children within the spectrum understand things better with a visual explanation, others with a verbal one. While with some kids their attention span is short, and for that reason, easy and quick explanations are the best. Find the perfect way to communicate with your new friend, and don’t be afraid to make strange gestures; they will appreciate the effort.

Patience and kindness

Kindness is the way to approach a kid with ASD, and once the friendship is set, you need to be patient. It’s important because sometimes they’ll need time to catch a question, situation or scenario. Remember with children within the spectrum, patience and time are critical in maintaining a good relationship.

Behavior

Always be alert in the changes that kids within the spectrum can show in determined situations. They tend to feel uncomfortable in large crowds, with some noises, smells and even lights, for that reason staying alert for sudden changes is basic to prevent a negative response that can even be dangerous for them. He or she will only need a break to calm down and feel better, just give them space and time.

Be a counselor

Commonly, when kids with ASD feel comfortable with their friends, they can ask for help in some situations, or if you see something strange discuss it with them privately, help them to navigate the tricky world of social interactions.

Stand up for them

If you are a good person, you won’t let your friend with ASD become a target for bullies. When you see someone making fun of them take a stand for your friend and yourself, you can feel great after defending them. But If you think that the situation is turning worse, talk to an adult and let them find a solution to the situation at hand.

A friendship with a kid or teen with ASD is not that difficult when you put your heart and a great effort in it. Take these tips and start to see the benefits of having a friend within the spectrum. Come to Autism Soccer to learn and observe our programs that facilitate children becoming friends!

Autism and friends with it

We’re all the same.

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Friendship in Autism: Benefits and Advantages

Friendship is an important part in the growth of every child, but for a kid with ASD that can be something very difficult to achieve. However, when they have a good friend that can change their life, and it helps them to develop social skills. As parents, you can’t make friends for them, but your role will be to help them navigate the strange and fantastic world of friendship.

The importance of friendship

Friends can make ASD children feel more secure while interacting with strange people; it also gives them a boost in their self-esteem and confidence. With friends, they can have experience in managing their and others’ emotions, responding to a variety of situation that will involve feelings, negotiating, cooperation and playing.

Problems to have friends

ASD kids tend to presents this restriction when making friends.

  • Start a conversation and keep it during a long time: ASD kids have many difficulties starting a conversation and keeping is almost impossible for them. But when they begin to interact with peers and making friends that will start to change, it won’t be a quick change, but slowly they will improve their communication skills.
  • Thoughts and feelings of others: they have a hard time trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of people. They can even appear cold, and sometimes they will hurt without acknowledging. Friends will teach them how to deal with different thoughts and feelings.
  • Children’s activities: for a kid with ASD participating in regular activities like spent a time in the park will be strange and stressful. Friends will include them in their activities and help them learn the rules and basic behavior.
  • Body language and expressions: for them, facial expressions and body language are like quantum mechanics, they couldn’t completely understand them, but their friends can work with your child the different aspects of that point in social interactions.
  • New situations: ASD implies to live in a routine to make them feel secure, they suffer from a strong sense of loss and fear, when something new appears in their surroundings, friendships can erase their fear and make a try on different things.
  • Social problems: children with ASD can’t comprehend social issues, like solving disagreements between classmates, but building friendships can change that, having friends will give them the skills to try to understand what is happening and how to help.

How parents can help their child to have friends

You can’t make friends for them, but you can lay out all the situations and help them to find one. Learn how to make it happen.

Know what are your child’s favorite activities

For ASD children is tough to find something that can bring them joy, but when they find it, they can start to be happy. In that environment, they can develop friendships because they will see people with the same interest and that is the bond that will put them together.

Invite kids to an activity

You can work this with their teacher, ask her or him who are the children that are more close to your child, or even asking your child who does he or she want to be friend with? Always speak with your child, because he or she knows exactly what will be the best, and in the end, they will be the one experiencing the friendship. This visit can work perfectly if you make a plan with the other parents, to have a schedule of the activities because kids to act more comfortable when everything is prepared since before.

If your child starts to feel insecure because he or she doesn’t want others close to their toys, games or other stuff, you can plan a trip to the park, like a picnic, with different games, or a visit to the aquarium or museum, everything will depend on what the kids will enjoy more, and which one can bring more time and space to reinforce their interactions.

After school activities

Research and find the best activity that your kid will enjoy after school, maybe enrolling him or her in soccer practice will help to make friends more quickly, besides the tons of benefits that sport can give your child. Start to find activities that can give your kid a way out of the stress of school and other difficulties from ASD.

All of this is with one goal in mind: to make your child enjoy the benefits and happiness that a friendship can bring. Remember, friends are the siblings that we choose; for that reason, every ASD kid deserve to know what is like to have a friend an be one. Come to Autism Soccer, and know all the programs we have to help your child to develop a true friendship through sport.

friends with autism

Friendship can give a kid with ASD the right motivation.

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