Very tough day


New Member
My difficult child just finally got a diagnosis of Autism. He has had language delays and ADHD issues for years. He is now 8 and I am confused, scared and want to do what is best for him. The schools in our area are great and many people move to our county to get services. I am separated from his father and have two other kids. I fear for him and the outlook longterm. He is high functioning and has social issues. I would love some guidance or support.


Active Member
I really don't have any experience with Autism, except I have studied it a lot because a few of my friends have children who are autistic. However, I don't have any personal experience with Autism. You will get lots of support here. Someone should be along here in a few to guide you. Nothing to be scared of, there is so much support out there for parents who have autistic kids.


Well-Known Member
Hi there.

My twenty one year old son has high functioning autism and please relax.

Like your son, mine was first diagnosed with ADHD, which didn't seem right to us, but...whatever. My son had a launguage delay, but once he started talking he talked a lot. He had social issues too, which is the main problem with autisic spectrum people...communication issues, really. Autistic kids tend to have certain narrow interests and are uninterested in talking about anything else besides them so they get bored with others easily and like to do their own thing. Some autistic kids blurt out inappropriate things or off topic stuff, which makes other kids think they are odd, which they are...sort of. Some make strange noises, which are called stims...or stimming. Or they smack their lips or tap on their desk...more stimming. My son, fortunately for him, learned early to do these things mostly in his room at home. Yes, they can learn these things, although they may never be comfortable, say, at a party with people they don't know. My son is now very friendly if he knows the people. In fact, at work he is often told he is talking too much. My son is such a cool person that I can not even count how many people have told me they love him. He was nominated for an award for accomplishments this year. Yes, he needs some adult supports, but is 90% independent. He does get disability, although he has a part time job, which he is very good at. He does not rage or "lose it" anymore. He is very calm and happy with himself.

Each parent has to decide which type of interventions to take for his child. In our case, we decided that Special Education for reading and math was best for Sonic. He got distracted in large groups. The rest of his classes were mainstream with an aid that was spread out among three other kids. He quickly became the highest functioning child in the Special Education class and a leader and loved helping the other kids, which boosted his confidence. He got a lot of kudos from all so his confidence grew and he retains high confidence today, disability and all. He rarely had to use his aid, but his aid was a source of tremendous love and confidence for him as well.

Sonic always had a small group of friends for lunch in high school...a combo of some Special Education kids and some extremely brilliant nerds who other kids shunned. Together they had a blast and Sonic was never picked on at school. The "typical" kids at his school were used to the Special Education kids and were extremely kind to them. They were mean to each not to the Special Education kids. They loved to help them out and made them feel included. We were lucky. But we had picked this school. Our home school did not have a Special Education room and we didn't like that so we fought for Sonic to go to the other school. They had to pay for a bus to come get him. He didn't mind the small bus. He liked it. Not so busy or loud. Autistic kids, on every end of the spectrum, like routine, calm, and predictability. My son still chooses this, although he now ha his own apartment.

Autistic spectrum disorder is one of the most treatable childhood disorders that exists. We adopted Sonic at age two and were told "we can't do anything for THESE kids." I suspect the psychologist of DCFS's choice said that because his birthmother used drugs and drank and he was thinking that Sonic was brain damaged by it. I cried a river when I got home after that. He was so wrong. Sonic is a hard worker and never quits and is one of the happiest young men alive. He is also a lovebug. Although he doesn't like being hugged (sensory issues) he will tolerate every time we talk, we both say, "I love you." He has been a joy to raise, although not always easy. I am honored to be his mother. He is my hero. I mean that.

Focus on what you can do to help your child grow and learn. Read books. Look at schools and classrooms. Get in touch with an advocate. They are free. Call your state's Dept. of Public Education to find out who your advocate is. The advocate makes a BIG DIFFERENCE when you bargain with the school. The school should provide services for free. If they don't, you need to have an advocate with you to fight them for his legal rights. Don't be scared. Put that energy into being proactive and brave, so that your child can also be brave and proactive and help himself. He can live with this and still be happy and productive.

One last comment: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are often very sensitive to medication. ADHD medications sometimes make Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids go off the rails. If so, he may do better without medication. My son is much better unmedicated.

Hugs to you. You can do this. So can your child.
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Well-Known Member
Hi snees- Its scary I understand-right now my 14 year old daughter is "Probable" Aspergers but thanks to this forum pointed out all the signs and thats when I had her first "probable" from her evaluation -still going for testing. As you know, you already are getting support from everyone here! MidwestMom already gave you her experience with Sonic, and here on this forum, they also suggested Occupational Therapist (OT) therapy and various things like Midwest said. My daughter also has social issues, doesnt mind the crowds but cant speak to anyone, lack facial features etc. At school, oh my it was hard. She grew up with certain kids so while it made it easier for her, ( they were used to her and how she was) once she moved to high school she just shut down. Sat by herself, quit all activities etc. Meeting other kids like your son would be ideal for him! In my daughters new school ( two classes there-rest home schooled) there's various types of kids with different needs and its a blessing! Also theres in person support groups and activities for kids ( if none are in your area- start some!!) Good luck and hugs


Well-Known Member
Sonic got an Occupational Therapist (OT), PT and social skills through the school. No need to do it outside of school and pay any $$$. The school SHOULD handle it, which is why I suggested an advocate.The schools are cheap and often try to get out of the interventions so an advocate is mandatory for the best outcome for services. I don't see any reason to try doing it alone when this service is available to everyone. The school personnel tend to treat us like idiots unless somebody who KNOWS THE LAWS come with us...that's the advocate. We had a kick arse advocate and got everything we asked for fairly quickly as she would have had no problem taking the district to court, and they knew it. She'd also won in court. And it didn't cost anybody anything...except the school district to take it to court. Luckily, they gave in to Advocate and we didn't have to do that. The Advocate can be found at your state's Dept. of Education. Call and ask for the Special Needs Director then explain you need the free advocate for your district. Don't skip this step. It is very important or you will only get half or no satisfication. Schools do not react well to parents who come alone.

Me, they treated like a moron. Her, they listened. I can't think of one thing we asked for that we didn't get from the district once the advocate sat in our IEP meetings and kept in touch with the Special Education Director. Frankly, I think he was afraid of her. That was a good thing or we would not have gotten half of what we'd asked for, including possibly not the school switch, which was tremendously helpful.

It is amazing how well Sonic is doing. I never dreamed he'd be the young man he is. He is just awesome.

Confused, I have to chuckle when you talk about autistic kids meeting other autistic kids. The parent group I was in had events for the children and adult autistics, but, honestly, they did NOT interact AT ALL. The kids stayed with their families or siblings. They are as inept with each other as with other kids that they don't know.
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Well-Known Member
I know what you mean, because they dont interact with each other, like my daughter. I think its more of a personal thing to have the kids see other autistic kids because now that my daughter is actually seeing other kids with other issues, not just Autism, I think she is realizing everyone is a little different in different ways and shes not alone. At least for my daughter. But snees can have even more parents in the flesh who understand. Thats really what I meant. But I also understand they may not understand or feel the need to interact, or understand to do so, its really individual child /parent and their needs.


Well-Known Member
snees, I'm an adapted physical educator and work with kids with autism all day, every day. They are all so unique, just like the rest of us. You will get a lot of support and once you're over the first bit of shock, you'll step right up and take it in stride. I see great things all day, every day in my work. Once you get the necessary supports in place, things will be better.


Well-Known Member
Supportive hugs here as well. While I don't have experience with autism, my son struggled with severe adhd and learning disabilities. He was 8 when we first began to get help (and when we first landed here on this site). I will tell you that studies have shown the best indicator of future success for our kids is early intervention at school and home. I won't say it is going to be a walk in the roses, but I will tell you that the support you garner for your son WILL make a difference in his future. Seek out and accept help at school, at home and in the community. Make sure, even with his social issues, that he has a buddy or two and that you foster that friendship outside of school. Get a really good IEP in place, not a standard one with phrases like, "preferential seating", "extra time on tests", "repeat directions twice", etc. Research, research, research, visit the Special Education archives here on the site, visit the wrights law website....

Above all, remember that there are many instances where your son will not be able to control his reactions and actions but there will be others where you might be played. Learn to recognize the difference and hold his feet to the fire for the latter since that is what real life will do later.

Supportive thoughts your way.



Well-Known Member
{{hugs}} Snees. I hear you.
Take the dr's report and bring it to school. That is, after you have set up a meeting with-your son's teachers and guidance counselor. :) Definitely, the good news is, you get supports now. Either a 504 plan or an IEP. You'll learn all the ins-and-outs of how schools and the legal system work. :)
The main thing is that he is loved by you and he has a diagnosis, something none of us would have had 50 yrs ago.