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can anyone help with how to educate others about ASD

(3 Posts)
windowdrawing Fri 17-Mar-17 13:40:05

Hi everyone, I am struggling with how to help others to understand my DD's ASD (9 yrs) and how it affects her, specifically at the moment her play therapist and her older brother (other family members also struggle but they have had to go on the back burner at the moment!).

I recently asked her play therapist for some feedback on how things were going. We started play therapy as my daughter was struggling with negative emotions and asking for someone to talk to. This therapist told me before we started that she has worked with lots of autistic kids and would be able to understand and help (I've been told this so many times before but thought we'd give it a try).

Anyway her feedback makes it clear she is approaching things with a very NT lens; she cites research on boundaries making ALL children feel secure and how too much leeway isn't helpful. I don't know how she has come to the conclusion that boundaries are lacking; she
hasn't observed my daughter 'misbehaving' with me or me dealing with behaviour much at all. I don't believe my daughter does have too much leeway and we do have boundaries. All my kids understand how to behave but when DD is very anxious or stressed she can act out of course.

We have had to think carefully about discipline, be positive, use natural consequences and collaborative problem solving which I guess could look to the untrained eye like 'leeway'. But this has definitely made DD feel calmer and more secure over the years. Rigid boundaries etc can be really counterproductive!

I don't know how to tackle this - my DD is enjoying the therapy and I think benefiting from it (there was little feedback about this or my DD's emotions). But I do want to remind the thrapist that DD is autistic and therefore some things are a bit more complicated

Any advice on how to word this?

Also my older son (11 yrs) is really struggling to understand things like when DD loses her temper and shouts it is often because of delayed skills in the areas of emotional regulation, social understanding etc. He feels she hates him and is feeling the same towards her at the moment. I have tried lots of chatting about it, read lots of the sibling books with him etc. It's making them both pretty miserable.

Many thanks if you manage to read all that and can give me any advice!

Boulshired Sat 18-Mar-17 23:32:01

I find that instead of focusing on the autism diagnosis I focus on the needs that my child has because of autism. Even having a child who has an autism diagnosis does not give you much insight to another child with the same diagnosis. In fact some of the worst advice or comments I have had have come from those who believe they are educated about autism.

windowdrawing Sun 19-Mar-17 10:48:39

Thanks Boulshired that's a good point. I agree about the worst advice or comments coming from those who believe they are educated about autism!

How do you deal with it when people still won't listen or believe these needs are real and may need understanding or different handling?

I told the play therapist before we started that DD has v high anxiety and finds everyday demands very stressful, and that we have reduced demands as much as possible and that that is helping. But that she she still seems to struggle with low mood and anger a lot, which is why she wanted help. I haven't mentioned behaviour or problems with boundaries as this isn't our focus as we understand that behaviour is mostly an issue when anxiety gets too high.

However the therapist seems to be advising firmer boudaries only and that the issues are due to too much 'leeway' making DD feel insecure.

I want to tackle this with her but just need to get the wording right.

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