Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The A to Z of Autism - A is For

When Mr L was diagnosed back in 2007 I didn't have a clue what Autism was or even what it meant, 8 years on and 2 more diagnoses its still a puzzle. I have been contemplating doing a blog series with all the words associated with Autism to help other parents and to maybe be a bit of a reference point. So say hello to the A to Z of Autism. Each week will be a different letter as it's the first week today's letter is A.
Autism as a life long, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to others. It effects how they experience the world around them. To get a diagnosis of autism, a person will have 3 main areas of difficulty, social communication, social interaction and social imagination.

Asperger Syndrome
Part of the autism spectrum and has similarities with autism, however, people with Aspergers will have fewer problems wth speaking. They also ofter have average or above average intelligence and do not have accompanying learning difficulties. They may have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Tina From Mother Geek suggested this one. She says " A is For Assessments, millions of the things. I felt like we'd never get to the end of all the assessments and appointments to get our diagnosis. I agree it feels in the early days like you live in the paediatricians office and going back and to CAHMS. Make sure you check out Tina's YouTube Channel Mombie Uk for a little peak into the life of an Autism family.

Jenny from Cheetahs In My Shoes suggested this one. She says A is for Attitudes, the attitudes of those who care, 'help', support, judge and comment. I found it particularly difficult dealing with people's attitudes towards my children, from all angles. I think over time I have become a little immune to it and I don't let other peoples attitudes bother me.

Some children with autism can form the most intense attachments to what you think are the strangest things. Miss S once grew attached to an old toilet roll holder and wouldn't let it go for 3 weeks. The best advice I have for attachments is as long as it's not dangerous let it be. You may cause more distress by removing the attachment. Attachment can be in the form of objects, tv programmes, certain fabrics and even food.

Some children with autism find a sense of calm in animals. My son Mr D finds them very calming and he is so loving towards them. We have debated on getting a dog for him and read up a little on Autism Service dogs. Mr D could it for hours stroking his Grandad's dog Kacie, he says it makes him feel warm and happy in his heart.

Lucie from Our World and Autism suggested this one. A is for Achievements, no matter how big or small we celebrate them all! I have to agree, we celebrate the randomest things in our house from weeing on the toilet to not head butting the floor!

If you have any you want to add leave me a comment below and make sure you pop along here next Wednesday for B is For............
Thanks For Reading


  1. Oh YeS ! ! Assessments had to be here ... soooooo many .....

  2. Oh yes for me to, only Attachments! Little A cried over us removing the fire!?

  3. Oh yes attachments!! Currently she is attached to dvd cases along with her comfort teddy.
    The appointments are never ending too!

  4. I want to understand Autism as best I can. Your information is helpful.

    Rachel Craig

  5. I like that Achievements has been included. As we learn from good experiences. old saying "It is Nice to be Nice". We can all build on achievements. Also some positivity can help us get through the day etc. Well Done!

    Rachel craig

  6. It seems a shame that the children have to go through any assessments before diagnosis is made. Maybe it takes some time as appointments may not last for long. Wonder if there are other ways that maybe team members could work together / communicate :- maybe Nursery staff, Health Visitor, General Practitioner, School Teacher etc. As child needs appropriate support, yet I don't think that happens till there has been a diagnosis.

    Rachel Craig

  7. I would like to encounter Acceptance, maybe that will come with more understanding. Maybe more information is necessary. I attended a course on Autism, it was a short course, yet covered a lot. It was intended for Parents and Carers. I wanted to attend in orde to learn more, as I have come across a few individuals within groups and the community that have a diagnosis of Autism. I wanted to try to understand more about the condition, as I believe everyone deserves a life with quality. I want to interact appropriately and express acceptance of the individual etc.

    Rachel Craig