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graham.shellbell 02:07 PM 03-05-2012
I am wondering if anyone here either cares for an autistic child or has one of their own..I have an almost 5 year old daughter who is on the spectrum.. we have people from our school district come in 4 days a week and work with her(speech 2x, behavioral 2x and ot 1x) but she is honestly my most challenging kid here. I see how other kids can follow directions and play so well..especially one little boy who she has a pretty good bond with(been here 2.5 years..both same age)but he gets frustrated with her too and doesn't understand some of the things she does. How do you explain to the other kids why she is screaming and crying over the littlest things or why she won't play with them? The therapists that come in are great at working with her and getting her to do things with the group most of the time but when my husband or I try we just end up so frustrated and send her to her room which is not good for working on the social skills she needs. I think I needed to vent right now more than anything but I also feel like a failure seeing how I can manage all these other kids at times but not mine.
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Blackcat31 02:13 PM 03-05-2012
I don't have a lot of advice but I though this site might interest you as it is full of great resources.

http://tinsnips.org/

Hang in there....
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bunnyslippers 02:17 PM 03-05-2012
You are not a failure! Caring for multiple children is difficult, and adding your own child into the mix can be very demanding, regardless of a level of special need.

I was the director of the autism program in the school I used to work in, and taught a preschool class for children on the spectrum. I often had to explain the behaviors of the ASD students to others.

First, establish the rule that "fair doesn't mean the same." It can be confusing for children to see that rules or expectations are different for some children, but it is something they need to learn. Try and find some books about children who learn differently than others. You could also try explaining that your daughter learns differently and needs more time to learn things, while also highlighting for the other children things she does really well. I also always found it helpful to teach the other children the ways in which the ASD students communicates (sign language, picture cues, etc.) Some of those strategies could even help with group management. I always used a picture schedule with Boardmaker pictures for my whole group. I also incorporate sign into all my songs and activities. Try assigning a "buddy" to your daughter for different activities that she struggles with.

Look at your day as a therapy session all day long. You are giving her the opportunity to learn those important social skills in her home, in a safe and loving environment.

I am sure you are doing a great job - don't be so hard on yourself!
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Heidi 02:19 PM 03-05-2012
I had a child with autism in my dc when my kids were little. I just explained that his brains "works differently" than most peoples. I thought it was the best way to explain that there was not something WRONG with him, just different. Then, I elaborated with it's sometimes harder for him to *** or ***.

You have quite a challenge at times, I am sure. Trying to balance pushing your child's boundries so she can grow with having some peace for yourself and the group must be tough. Is there a way you could make a seperate, special area just for her in the daycare area? Give it a cute name, and make it her "alone zone" or something for when she becomes overwhelmed? She must have some favorite toys or books or things you could keep there, or let her pick a few things she likes. If you could get ahold of an old appliance box, it would make a cool fort for her to hide out in. Try offering it as a positive vs. a negative. Instead of "go to your room", try "sweetheart, it sounds like everything is just too much for you right now. Maybe you would like to go to your cuddle corner for a few minutes?"

I would introduce it over the weekend or in the evening when there are no dc kids, let her get used to it.

One of the scoring items on the FCCERS is "children have places to be alone". Maybe you could create a couple such places, and thereby give all the children that opportunity?
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PitterPatter 07:20 PM 03-05-2012
I had an Autistic child for 3 years! He was my 2nd client when I opened, talk about a test!!. He came when he was 2 and left when he was 5. When he came he could not feed himself and could not eat anything but pudding and spagettiOs due to a texture issue with his pallet DCM said. I managed to teach him to feed himself and get him to interact A LITTLE with others by using sensory items. He didn't build or play like the others but he liked to squeeze things and feel things so I would sit them in a group. He would get upset and wail when a child touched his toy at 1st. I told them he was special and didn't understand the same as we did. I explained they had to ask if they could touch his toy or offer something in trade. It worked sometimes. By the time he left for a special school he still was not potty trained. He just never understood at all and got very upset when I would try to sit him on a potty. I did manage to get him to eat other foods so that was enough to keep me happy. That and him feeding himself!
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jojosmommy 07:35 PM 03-05-2012
I cared for a boy starting at 3 and had him here 2 years until he went to school full time. I agree with the idea that fair doesn't always mean same. I also think it's important for kids to see kids with all different abilities early on so they have a tolerance for people with different abilities. I think that alone is a great gift but you are also teaching tolerance, patience, kindness, empathy and respect for others just by you daily interactions with your daughter. It is a full time job just working with your daughter so it's great that you can handle additional kids in the mix.
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safechner 08:41 PM 03-05-2012
Originally Posted by graham.shellbell:
I am wondering if anyone here either cares for an autistic child or has one of their own..I have an almost 5 year old daughter who is on the spectrum.. we have people from our school district come in 4 days a week and work with her(speech 2x, behavioral 2x and ot 1x) but she is honestly my most challenging kid here. I see how other kids can follow directions and play so well..especially one little boy who she has a pretty good bond with(been here 2.5 years..both same age)but he gets frustrated with her too and doesn't understand some of the things she does. How do you explain to the other kids why she is screaming and crying over the littlest things or why she won't play with them? The therapists that come in are great at working with her and getting her to do things with the group most of the time but when my husband or I try we just end up so frustrated and send her to her room which is not good for working on the social skills she needs. I think I needed to vent right now more than anything but I also feel like a failure seeing how I can manage all these other kids at times but not mine.
You will always challenging your daughter everyday. I have an 11 year old daughter who is profoundly deaf and has PDDNOS on the Spectrum. I have been challenging with her since she was around 4 or 5 years old. Now, she is doing great and it is not too bad like she was a little girl.

I have been doing daycare for almost 11 years and some kids don't understand why she is different. I explained to them that she is different. One thing, you shouldn't send your child to her room. It is not her fault. The reason is that, she was having throw a fit or anything like that because lack of communicate. Just giving her some time until she calm down and asked what she really wants. You have to be very patient with her. That is what I do with my daughter everyday. She is getting better and better when we work together. About social skills, give her time and she will learn little by little. I would leave her alone to do her business until she tells you that she needs or wants or any reasons. Do you work PECS with her? Do you have an ipad 2 that your daughter can use it for communication or anything??

I don't have any therapists for my daughter that I am NOT interested. I worked myself with her everyday. My husband disagreed with me a few years ago that he thinks my daughter needs help from OT therapy or something that. I don't think she needs because I can work with her myself since we are both deaf. Today, it works very well and she is doing great. She is very well with other kids and she is able to communicate with us. She is very smart girl and i am doing all myself without anyone helps. My husband (he is hearing) realized he was wrong.


How old is your daughter? Is your behavior therapy able to help you? My daughter's school tried to offered me to have behavior therapy 3 times and I denied it because they don't know how to use communicate with my daughter who is deaf. The teachers don't know sign language so they thought my daughter was having behavior problems. My daughter may had behavior problems at school because of lack of communicate. She is no longer in that school. We put her in private school that have deaf program. She is very happy that she is no longer behavior problems. Well, I hope it helps.
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graham.shellbell 08:12 AM 03-06-2012
Thanks for all the input..my daughter is high functioning and one of the things we kept getting told is have the same expectations for her as we do the other kids in our daycare..it seems if we do that we just set ourselves up for more frustration at times. She has a lot of toys that are just hers and most of the daycare kids know what they can and can't touch. Some days it just gets so frustrating dealing with her and her little quirks and then I feel bad for feeling that way. I haven't heard of PECS?? We just started back in November working with people(school district)...took FOREVER to get a diagnosis with her.
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safechner 10:17 AM 03-06-2012
I am surprised your therapist or school didn't tell you about PECS. Since your daughter is almost 5 years old, it is very important to use PECS to help her to communicate with you or your husband so you both won't get frustrated.

What does PECS stand for? It is called Picture Exchange Communication System. I had done with my homework when I found out that our daughter was diagnosed Pdd nos when she was 3 years old. I started to work with her when she was 3 1/2 years old. She was normal, happy, and healthy before 3 years old. She uses sign language a lot to use communicate with me and her daddy. When she was 3 years old, she stopped to use sign language, stop playing with other kids, and everything. We thought she was so mad at us that we put her in preschool which I think it would be best for her to be around other deaf peers since I am not involved with deaf community. A few months later, we feel something was not right so the school district called us to have an ard meeting (iep meeting) and they think our daughter possibly have autism which we disagreed. We do know something was wrong with her but not related autism. After we found out that she has PDD NOS so I decided I started to work with her. I found PECS online not school. I have start over again to work with her that I taught her sign language after birth. She does understand what everything we said to her but she was not response to us.

Now she doesn't need pecs and she uses sign language to tell me what she wants or needs.

What PECS looks like? Here is the information: http://www.pecs.org.uk/general/docum...fobrochure.pdf Hope it helps.
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Ariana 11:29 AM 03-06-2012
I have worked with a few children witn Autism, in fact one of my favorite kids had Autism and we had such a special bond. We also used the PECS system for a particular low functioning individual.

My best advice would be to get books from the library about autism to share at circle time with the other children. Talk about how her difference are what makes her unique but still deserving of love and attention. If the children in your care see you getting frustrated and angry and sending her to her room, it is sending a very clear message of intolerance. I know it's hard and a challenge every single day but you need to send a message to your daughter and to the kids in your care that even people who are different deserve love, respect and tolerance. Get the help you need to help you do that also keep in mind that MOST providers find their own children to be the most challenging. I have a normal child and she tests my patience every single day!! You're definately not alone. I agree with what the specialists are telling you about treating her the same as everyone else. I think this is why me and the kid I bonded with were so close. I set up boundaries for her and didn't make excuses for her based on a diagnosis. She was also very high functioning.
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e.j. 09:51 PM 03-06-2012
Originally Posted by graham.shellbell:
I am wondering if anyone here either cares for an autistic child or has one of their own..I have an almost 5 year old daughter who is on the spectrum.. we have people from our school district come in 4 days a week and work with her(speech 2x, behavioral 2x and ot 1x) but she is honestly my most challenging kid here. I see how other kids can follow directions and play so well..especially one little boy who she has a pretty good bond with(been here 2.5 years..both same age)but he gets frustrated with her too and doesn't understand some of the things she does. How do you explain to the other kids why she is screaming and crying over the littlest things or why she won't play with them? The therapists that come in are great at working with her and getting her to do things with the group most of the time but when my husband or I try we just end up so frustrated and send her to her room which is not good for working on the social skills she needs. I think I needed to vent right now more than anything but I also feel like a failure seeing how I can manage all these other kids at times but not mine.
My son has Asperger's. He was about your dd's age when I first started my day care. There were many, many times I remember feeling then the same way you do now. There were definitely days I felt like a failure. He's 21 now, is a genuinely nice, polite, kind, thoughtful, intelligent young man who is doing well in college and there are still days when I doubt myself as a parent. You're not a failure. You are raising a child who has autism and that can be very challenging - even when the child is on the higher end of the Asperger's spectrum which is on the higher end of autism! Hang in there.

My son and I have always had a very close relationship but he often surprised me by what he was willing to do for others that he wasn't willing to do for me. He was too intimidated to say "no" to a teacher, therapist, etc. He felt comfortable and safe with me so when I asked him to do something that felt too uncomfortable or overwhelming to him, he didn't hesitate to tell me "no" or have a meltdown. (I could never get him to speak on the phone - not even to close relatives like his aunt who was like a 2nd mother to him. His social skills teacher, however, got him to order a pizza over the phone one day. He hated every minute of it but he did it.) The same dynamics may be what allows the therapists to get your dd to do things with the group she won't do for you and your husband.

As far as explaining the screaming and crying, I would explain her behavior the same way I'd explain anyone else's. "Janie is feeling angry (sad, frustrated, etc.) right now. Give her a few minutes and she'll start to calm down. In the meantime, why don't you go play with the puzzles for now." or "Sometimes kids don't want to play. Janie doesn't want to play right now but maybe she will later. Why don't you ask Ann if she'd like to play with you."

Originally Posted by graham.shellbell:
... one of the things we kept getting told is have the same expectations for her as we do the other kids in our daycare..it seems if we do that we just set ourselves up for more frustration at times.
What do people mean when they tell you this? Do they mean that you should give your autistic child the same opportunties to learn and experience life that you would a non-autistic child? Do they mean that having autism is not an excuse for lazy parenting. Don't use your child's autism diagnosis as an excuse for not disciplining her? If so, I agree with the advice. Like any child, kids with autism need to be taught proper behavior if they are going to function in society. When poor behavior happens, it should be addressed, not excused.

If they mean it literally -- that you should expect your child to function the same way your neurotypical day care kids do, I don't necessarily agree. For me, it has been important to know how autism affected my son. I worked hard to understand his strengths and limitations so I would know what expectations were reasonable for him.

Here are a couple of links that maybe better explain what I'm trying to say:
http://www.autismafter16.com/article...d-expectations
http://www.autisable.com/759480698/e...-look-at-them/
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kayla 10:36 AM 03-07-2012
patience is key... They are very intelligent also, you just have to see what her nack is... I have two autistic cousins that i did pca work for before i did daycare. It is alot of work, and all i can say is god bless you, but like i said they are very intelligent in different ways... you just gotta find what she's interested in.
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