Friday, June 27, 2008

Not Always Great

I was warned in the world of autism, that we'd have a lot of highs and lows with our daughter. Being the hyper-sensitive that I am, this worried me. Today reminded me why.

I went to a training on working with kids with autism and asperger syndrome. Great, proactive parent (and teacher). Not great, I left feeling pretty depressed.

Yes, I got some interesting strategies to try. Yes, I got titles of books to go find that might help me as both parent and teacher.

But man...some of the case studies and especially a video...really bummed me out. Not one of the kids they interviewed or showed on the video had friends! It terrified me. Some of them even vocalized feelings like, "When we were all little, I had friends. In preschool and kindergarten, people talked to me and played with me. Now, if people talk to me, it's mean and laugh at me a lot."

Ok. I am around teens all day. I KNOW how they are. But this really hit home for me and it scares me to death of my daughter. Everyone in this world wants to fit in somewhere. I've always known I might have to move for her education. Now I'm wondering if we'll need to move so she can be around other kids like her. What are the answers? At one point in the video, I had to go out into the hallway because I knew I was going to start sobbing.

How do you other parents deal with this? I love my daughter with all of my heart and more, but I know her dad and I won't be enough for her. Have you found social outlets for your kids? Please let me know.


novakgirl said...

I know they have social skills groups at MetroKids in West Des Moines that some kids have been able to find good friends through. Also, does your school do peer mentoring programs with typically developing kiddos?

groovyteach said...

She's in preschool, and I know they pair her up with a buddy sometimes. In the fall, she'll have a 1-on-1 para in the 3 year old room, so I hope that doesn't deter the other kids from wanting to interact with her. Thanks for the info.on MetroKids. I'll check it out.

Bratmom said...

Is your daughter in a specialized preschool that deals with the spectrum? We are waiting to get my youngest in. My oldest was in a delayed learning kindergarden and a big emphasis was on being friends. It's helped alot. He doesnt know a stranger when it comes to kids. Also autism meetings where she can meet other kids her age... does that make sense?

groovyteach said...

Thanks, bratmom. We have very limited resources where we live, but we are not opposed to moving if we need to. I'll do some research--Thanks!!

Bratmom said...

There is alot of new resources out there. We're military and we're thankfully at the base we need to be to have the tools we need to help Chris. Also, call the board of education where you live and see about autistic only classes. It's worth a try. If you want to know anything else just ask. :)

Melody said...

My older son who is 16 has Asperger's Syndrome. His friends have changed over the years but he still has friends. He has the same interests as other boys his age.

He had a one on one aide when he was younger but she got phased out as he got older. I could not tell you everything our school did for him but they have been really great so far.

High school has been a little bit more of a struggle in getting him what he needs academically because he no longer has an IEP but is on a 504 plan.

Other than with the school, I have really tried not to point out his differences but to point out the ways he is the same as everybody else. The music he likes, sports, videogames. I don't think little children notice the differences as much. I also think play dates would be a great thing for her.