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Posted: 1/9/2006 7:15:25 AM EDT
I had to look up my cousin's address today, and found out that her son is autistic. He's always been a little bratty when I've visited, but she's never mentioned this, and as far as I can tell, not even her parents know.

Next time I see her, how should I handle this? Simply forget it, since she has obviously been trying to keep it secret, or talk to her about it, or ??
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:17:13 AM EDT
Just do you best Rainman imitation the next time your over.. Your sure to be a hit!
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:18:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
I had to look up my cousin's address today, and found out that her son is autistic. He's always been a little bratty when I've visited, but she's never mentioned this, and as far as I can tell, not even her parents know.

Next time I see her, how should I handle this? Simply forget it, since she has obviously been trying to keep it secret, or talk to her about it, or ??



How would you just "find out"? If you learned this through a medical provider then you'd better keep it to yourself.

You must actually have relations with your cousins. I avoid mine like the plague that they are.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:18:11 AM EDT
Peter Griffin would know what to do.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:18:39 AM EDT
forget it. If they want you to know they will let you
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:20:19 AM EDT
They dont make a big deal about it so you should act the same.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:24:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tanam:
They dont make a big deal about it so you should act the same.



+1
What's to handle? Just act normal.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:26:24 AM EDT
keep your distance so you don't catch it
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:26:30 AM EDT
Get a copy of "The Ringer" and have an intervention.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:46:33 AM EDT
This thread would be much more popular if you discovered his parents were swingers.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:50:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
This thread would be much more popular if you discovered his parents were swingers.






How did you discover this?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:50:18 AM EDT
Discretion is the better part of valor.

Keepin your yap shut is the better part of discretion.

As is evidently the case here, not all autistic kids come off like "Rainman". If you have extensive interaction with him, try not to treat him "special", just be aware that he might have unusual reactions to some things.

I work in a setting that includes numerous higher functioning autistic children. Some you'd never know, others are obviously affected.

One little piece of advice though.. Some autistic kids may give you the feeling that they are ignoring you or not paying attention to a situation, while they are actually recording every detail. Sidebar conversations can be tricky.

When properly guided, lots of these kids can learn to work around their autism and function in society.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:51:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
How would you just "find out"? If you learned this through a medical provider then you'd better keep it to yourself.

You must actually have relations with your cousins. I avoid mine like the plague that they are.


Not through a medical provider. That thar intarweb thang can turn up the durndest stuff. You should get on it and see for yourself.

I don't keep in touch with many relatives, but I grew up with this one. She and her husband are good people.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:54:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By Tanam:
They dont make a big deal about it so you should act the same.



+1
What's to handle? Just act normal.



+2
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:03:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Discretion is the better part of valor.

Keepin your yap shut is the better part of discretion.

As is evidently the case here, not all autistic kids come off like "Rainman". If you have extensive interaction with him, try not to treat him "special", just be aware that he might have unusual reactions to some things.

I work in a setting that includes numerous higher functioning autistic children. Some you'd never know, others are obviously affected.

One little piece of advice though.. Some autistic kids may give you the feeling that they are ignoring you or not paying attention to a situation, while they are actually recording every detail. Sidebar conversations can be tricky.

When properly guided, lots of these kids can learn to work around their autism and function in society.



+ 1

Just be consistent in your actions with the autistic child. Autism is characterized some degree of social withdrawl, stunted communication, and interest in repetitive events. Forcing an autistic kid to hug you or talk is often met with screaming.

I would keep these things in mind when interacting and not think poorly of her for her seemingly "bratty" behavior.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:07:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By five2one:

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Discretion is the better part of valor.

Keepin your yap shut is the better part of discretion.

As is evidently the case here, not all autistic kids come off like "Rainman". If you have extensive interaction with him, try not to treat him "special", just be aware that he might have unusual reactions to some things.

I work in a setting that includes numerous higher functioning autistic children. Some you'd never know, others are obviously affected.

One little piece of advice though.. Some autistic kids may give you the feeling that they are ignoring you or not paying attention to a situation, while they are actually recording every detail. Sidebar conversations can be tricky.

When properly guided, lots of these kids can learn to work around their autism and function in society.



+ 1

Just be consistent in your actions with the autistic child. Autism is characterized some degree of social withdrawl, stunted communication, and interest in repetitive events. Forcing an autistic kid to hug you or talk is often met with screaming.

I would keep these things in mind when interacting and not think poorly of her for her seemingly "bratty" behavior.




This is pretty much spot on but I'll post more later when I time. My daughter has an autism spectrum disorder.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:10:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Peter Griffin would know what to do.



"Hey jenny, you might want to get yourself checked. I just found out I'm retarded"
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:11:04 AM EDT
Tagged for FishKepr's comments.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:18:39 AM EDT
tag

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:59:52 AM EDT
The range of characteristics for Autistic people is very broad. You can have anything from stereotypical "Rainman" behavior to Albert Einstein, who is believed to have had an Autistic-range disorder called Ausberger’s Syndrome.

One of the main things to keep in mind is that people are different. If the autistic kid is normal in most respects, there are some social behavior things to keep in mind. These people have great difficulty picking up on the emotional state of others. Angry comments are not seen as angry and will be interpreted literally. Sarcasm is often completely lost. They do not know what you mean, they only know what you say.

Bratty behavior on their part is often due to their difficulty in understanding that their behavior has an emotional effect on other people. Some people are very good at seeing how other people feel. This emotional empathy is greatly lowered (sometimes missing) in autistic people. You & I can see someone who is “clearly upset”, and they completely miss those non-verbal cues (tone of voice, body language, etc).

Don’t sweat the Autistic label. If the kid is “normal” but has some social-interaction concerns, then all you have to do is learn how to communicate with them. This is fairly easy – just say what you mean & mean what you say. Be literal.

Another concern – many of these “high-functioning” autistic people are VERY distractible. They often have classic “attention deficit” characteristics. Getting (and keeping) their attention can be quite a challenge.

As with any communication, things are much easier when you know your audience and tailor your communication to fit their needs rather than your own.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 3:10:01 PM EDT
Thanks, guys, especially for the tips on dealing with the little tyke. I guess the thing that bothers me the most is that she apparently hasn't told anyone, including her own parents, based on some of the things they've said. This also falls into why I thought the kid was being bratty, when it's just how he is and how he's gonna be. If she'd said, "Sorry David keeps interrupting, but he's autistic," I would've understood instead of wondering why she didn't try to make him behave better.

I'll just have to keep it in mind hereafter, and keep quiet about it. I don't know why she doesn't at least tell her parents, but it's her decision to make.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 3:19:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FishKepr:

Originally Posted By five2one:

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Discretion is the better part of valor.

Keepin your yap shut is the better part of discretion.

As is evidently the case here, not all autistic kids come off like "Rainman". If you have extensive interaction with him, try not to treat him "special", just be aware that he might have unusual reactions to some things.

I work in a setting that includes numerous higher functioning autistic children. Some you'd never know, others are obviously affected.

One little piece of advice though.. Some autistic kids may give you the feeling that they are ignoring you or not paying attention to a situation, while they are actually recording every detail. Sidebar conversations can be tricky.

When properly guided, lots of these kids can learn to work around their autism and function in society.



+ 1

Just be consistent in your actions with the autistic child. Autism is characterized some degree of social withdrawl, stunted communication, and interest in repetitive events. Forcing an autistic kid to hug you or talk is often met with screaming.

I would keep these things in mind when interacting and not think poorly of her for her seemingly "bratty" behavior.




This is pretty much spot on but I'll post more later when I time. My daughter has an autism spectrum disorder.



=1 my son, Hyperlexic and PDD/NOS. What an INCREDIBLE child he is, though!
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:30:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 7:38:05 PM EDT by FishKepr]

Originally Posted By ScottS:
Tagged for FishKepr's comments.



Thanks. The others have now pretty much covered most of that I wanted to post, but here's a few more tips:

Basically if you're not a direct caregiver, you should not need to take any extreme measures, but extra patience may be necessary. Depending on the kid, in addition to the issue with maintaining routines, it may be good idea to be aware of any unique 'triggers' the child may have. You should not need to ask though, it's really up to the parent to make anything important known especially since they can vary so much. For example: My daughter is sensitive to some noises so we take a set of Peltor Junior earmuffs everywere she goes. She's also intensely afraid of moving from a bright area into a dark area so we keep a flashlight handy.

One more thing...

As far as telling everyone is concerned, having a kid with an autism spectrum disorder is not something that should be concealed or ashamed of, but it's not something to blab about at every opportunity either. There's a difference between making people aware of a special needs kid and slapping a label on one. Personally, I don't tell people about it unless I feel it's necessary.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:37:52 PM EDT
I know next to nothing about this subject, so I have one question.

I'd always heard Rainman referred to as an idiot-savant, even on TV when they were talking about the movie. Is that not a real term, not what he was, or what?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:26:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 8:27:26 PM EDT by 71-Hour_Achmed]

Originally Posted By GoGop:
I know next to nothing about this subject, so I have one question.

I'd always heard Rainman referred to as an idiot-savant, even on TV when they were talking about the movie. Is that not a real term, not what he was, or what?


Dustin Hoffman's character was supposed to be autistic; I was told that Hoffman had carefully studied autistic people in order to portray them accurately (at the level/type of autism that the character called for). I seem to recall that he won an Oscar for that role, so I guess he did pretty good.

Thanks FishKepr; I understand about not going around and telling every person she passes by, but I don't think even the child's grandparents know. When I've visited them and they talk about her, they don't understand why my cousin is doing what she is doing. Now that I know about her son's condition, without going into detail, a lot of things about her life very suddenly make a lot more sense.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 9:09:49 PM EDT
Thanks 71.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 9:17:54 PM EDT
Buy the kid a math book, and when the kid is old enough, Las Vegas time baby!
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:01:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
I know next to nothing about this subject, so I have one question.

I'd always heard Rainman referred to as an idiot-savant, even on TV when they were talking about the movie. Is that not a real term, not what he was, or what?



An idiot-savant is not autism. An idiot-savant has a specific skill they are very good at, yet they still have a low IQ. Autistic people often have unusually high IQs, what they are missing is more related to perception or the normal processing of what is perceived. The mechanism behind autism is still generally unknown.

The character Dustin Hoffman played had a pronounced case of autism. At that level, they are not very functional in society and need special care. Most people with autism are much more functional in society.

There are some common characteristics of autism:
- Being touched by others can be a very intense sensation
- The sense of touch can be amplified, some clothes are very uncomfortable
- Social interaction is a mystery (in varying degrees)
- A known routine is comforting
- Deviation from routine can be confusing/upsetting (in varying degrees)
- Skills tend toward "things" (mechanical, computers, math, physics, etc)
- Problem areas tend toward social & people skills

You know the stereotypical geeky computer nerd? They dress like they don’t care, they might walk a little funny, and they certainly are not smooth social climbers. This is a classic example of someone with an autism-spectrum disorder.

The public school system in Round Rock, Texas has developed a pretty good program to deal with students who have autism-spectrum disorders. This small town has grown exponentially in the past dozen years. A huge influx of school kids with autism-spectrum disorders has necessitated that the school system develop autism programs.

Why would this happen?


……….Dell Computer Corporation is based in Round Rock, Texas and is the largest employer in the area. There is an unusually high population of engineers, computer scientists and other high-IQ people in the area, and their kids are in the school system.


My own opinion about this is that these people are wired a bit different and are unusually good at seeing patterns and relationships in the world around them. Anything that works by a set of rules is their domain. Mathematics, physics, computer design, engineering and quantum mechanics all work by a set of rules that are measurable and repeatable. These patterns – these rules – are easier for these people to see & comprehend than for “normal” people.

Social interaction is different. There is no measurable and repeatable reaction that all other people will have. If you do (or say) X, then Y, then Z…. different people will react differently. There is no rule or pattern to their reaction, and this is discomforting to people who are “wired” to see obscure patterns or predictable interactions.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:14:44 PM EDT
There is nothing to "handle". These things do happen and there is nothing wrong about it. If your cousin does not tell everybody outright that his / her child has special needs, then that is her choice.

As for you, now that you know, maybe you will be more "understanding" and tolerant when the child acts up.

I know I am. I usually have zero tolerance for brats. But if I know that they are autistic, then I try to be more patient around them.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:04:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FishKepr:

Originally Posted By ScottS:
Tagged for FishKepr's comments.



Thanks. The others have now pretty much covered most of that I wanted to post, but here's a few more tips:

Basically if you're not a direct caregiver, you should not need to take any extreme measures, but extra patience may be necessary. Depending on the kid, in addition to the issue with maintaining routines, it may be good idea to be aware of any unique 'triggers' the child may have. You should not need to ask though, it's really up to the parent to make anything important known especially since they can vary so much. For example: My daughter is sensitive to some noises so we take a set of Peltor Junior earmuffs everywere she goes. She's also intensely afraid of moving from a bright area into a dark area so we keep a flashlight handy.

One more thing...

As far as telling everyone is concerned, having a kid with an autism spectrum disorder is not something that should be concealed or ashamed of, but it's not something to blab about at every opportunity either. There's a difference between making people aware of a special needs kid and slapping a label on one. Personally, I don't tell people about it unless I feel it's necessary.



Thanks. My nine-year old son is autistic, although not as profoundly affected as some. I wanted to hear the comments from others with autistic children.

For those reading who don't know, autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder. Rather than pissing on a strip and seeing a "plus" form, it's a set of characteristics that your child may have to a greater or lesser extent. Some not even at all. My son, for example, is extremely social. He wants to be around other people, is a very "cuddly" kid. But he's behind verbally, and was a late talker. He's still behind receptively, but catching up. He can understand most of what he's told, but can't always tell you what he wants. He's quiet, but not withdrawn. Sometimes particular sounds (songs, etc) really bother him, and he plugs his ears. He "scripts" often (Think Rainman reciting the Wheel of Fortune show), and is a BEAR to introduce new food to. But he's easily engaged in games, he's learning well in school (he's always been in a mainstream classroom).

So, go figure. Autistic kids can be all over the "spectrum." You handle them like you handle all kids: however the current situation calls for. Sometimes you can't tell a child is autistic. Sometimes you can't miss that something isn't right. It tends to be situational.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:11:50 PM EDT
Wow. The things I learn here.

Thanks to all of you for passing out that info, good stuff indeed!

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:15:13 PM EDT
The only thing I'll say regarding speaking with your cousin:

Make sure her silence on the subject is not adverse to the child. The younger a child with autism can enter special education, the better off he or she is.

Sorry to hear of this.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:57:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HBruns:

Originally Posted By GoGop:
I know next to nothing about this subject, so I have one question.

I'd always heard Rainman referred to as an idiot-savant, even on TV when they were talking about the movie. Is that not a real term, not what he was, or what?



An idiot-savant is not autism. An idiot-savant has a specific skill they are very good at, yet they still have a low IQ. Autistic people often have unusually high IQs, what they are missing is more related to perception or the normal processing of what is perceived. The mechanism behind autism is still generally unknown.

.......................




Lots of good info in your post! Thank you.

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 12:02:17 PM EDT
How did you find out? My son is autistic. If you want any info, I'd be happy to give it to you.
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