When Ethan was very young, he hardly slept and always had the urge to run away. Luckily, we used to live in building with a 24 hour doorman and the doorman was always there to make sure that Ethan never got away.
We moved to a house and we thought we had everything under control. We put bungee cords around the front door handles and a deadbolt to make sure that Ethan could not leave. One morning at 5:30am we were woken up by a loud banging on the front door. It was the police. They entered the house aggressively and demanded that my husband get his wife (that’s me) right away. The police had found Ethan wondering the streets with just a T-shirt on and wanted to arrest us for being negligent with our special needs son. He is nonverbal and could not tell them where he lived. They had asked people in the streets if they knew where this child lives. The neighbors guided them to our house.
After we showed the police all the extent to which we had tried to prevent him from leaving, they became more lenient and even tried to suggest other ways to keep him safe.
What’s the Password?
Having a secret “password” with your child could be a lifesaver. Come up with a simple, easy to remember word for a password and teach your child to remember it (if they are verbal)
Tell your child that if someone they do not recognize tries to pick them up, they need to ask the stranger for the password. If the stranger does not know the password, then instruct your child to run away and/or call for help.
A few years ago we went to a lecture about the benefits of massage for children (and adults) with autism. We knew about the benefits of a good massage on ourselves (who doesn’t) but we had never really thought about a massage for our autistic son Ethan.
It is a common misconception that kids with autism do not want to be touched. It is not true, they just need more time to adjust as they have a heightened response to overstimulation.
The lecturer explained that the primary benefit that massage provides to autistic children is relaxation. They told us that relaxation can combat fatigue and anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve energy levels, sleep, creative ability, and the thinking process. After a soothing massage, autistic children have shown more focus and are less high strung.
Statistics is a scientific tool that is used to describe the characteristic of different samples and to help describe uncertainty. Like any tool, statistics can be used wisely or misused. Standardized tests are tests that are used to measure how well a person performs and then compare them to the rest of the population, statistically that is.
When Ethan was young and we had just started teaching him, the school district required that we test him. We agreed but insisted that we be present during the test so that we could observe him.
Our son Ethan does not like to socialize, even with us or with his brothers. He prefers to do his own thing and is actually very happy being on his own. He sometimes will swim and play with his brothers and actually enjoys going shopping with us. He is generally easygoing but he does prefer his own company.
Whenever he is punished for misbehaving, (he loses his iPad privileges) he suddenly becomes very social, nudges us, and is all lovey-dovey. At that point, he is motivated to be social even though he is completely nonverbal.
When we think of socialization, we think of the interaction of several individuals.
Did you know that according to the dictionary, socialize means:
- To place under government or group ownership or control.
- To make fit for companionship with others, make sociable.
- To convert or adapt to the needs of society.
I bet that you were thinking of social as children playing
in the playground or as children playing with their friends.