Autism 101 by Tina Hutchinson 

I’ve been happily married going on two years now and having a child with speacal needs is challenging. My two biological children have no speacal needs, I was introduced to the Autism world through my nephew but, my sister kept a small group of people that interacted with him and so I wasn’t one of them. Now, I have a step child that has Autism. So, to try to understand this unspoken world of Autism I’ve been reading books, talking to so many doctors and taking a online class to gain some insight into my step sons world.
Autism 101: the red flags
Going through my travels of books, websites and doctors I found out that early identification of Autism is the “Key”.
No babbling by 12 months

No pointing by 12 months

No one words by 16 months

No 2 words by 24 months

Loss of skills previously learned or acquired

Lack of drawing attention from others

Does not respond to name

Lack of joint attention (child does not draw other’s attention to objects in the environment)

Lack of pretend, imitative and functional play appropriate to developmental age

failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to his/ her age

Child does not imitate others’ behaviors

Even throu I wasn’t around when my step son was little, I’ve been told that everything on this list he was doing. Being a concerned parent I would of had my child at the doctors ASAP.
Difficulty with social interactions

Some individuals with autism do not spontaneously reach out to others to share information or feelings. Some may not seem to notice other people at all, while others strongly desire to interact with others but become overwhelmed in social situations due to deficits in social skills. With effective treatment, many people with autism learn social skills and come to enjoy spending time with others.
My step son don’t give hugs or kiss at all, it’s more of him pressing his head into your chest with his face down. Yes he calls me “mom” now but, on occasional he still calls me “lady”.
Difficulty with communication

Many individuals with autism have delays in or do not develop spoken language. Some may only communicate using single-word utterances or simple sentences. Other speech abnormalities include echolalia (immediate or delayed repeating of information), unconventional word use, and unusual tone, pitch and inflection. Others have complex vocabularies and can speak at length about topics that interest them, but they may have poor conversational skills. They may also have difficulty understanding nonverbal cues such as body language, facial expressions and eye contact.
Individuals with autism who do not develop functional speech can use augmentative means of communication, such as sign language, picture boards and technological devices. Autism-specific apps can help them communicate their needs and feelings and gain independence in their daily activities.
My step son communication it “Load”, he will yell or even scream to get your attention. Showing any specific feelings of happiness, sadness or anger is very hard for him. For example, when getting a gift on his/her birthday a “normal” child would be excited but my step son it’s more like going through the movements to make everyone else happy even when he’s not.
Unusual behaviors
People with autism have restrictive, repetitive behavior, interests and activities. For example, a child with autism may play with only one toy or watch the same video repeatedly. They may engage in peculiar, sustained play activities such as spinning the wheels of a toy car instead of pretending to drive it, or dangling an object in front of their eyes for long periods of time. Others may focus intensely on a particular topic, such as dinosaurs or vacuum cleaners, to the exclusion of any other interests. Individuals with autism can be very reliant on specific routines and resistant to changes. Even a minor change in their routine or environment could be a great upset to a child or adult with autism.
My step son has this one “blanket” or should I say rag because that’s what it looks like that he chews on. He will cover his head and chew on the blanket. Also, using the bathroom he must have the door open at all times or he will go into a “creaming fit”, sitting in chairs are almost impossible because he “must” sit in a squatting position or sitting on his feet. He will not eat anything green, yellow or red and will eat chicken nuggets but will eat chicken finger, will not eat a sandwich, hamburger or hot dog on bread. When playing with his toys, he “must” decorate them by color shape and size before playing with them. Also if his brothers want to play with his toys he must bag them up and carry them around so that no one touches them because he believes that they will contaminate. These are just a few of my step sons unusual behavior.

Navigating the world of autism has become a challenge to me, trying to understand this world that my step son lives in so that I can be a better parent. I welcome any insights, books, wedsites or information that is out their.

9 thoughts on “Autism 101 by Tina Hutchinson ”

  1. I don’t see how old your stepson is but there are great groups of moms all over. My son is older, 13, but @AutismAvengerMom on Twitter and FB has a younger, 3, son. Tony Attwood’s book is good because it looks at all the different combinations of alphabet soup letters that sometime go along with Autism. My email is if you would like more mom groups or just want to ask questions from someone who understands.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Amazing article.. my younger brother, 12, has autism. I have a post about him up & will continue to do more. Would love if you took a look & kept up on it as some people don’t fully understand so it is nice to have some relation.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brilliant post, I don’t personally have any kids with Autism, but I have friends who do, My own family I have myself a Type 1 Diabetic, my daughter a Type 1 as well, my son an ADHD Diagnosed and a few other kids who are just not normal.

    Life is fully of change, this is a great journey you are on and thank you for sharing your story.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. My son is three and was diagnosed a year and a half ago. I just started blogging about my experience as an ASD mom. Love your stepson, and follow his lead. He’ll show you his world if you let yourself relax and be patient. 🙂 There are some amazing views along the way. Just appreciate the person he is- all the rules are different on the spectrum.

    Liked by 1 person

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