Nurturing An ASD Child: Do's And Don'ts.
My 8yr old grandson has recently been diagnosed with ASD. My son, his father, is an amazing father and has always given my grandson unconditional love and has never tried to mould him into any text book definition of what is considered correct, normative development. My son has severe ADHD and life has been a struggle for him but I always took his side against the educational system that didn't know how to deal with his ADHD,except when his impulsivity led him to illegal activities as a teenager and I took a very strong approach to get him back on the straight and narrow. OCD and impulsivity are a serious challenge for him and will be all his life. He is an unusual, talented, hardworking and good-hearted young man. When my son's second boy was born the developmental disparity became very acutely obvious and the little one surpassed his elder brother in verbal expression and emotional stability very quickly. My eldest grandson soon developed a strong admiration for his younger brother and though the roles are somewhat reversed they have a wonderful relationship.
Elder grandson has received a scholarship to a Rudolph Steiner school and has his own personal assistant, and seems content though he is cognitively very slow to pick things up when compared with his peers and even his younger brother, though comparison is not an accurate indication of anything in my view but he is in the educational system and that is how it works.
What would you suggest that could help an autistic child be happy in his formative years from personal experience? What has failed? What has done damage?
My grandson has selective mutism and thank goodness we have always respected this need and never tried to force him to speak , and though we were baffled by his meltdowns and what triggered them pre-diagnosis , my son always just comforted him through them with much more patience than I have in such situations. Having an official diagnosis has helped a great deal to find support for my grandson.
Looking back on your own childhoods, what worked and what hindered?