Having a child diagnosed as being autistic – or, more correctly, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a shocking and distressing fact to have to take in – both for you and the child – but on the other, you have a diagnosis, and can now move forward and deal with the situation.
One of the problems in handling children with autism is that it is not just one problem, and it does not manifest in each individual in the same way. Autism is, to put it in the simplest and crudest form, the way the brain is wired, being different to what we consider ‘the norm’.
An autistic person, however, is not ‘abnormal’ as such. The basic problem is the way they relate to and communicate with others around them, and the world in general. The autism spectrum disorder covers a wide variety of behavioural quirks that may become more noticeable as the child develops, and it is important that a diagnosis is obtained.
It is only in recent years that autism has been properly recognised and has become fully understood. Statistics say that 1 in 100 of the population of the UK suffers from autism in some form, yet it is clear that many more remain undiagnosed.
In this rest of this article we are going to talk about autism awareness training and who it is relevant to, plus how such training can help children – and adults – who suffer from autism spectrum disorder.
Awareness Training Explained
As we have already said, autism in a child is particularly difficult to diagnose, especially at an early age. While some children show clear signs of autistic behaviour from birth, most do not display these tendencies until they are around two or three years of age.
However, it is not uncommon for parents of children who are diagnosed at that age to look back and realise they had missed obvious signs; yet they only became obvious once the parent had been made aware of them. This is what autism awareness training is all about – teaching people to recognise the signs and symptoms of autism and to help deal with them.
Symptoms of ASD
The courses we are talking about aim to help the student understand what autism is about, and to recognise the tell-tale signs in both children and adults (many people have gone through a few decades before being diagnosed as autistic).
These symptoms are generally behavioural traits that differ from the social norm, such as:
- Avoiding eye contact with people
- Not answering to their name
- Repeating phrases and actions
- Unusual speech pattern
- Difficulty in engaging socially in general
- Difficulty in expressing or dealing with feelings
There may also be obsessive or repetitive behavioural traits such as becoming fixated on a particular topic to the extent it over-rides everything else, repetitive behaviour, and not responding when being educated. All of these – and many more – are recognised as signs of ASD, and the autism awareness course will help you identify them as early as is possible.
Dealing with Autism
It can be very difficult not just for the child, but for parents and others in the family to understand and correctly deal with an autistic child, so we recommend that you take a closer look at an autism awareness course in order to get as much information you can on the subject. Check them out at the link we gave above, and you will soon learn how you can best support an autistic child or loved one.