Hello, my name is Hayley I have 2 boys who have been newly diagnosed my youngest is 8 and has adhd, dyspraxia and traits of autism and my eldest has autism and spd. Now I have the diagnosis I am feeling slightly lost and confused think I cried for a week before it settled in. Now I’m not quite sure where I go or what I do. My eldest self harms via biting himself when nervous and I’m concerned it will escalate with the pressures of high school next year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance
For what it is worth, this is NAS' own link concerning Children being "Newly Diagnosed"...:
...Maybe someone else will next post something else more interactive/helpful.
Meantime, I would only say - not to treat older children like young children, and to simply respect what they say, and to treat them like adults, and when they do not understand an "adult" thing which is said, then explain it to them as if they were an adult. There are lots of Adults out there that do not understand "Adult" things (yet?) and that has nothing to do with Autism.
Re. your oldest child I'm guessing that you may have some kind of a behaviour support plan already or at least a list of his behaviours (happy and when distressed)..?
A behaviour plan orders the behaviours from how a person appears when calm escalating to their most distressed crisis state. Listed adjacent to the behaviours are strategies to be used to de-escalate the person when distressed. Most of the strategies will be pro-active and probably embedded into his daily routine (time alone in quiet area, having a visual daily/weekly planner (if needs this), and so on..)
From what you've written I'm guessing that he's going to a mainstream school. I'm sure starting high school will stress him so I'd suggest meeting with his school to ensure that there's a proactive plan in place beforehand.
Simple adjustments they could make to help him throughout the day could be:
Give him access to a quiet room during breaks
Tour the school prior to starting to familiarise him with building layout /staff
Photograph the rooms so he can remind himself of layout
Ensure he has a personal locker in quiet area.
Give him a named staff mentor who he can book 1:1 time with to chat about any challenges he experiences. If the school has a staff autism champion or counsellor they may be able to do this. Perhaps he has a guaranteed time slot once a week with this person ?
Identify some items he can take to school with him to help him when stressed (ipod / mp3 to block noise, sensory objects to use discreetly (small enough + age appropriate)
Identify special interests and match with after school clubs/ classes. Best places to make shared interest friend's.
I hope that some of this is helpful.
I'm writing this on my phone so apologies for the slightly sloppy writing and structure.