I have a beautiful 3 year old boy, Roy. We found out last year that he is autistic. I could really use help dealing with it. He has 3 other brothers, 2 older and one younger. I need help with bedtime, eating, and social skills. He is not a severe case. He has Aspbergers. He is going to a special school and that has helped us a lot, but there are still things he can not communicate with me, and things I dont understand about him. If there is anyone that is Autistic out there that can lend a hand in how to help...please...I could use it.
I too had a hard time coping with it when Gabe was diagnosed.
First thing I am going to say is this - for you - try to get 10 minutes a day to yourself. That helps make things a lot easier.
Next - Gabe was a terrible eater. Meals and snack became very scheduled. First - I made sure meals and snacks were about the same time every day. I set a timer on the stove and when the timer went off it was time to eat. I made the meal/snack and put it in front of him and if he didn't eat it I just didn't worry. I am a pediatric dietitian as well - so I really went with Ellyn Satter's division of responsibility and told my self, "It is my job to offer him healthy foods - it is his job to eat it and I need to not worry if he doesn't" That really helped a lot. Also - juice was offered at one snack a day - milk was offered at the three meals - and everything else was water. Gabe would fill up on liquids like milk or juice and then not eat. I would wait until he had sat at the table for at least 10 minutes before the drinks came out.
Sleeping was a little harder. At the age of three it was pretty hard. We turned all the lights off in the house and turned the TV on whatever his obsession was and I would sleep in the living room while he watched TV. Gabe was afraid of the dark so he wouldn't leave the TV area. Once he got older we told him he had to be in his room from 9pm to 6am. He didn't have to sleep but he couldn't keep the rest of us awake.
We were pretty lucky with social skills. Gabe had a younger sister and he started to imitate the things she would do. When he hit about five we would tell him the things that were socially acceptable -ie - you can't eat your boogers, people don't like being licked, if someone smells bad you just keep it to yourself . . . stuff like that.
my son is autistic as well almost three. We struggled constantly with bedtime. we finally found a system that works for us. It's a process that took about two weeks to get to where we are now. So we used a canopy over his bed for a few days with story time one book no more then two times through. then drop one side of the canopy the following two days until its just gone. Leaving you with story time and we added the music we played for him as a baby. recommended by his therapist. and the final step was we moved him out of the toddler bed to a twin. His therapist recommended this, she said a jump in their environment can help with coping of new ever changing issues. so he now sleeps with a ten minute story and then put his music on and we noticed that if we say goodnight buy waving nite nite and he repeats he will sleep through the night. As far as feeding goes I think almost all autistic kids have issues. you might want to try taking a workshop through autism speaks it help with us and try to find a play gym that offers classes for autistic kids or swimming classes are really good too. I hope this helps, I know we have seen major improvements with just same changes.
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