There’s a reason why they call autism a “spectrum disorder.”
I used to be really, really uncomfortable with the label – autism. I worried that moms with children that had more severe presentations would resent me using it to describe my son, who was verbal.
For a while, I carefully placed “high-functioning” before autism. But then I heard from people on the spectrum who said it was almost insulting. “The truth is,” they kindly and carefully explained, “we all are usually high-functioning in some areas and not at all in others, no matter where we fall on the spectrum.”
It reaffirmed what our developmental pediatrician used to say – If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.
Taking an individualized approach for any child, no matter what the diagnosis, is critical. It is certainly where, in my experience with my two boys, we have seen the greatest impact.
But the truth is, it’s really, really hard to figure out how to do it. What’s worse, most of the interventions available to us tend to prescribe exactly the opposite.
You have to have him in social skills therapy or he will never be able to relate to other people.
He must be enrolled in a structured classroom environment in order to learn.
You can’t let him dictate how he is going to learn. He needs to learn the way a child on the spectrum learns. (I have no idea what this even means but it was said to me a few years back…)
Autism Parenting: My Child Is Verbal But Not Communicative
Today, I want to introduce you to Breakthrough Interventions and my sweet friend, Annette Nunez. (Annette and I actually went to high school together, lost touch for 20 years and then reconnected over the internet because we both have a passion for helping children with autism. Life is just crazy like that…)
Breakthrough Interventions is a service provider based in Denver, Colorado. Their focus is simple, yet profound –
View each child as an extraordinary individual, not as one with limits.
Every therapeutic and educational plan at Breakthrough Interventions is designed with this powerful idea at its core.
Real Help For Real Families
I am sad to say that I don’t live in Denver. I know most of you don’t either. Wanting to help families is what Breakthrough Interventions is all about however, so they created a podcast sharing their approach, their successes, their ideas and their passion.
I am honored to be on the Behind the Breakthroughs Podcast today answering the honest, real questions I have struggled with for years.
What do you do when your child is verbal, but not communicative? Who can function, but still struggles with everyday self-help skills?
We talk about all of this and more. Please join us.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.