'Mild autism'

Hi, my son was diagnosed last week with the above. He is 3.5 and due to start school next September. Although I've been fighting for this, still feel really sad about it, especially as he has come on so much in the last 6 months!  It's a lot to get your head around, felt as if I was told, given a leaflet and shown the door. Wondered if anyone else has had the same diagnosis and how it affected them, their child and especially mainstream school life...thanks for reading, any support would be greatly appreciated :) 

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  • Please don't worry about the fact your son is autistic.  Years ago, this would not have been recognised and he may have spent his life in ignorance.  I am 63 and have been diagnosed only a year, and I have been wondering about what might have been if it had been recognised earlier, but one cannot spend time in the past.

    To a large extent terms such as 'mild' or 'severe' like high and low functioning are a little bit meaningless.  Your son is autistic, and this means his brain is wired 'differently' and not in an inferior way.  He will think problems out in different ways, may get frustrated, wave his hands about and have what others see as tantrums.  As time goes by, he will in all probability learn some ways of adapting his behaviour but that does not stop him from being autistic.  Autistic people cover the whole range of intelligence just as neurotypical people do.  Basically there is nothing to worry about!

    He might get very fixated interests.  I can bore people to death once I get started!  He may cope very well in mainstream education, the main help he will probably need is for others to show understanding and awareness of his autism.  And with televison programmes such as the Chris Packham programme and The A Word the awareness of autism is becoming greater.

    Just because I am autistic doesn't mean I am incapable of working things out, of holding a conversation or of driving or using public transport, of doing the shopping or any other everyday things.  I may be forgetful, talk too much, not eat what others think of as a normal diet and noI like parties but each to their own, and I am quite harmless.

    I took great interest at school in reading, I very quickly picked it up and read books far beyond my years, although I have always had a problem with novels, preferring non-fiction and short stories.  I used to read text books from cover to cover as bedtime reading.  So I would say nurture his interests, you have a son of which you can be very proud of and there is  no reason why he cannot lead a very fulfilling life. 

    Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths can be nurtured, the weaknesses worked on, but not forgetting that your son's brain will get to a stage where too much is going on at once and he may not be able to cope with some seemingly easy tasks but complex tasks he may find a breeze. 

    It seems to be something a lot of neurotypicals are proud of to say 'I can't spell' or 'I'm useless at adding up', and to some extent it didn't do them much harm over their life.