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New and open to advice

Stu S's picture
Stu S

New and open to advice

Mon 26 Oct 2015 8:17pm

Hi there, my 2 year old son has very recently been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. It hasn't' been a complete shock as myself and my wife had our suspicions. Now it has been realised we are finding it hard not to analyse everything he does and feel he is now worse than he was before even though this probably isn't the case. Just got through another meltdown while trying to get him ready for bed. I am trying to find out as much as possible about the condition as this is very new and have been advised that we will now receive a lot of support and guidance as we begin to bring him up into this probably very confusing world. After looking through the information in this site I think I am going to learn a lot and it is nice to be able to voice my concerns and questions, which is not something I tend to do very often especially on the internet. Well thanks for reading and I'm sure I'll be back soon.

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  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Stu S

    Welcome to the forum smiley


    You will definitely gets lots of help and support in here and I am sure in time you will also be able to offer help, support, tips and strategies to others on this journey.

    The Understanding Autism section in this website is really good and contains lots of great insights and tips.  

    Is your son verbal?  One thing I found really helpful when my son was young was visual timetables and also giving five minute warnings of what's next on the agenda (he was identified as being on the spectrum when he was a toddler, he's now 20).   I also had to be really precise with instructions as the usual things like "get ready for bed" didn't really mean anything to him and he needed it broken down into steps like "brush your teeth", take your clothes off and put your pjs on and once he was in his bed telling him it was time to go to sleep or he thought he get out two minutes later!!!


    He also had a lot of sensory issues that were hard to pick up when he was a toddler and I didn't really discover for a couple of years (which must have been really hard for him).  He had issues with wearing certain colours, materials etc.    Needed labels cut out of clothes and socks with no seams.  He was hypersensitive to smells and noises which could put him into a meltdown that was puzzling to us because these smells and noises had no affect on the rest of us.

    If you've any questions or want to chat about anything in particular please do let us know, we would be happy to help or just listen.  It can be that just knowing there are others on the same journey or have been where you are that can make things a lot easier to get through.



    Josie - Community Champion
  • CharlotteL's picture

    Hi Stu S,

    I'd just like to echo Josie's welcome to the forum. 

    As she said, we have an information hub on our website called "Understanding autism" which may provide some initial helpful material.

    However, if you have any questions at all or want to share something, big or small, do go ahead.

    Welcome to the forum.




  • SherpaMum's picture

    Hi and welcome from me.

    My son was diagnosed just over a year ago and it certainly is a steep learning curve.

    please let us know if you have any specific questions.  I have to admit that I didn't have a voice on the Internet until I came here.  It is nice to know that there is somewhere I can come to ask questions without fear of judgement and from people that understand.

    With meltdowns it is useful to see what was happening just before they happened, this way you can try and see what is causing it.

    My son has sensory issues and hated loud noises, he still reacts badly to them.  

    try and take each day at a time and know that we are here for you if you need us.

  • Buttercup's picture

    Hello and welcome from me too. My little boy was diagnosed aged 2 as well. I also have an 18 year old son who was diagnosed with high functioning autism aged 16.

    The time following diagnosis can be really difficult, you have so much going round your head, so many worries and questions and it is actually too much to deal with all at once. I was often overwhelmed by it all. 

    My younger son is 4 now, and he has times where he seems to be 'getting worse' in terms of his autism symptoms. Sometimes there is a reason for this, he is coming down with a bug for example, or there has been some kind of upheaval or change or just too much going on. I have learnt not to panic about it, but just to slow down and try to work out what he needs. Easier said than done I know.

    Visuals can be really useful. If you're having problems with bedtime routine you could start with that and create a schedule with simple pictures showing the parts of the routine. You can make a little box to put them in as each part is completed, so your son can be involved with it. I also found songs useful when my son was younger, we had a silly song for every part of the routine. It really depends on what your child responds to.

    I found giving choices wherever possible was really useful. Usually limiting it to 2 choices is best, do you want raisins or banana for snack, do you want to wear the red top or the blue top, and so on. My son cannot speak, so we started off with him pointing to the actual object, moving on to pointing to the relevant picture,  and then words as he learnt to read. It is useful not just for learning to communicate, but also for getting your child to be an active participant in daily life and giving him a sense that he has a say. 

    I didn't think my son had many sensory issues as he doesn't mind what he wears and he doesn't mind loud noises or any of those obvious things. However, I then discovered we have 2 more senses called proprioception and vestibular sense! These are definitely worth looking into as I found that some of the things my son did, that I thought of as behavioural problems,  were actually sensory issues. And there are things you can do to help them rebalance their sensory systems. I didn't get any of that info from professionals though, I had to do a lot of googling and ordering too many books from Amazon! 

    A lot of parents find that simplifying the language they use really helps communication. As my older son is always telling me: mum, be specific! And don't ask too many questions. Clear concise statements are better. 

    Following interests is another thing that's quite easy to do. If your son is engaging in an activity, even if it's something quite unusual or repetitive you can build connections by joining in. At first you can just mirror what he is doing , and then as he notices what you are doing you can change it up a bit to see if he copies you. It's called called intensive interaction and I found it really useful when my son was younger. I still use it when he appears particuarly shut off. 

    Sorry if that's too much info in one go, I don't mean to overwhelm you. My last bit of advice would be to choose one thing to focus on for a while before moving on to something else. I often feel a lot of pressure to be doing things with my son to help him, and I think he senses how tense I am, so go easy on yourself Smile

    Amy - Community Champion

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