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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Strategies to Develop Social Skills in an ASD Child

As parents, you always want the best for your children, including a good social life with incredible friends. But when your little one is diagnosed with ASD, normal situations like making friends can become a challenge. Some strategies can help kids to develop social skills that will help them.

These strategies focus on the basics of social interactions, especially for small children with ASD that cannot fully comprehend all the process of human interactions. Children will always keep it simple, and kids within the spectrum struggle with social situations, but they still see the world simple.

The strategies!

Be a role model

Children are always following your actions, but those within the spectrum won’t understand all the socials behavior that they are observing, for that reason it would be better to take some time and explain to them what is happening. For example, in a family reunion or when a friend is paying a visit, even when shopping groceries the interactions with the store’s personnel can be confusing for your little one. Remember to keep a good behavior because children are observing all, and the explanations are important for the ones with ASD since their comprehension is better with the verbal description.

Talk about possible scenarios

Don’t keep with the interactions that his or her surroundings can show to them, think in the future and what he or she is going to observe. Make a list and discuss it with them, or watch a movie with them and try to explain every question related to relationships and scenarios that are developing on screen.

Roleplay

Even with the observation and the verbal explanations, there will be some interactions with their peers that can make them feel uncomfortable, so it can be good to act them out. Engage all the family here and go through different situations that kids can face, every member has to explain what is happening and how to behave correctly. Role play allows them to practice conversations, body language and other points of communications between humans, in a controlled environment.

Find support

Other families are suffering the same challenges as you, for that reason find and discuss with them how they are helping their little ones with their social skills. Maybe you can arrange a playdate for them, and they can practice the different situations that you have been explaining to them. Later, you can talk to the other parents and how were the interactions, and compare the developing.

Kids with ASD have a tough time with social interactions but believe that they can make friends, that they will speak with the family, and get involved in some activities. And when they start to get a better communication with their peers, others aspects like self-esteem, regulating emotions and motivation will also improve. Come to Autism Soccer and find out programs that will help with your kid’s socials interactions plus other benefits.

Communication in ASD.

Your kid will need to develop social skills to make friends, communicating with others and understand social situations.

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Autism and Bullying: What You Should Know

Living with autism bring many challenges, one of the most delicate and dangerous is the bullying. Kids with ASD are more propense to suffer harassment than other. To stand against it you, as parents, will need to work with the school, teachers, and classmates.

Children that have something different than others tend to be bullied at school and neighborhood. Here, at Autism Soccer, we considered ourselves to be against harassment. Through sports and recreation, we dedicate all efforts to teach family and people in general, how to properly interact with kids in the spectrum and other special needs. So please check these points and say NO to bullying!

  • Talk with the them: many times, children within the spectrum don’t realize that they are being bullied, so as parents you should sit down and talk with them in a way that it will be easy for them to absolutely understand it. The teachers also must be attentive to the behavior of every kid and talk about it in the classroom, that way all the students will get that bullying is no correct. Parents and teachers need to work as a team to encourage children to talk when they are not feeling good with their surrounds.

  • Make a plan: it’s important to have a plan to prevent bullying or to stop it when it’s happening; so develop point and steps, discuss it with teachers and every person that are close to your children, that way everybody will be prepared against bullying.

  • Tolerance: teaching tolerance will prevent bad behavior at home, school and recreation environments. This will work with every child; start a campaign at your neighborhood, work with the school to increase the information about tolerance, join the parents in the different recreation programs that your kid attend. All those efforts can generate a good vibe and change the life of people around your family.

  • Speak about ASD and other special needs: teachers that have in their classroom students with special needs, must talk with their students and make them fully understand what are the differences between them and why. Also, make them work together so they will integrate and have a feeling of belong.

  • Encourage kids self-advocacy: parents, teachers, trainers, and specialists can make plans and support kids to be against bullying, but children must learn how to advocate for themselves. After they learn what and how the bullying can appear, they have to communicate their feeling and why they don’t like others behavior. When kids speak up for themselves they won’t become an easy prey for bullies.

  • Know your children’s rights: many states have their own regulations against bullying and laws related to bullying children with special needs, so make a research and learn them, that way you and your kids will be protected legally in case bullying increased to the dangerous level.

  • Speak up!: never be afraid to speak up for your little ones as parents, as a teacher to defend children that are being bullied, and as a student to defend yourself. Bullying is an offend to human rights, and it can never be accepted as normal behavior, so please if you are the victim or only a witness of harassment, don’t stay quiet, speak up for them and for you! Try to write down or even recording every incident, that way you will have proof when you’ll make the report, follow the correct steps and stop bullying once and for all.

Bullying has become a dangerous trend nowadays, but as humans, we cannot let it become a normal situation, speak about it with your family, siblings, friends, and neighbors. Stand up for the victims and do whatever you can to stop it. In Autism Soccer you will find a safe and bullying-free environment for your children, come and check for yourselves how your kid can develop his or her abilities and practice a great sport.

tolerance is key

Friendship and tolerance are the base to stop bullying.

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Feeling of Failure in Autism

The environment, in general, can be very hostile towards people within the autism spectrum disorder; either by sensory saturation, by incomprehension of what’s happening, by zero empathy on the part of others towards him or her. We’re talking about an environment that makes it difficult daily, and as a result, we see that those pleasant moments are scarce.

But we must not forget that the person can develop a sustained sense of failure, an aspect that often begins in childhood. When a child with problems managing his own emotions and frustration presents explosive behaviors, he receives, in many cases, a correction of inappropriate behavior. That is, in the face of frustration at not being able to do something, he gets an attitude that he perceives as correct.

Autism and failure

This feeling of failure accompanies low self-esteem. A problem that, although many believe it wakes up in adolescence, we can begin to observe it in childhood. And there’s nothing sadder than seeing 5-year-olds with low self-esteem, although it’s sadder to see that nobody notices.

This can difficult the social life of the person with autism, and generate not only anxiety, frustration, and irritability, but also a sensation of failure. This can lead the person with autism to never assume new challenges in the future; creating a depressing feeling, which must be identified and stopped as soon as possible.

Working the self-determination and independence of the person is fundamental. It’s very important that we have as one of our objectives to promote independence, always create the necessary supports, and make sure that the person understands the process so he can succeed. The emotional reinforcer, always suitable to the age and environment of the person with autism, must be present in every step of the process.

Promoting independence and self-determination will strengthen the emotional state, the person must understand that things don’t always come out the first time.

The states of anxiety in people with autism are present since childhood. Understanding this is essential to develop educational and intervention programs in autism.

A program of emotional reinforcement is indicated for these situations.

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