Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Autism > Dealing with the Emotional, Physical, and Financial Burdens of Autism
|

Dealing with the Emotional, Physical, and Financial Burdens of Autism

If you can't afford the intervention, look into other sources of support. Schools usually will cover the costs of an established intervention program. Many states have regional centers that assist with the costs. Insurance companies often cover costs. Universities often have gift funds or grants that can help. And many universities and high schools have volunteer programs that might provide you with help for free. Keep looking. There are agencies that will help you financially.

Question: The developmental psychologist we saw told me that my child has autism and is retarded. This was a double whammy and extremely distressing to my family. Can children have both?

Generally, diagnosticians will try to find a primary diagnosis, then a secondary, if one exists. Children with mental retardation tend to have verbal and nonverbal areas that are delayed fairly equally, while children with autism usually have some relatively higher abilities, most often in the nonverbal areas, such as putting together puzzles, figuring out how the video machine works, and so on. In addition, children with autism often meet most of their developmental milestones in the motor areas, such as sitting up, walking, and so on, on time, whereas children who have other types of disabilities may not.

It's possible that because your child is delayed socially and verbally, he's not scoring well on tests, which may give the impression that he's retarded. Keep in mind that it's very difficult to test children with autism, as these children are usually uninterested and unmotivated by the tests. Many children score better under nonstandardized conditions. You can often tell by observing the child if the nonverbal areas are higher than the verbal areas. Does your child play with toys and/or figure out tasks such as opening a latch to get a treat or fitting a key in a door? I'll never forget the dad who told me that he was watching his son take a vocabulary test: when the son was told to point to the bed, he pointed to the oven. The dad said that every night he told his son to jump into bed, and he always went straight to bed – not once had he ever jumped in the oven! Again, context makes a big difference in how children with autism perform.

Again, remember that settling on a diagnostic label is less important than teasing apart, one by one, the symptoms your child is expressing and developing an individualized intervention plan to specifically address those areas.

Question: My child's teacher says that my child has both autism and hyperactivity. Is this possible?

Many children with autism have activity levels that are either higher or lower than that of their peers (hypo- or hyperactivity). This may be because the children aren't learning socially appropriate ways to interact, because they're not getting environmental stimulation in a typical way, or because learning is difficult, so they "tune out" and appear lethargic. Their active avoidance of activities may also make them appear more active than their peers. As the children begin to learn how to interact in socially appropriate ways, and as their communication improves, the activity levels often stabilize.



Next: Page 6 >>
|

From Overcoming Autism by Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D. and Claire LaZebnik. Copyright 2004. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here or on the book cover. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.