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Do you have an autistic child who knows that they're autistic?

(16 Posts)
HecateQueenOfWitches Mon 29-Nov-10 19:02:30

I never did. Until now. ds1 has started asking why he's not like other people - mainly why he doesn't talk like them. So we've told him about autism (in basic terms).

Now he's saying he can't do this, that and the other "because I'm autistic" and asking if he can't do x, y, z because he's autistic.

How did you handle it?

atm he'll make some excuse for not doing something like "I can't do X because I'm autistic." and I'll cup my hands round my mouth and sing "what a load of rrrrrrubbish" and he'll laugh. Then I'll say "I can't put my shoes under the stairs because I'm autistic. I can't tidy my bedroom because I'm autistic. I can't eat my dinner because I'm autistic." and he'll sing "what a load of rubbish" and collapse laughing.

I am of course, also going over and over the communication difficulties that he has, and how he will just have to work harder than most people. I've suggested reading lots of books to help him understand how other people put sentences together.

I suppose what I am looking for is reassurance that my approach is ok (or at least not damaging!) plus tips and advice from your experiences.

ds2 - different kettle of fish. doesn't know, doesn't realise, doesn't give a shit. grin

colditz Mon 29-Nov-10 19:04:47

I told ds1 that his brain is wired a little bit differently, so he has to THINK more about other people, and also CONCENTRATE more on what is happening around him. I advised him to try to THINK before he does things. I haven't told him about autism, I think he'll use it as a cop out for the things he can already do but doesn't like (such as tidying the living room and putting his coat and shoes away.)

Goblinchild Mon 29-Nov-10 19:05:55

Mine went through a PITA phase of deciding that a lot of stuff was because 'My brain is wired differently, I have Asperger's'
So it was a case of selecting what was ASD and what was teenager slacking and attitude. smile
He dimples beautifully when caught out.

silverfrog Mon 29-Nov-10 19:35:18

My dsd, now 21, got stuck very firmly in the "its because I'm aspergers" category.

Everything she can't do, its because she has AS. Everything that requires effort is impossible, because she has AS. Everything she rushes into impetuously, like any teen, and gets wrong, is because she has AS. It has severely limited her, knowing her dx, because she hasn't been able to get past that - it is used as am excuse for not doing something, rather than a reason for finding q different way to do.something.

When she forgets to use this excuse, or is interested enough in something to overcome difficulties, she is the hardest working, most delightful young lady. But she retreats.all too often, and expects everyone else to do everything.for Bree because no-one finds it as hard as she does.

We do similar to you. Laugh her out of it. All play drama queens until she realise she its being silly. Point out inconsistencies, and use real life situations to get her thinking - eg she will claim she can't do maths, but if we try to short change her, she is onto it in a flash. She too dimples well when caught out.

silverfrog Mon 29-Nov-10 19:36:18

Grr. Phone typos. But it mostly makes sense.

ArthurPewty Mon 29-Nov-10 20:09:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

borderslass Mon 29-Nov-10 20:12:00

DS[16] at 11 asked if he could have an operation on his brain to make him normal, he knows he's different but he has the learning ability of a 6-7 year old so doesn't understand fully.

Spinkle Mon 29-Nov-10 20:15:00

My DS (6) say he's 'different' and sees clearly his reactions are erm amplified in the extreme.

We were advised by the Austism charity locally to put it to him that it's a 'wiring thing'. We haven't had that convo yet - I think it's a couple of years off.

logi Mon 29-Nov-10 23:48:35

My ds 6 knows and HE has decided that his autisms (his words) are that he is clever..........
oh and i asked him to pick up his rubbish once and he said "mum i cant cause one of my autisms is that i dont like picking stuff up, so im sorry about that "

He has us in stitches with what he comes out with.

bullet234 Tue 30-Nov-10 00:14:20

Neither of my lads have given any sign that they know they are different, so I'm pretty sure they don't know. I've not been able to explain to them yet.
Regarding myself, I didn't know I was different and my parents didn't tell me what they thought. Now that I do know it has helped to make things a lot clearer.
Regarding the maths, there are some aspects of maths I can do well and others I can not fathom or comprehend at all and the parts I can't fathom should be more simple to comprehend than those that I can do. Eg I can not subtract or divide, ie I can not think backwards or downwards with numbers. If I want to find out in my head what is, say, 75 - 37 I need to count up from 37. I also can not understand algebra and anything with maths that moves away from a basic adding up scenario. But I can do long multiplication in my head (and a bit of paper grin ) via a complicated adding up method. And I have a reasonably good rote memory so can recall off the top of my head the times tables up to 14 squared.

Al1son Tue 30-Nov-10 09:23:22

DD1 (13, AS) says she knew she was autistic when she was being looked after in the autism base when everyone thought she just had severe school anxiety.

Knowing that she had autism was a relief to her because it explained to her why she felt different from other children. She now feels like she's included in the group of autistic children who understand her rather than feeling excluded all the time like she did before. It has been very beneficial to her and not damaging at all.

Tony Attwood told her at a conference that her brain is wired differently and, although that might mean she finds some things harder, she is much better than lots of other people at some things too. That gave her a real boost.

DD2 is now being assessed but (if she gets a diagnosis) as she's 7 we'll think hard about how to approach it if she hasn't already worked it out.

lisad123isgoingcrazy Tue 30-Nov-10 09:36:00

DD1 does know and its helped alot. She knows there are certain things that she worries about because shes Autistic, and why she doesnt like strange places and people and why she doesnt always understand what people mean.
She will sometimes ask "is it because IM autistic", if it is I tell her yes but she doesnt use it as a excuse for anything. She is only 7years old so may eat my words in a few years.

TBH I think even NT children find reason, too tired, im a girl, i dont know how, i didnt make the mess LOL so I tend to think maybe its an age thing rather than an ASD thing

RockinSockBunnies Tue 30-Nov-10 10:24:08

DSS (7) knows he is autistic. It's been a massive relief in the household in being able to talk frankly about the issues that are going on at home and at school, and dealing with them in an open way, rather than treading on eggshells trying to deal with the behaviour without mentioning autism.

DP and DSS's mother have told him, over the past couple of months, that he is autistic, explaining that his brain is different from other people, that the way he thinks and learns is different, meaning that in some areas he finds things easy (science, reading) but has difficulties in other areas.

DSS is at a mainstream primary and was being asked by other children if he had Special Needs or was autistic - he's aware that he's different and is having lots of problems at school, so I think being honest about his issues has helped everyone enormously.

auntyfash Tue 30-Nov-10 10:44:41

My ds knows, he asked lots of questions about it after seeing the paediatrician/salt etc, who talk about it all the time.

Like some others though, he thinks it means it makes him very clever in some areas, but also knows it means he has some problems too.

sugarcandymistletoe Tue 30-Nov-10 11:50:58

DS knows - he goes to a special AS school. All of the children there are quite able, so we haven't had these kind of excuses yet. He did try it on when we had his first EP report which pointed out short-term memory processing: 'Oh I can't remember what I did now, it must be because of my memory problems'. But he actually has a very good long-term memory so that didn't work at all!

At school he gets a lot of PSHCE which covers specific difficulties relating to AS and it also runs throughout the curriculum. I tend to point out things to him in every day situations as well, explaining why he finds certain things difficult and when his wiring is working particularly well, so he knows it's not all negative.

The other day he said to me, 'I'm the most normal person at my school'. At ms school he stuck out like a sore thumb - so I'm not sure what I think about that!

HelensMelons Tue 30-Nov-10 16:38:18

Yes, DS2 knows that he is on the spectrum, as do his siblings; he attends a s& l unit and the other two are in mainstream; dd3 calls it 'optism' which is lovely! We talk about wiring being different and that sometimes things are 'tricky' any explanations that are needed are given, particularly in social situations when there are larger groups of people.

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