John Buck via Crowdrise
December 25, 2010
BENEFITING: PACIFIC AUTISM CENTER OF EDUCATION
Children with autism cross the ability range. Some can be gifted in different subject areas but the majority have difficulties relating to other people, many may never learn to speak and may never be independent. This wide range is called the autistic spectrum. At its most profound, people with autism may be disruptive and unpredictable and may be aggressive to others and/or themselves and their environment. They may seem to be living in a world of their own. Their lives, and those of others who care for them, particularly families, can be extremely stressful.
Children with autism have difficulties in three main areas:
* social skills such as making friends and interacting with other people
* communication – explaining how they feel and think including problems with speech and other ways of communicating, such as facial expressions and gestures. Some children simply do not learn to talk
* imagination – understanding that other people have thoughts and feelings. Children with autism can be very rigid and may have fixations on different objects or topics 1
Children with autism always have difficulties in these three areas but they show up very differently from child to child.2
Children with autism have an individual way of looking at the world. Some have particular strengths such as an ability to focus on detail and concentrate for a long while on one thing; some have a talent for learning facts and particular skills. Many have quite severe deficits in all three main areas.
Children with autism may react differently to sounds, sights, smell, touch and taste, which affects their response to these sensations. They may also have unusual sleep patterns and behaviour.
It can be hard to diagnose autism in very young children because the age at which children typically learn to walk, talk and play can vary. One child may say little until they are two and then start to speak in sentences; some children may be walking before their first birthday and others may be 18 months before they start. Children may speak late for all sorts of reasons: they may be busy learning other things such as walking; they may be twins who often develop language later; if your family is bilingual, they may be learning two languages at once. Some children may have less experience of face-to-face talk with those in immediate contact with them. Boys often learn language later than girls so remember, the stages below are just averages; most children will be quicker or slower at reaching them. If you are worried that your child is not developing in the same way as other children, ask for a check up from your doctor or clinic.
We aim to help make a difference in the education of Autism persons, and to educate all others who don't know what Autism is all about.