First post on this forum looking for some advice.
My 5yr old son has recently been diagnosed with Autism, he is high functioning, attends mainstream school and a happy and confident boy. We're looking for a private SALT to help him with attention and listening (auditory processing) and possibly some social skills. Our main challenge at home is that even though he's highly articulate he doesn't always answer our questions or listen to instructions and when lost in an activity (which is nearly all the time!) zones us out. It makes to and fro of conversation difficult and you have to work quite hard to sustain one as he gets distracted so easily although if it's something he wants to talk about then he won't stop! His eye contact is quite variable too. Our budget isn't big but i fear the wait on the NHS for a SALT will be v long so wondered if anyone knew or could recommend a good SALT in London (we're based in NW London) who we could see for a time limited basis. There seem to be so many practitioners out there i don't know where to start and really do want someone who is good. I heard a therapist who specialses in Social Thinking might be what we need?
Also as aside he stimms quite a lot when excited, flapping hands, jumping up and down and children at school Ive noticed recently are starting to give him strange looks. I don't want him to get a hang up about this as we've got used to it as a family but wondered if anyone could give any advice about how to divert him from doing this in case he gets ridiculed.
Grateful for any advice.
Regarding stimming, you don't divert him, especially not just 'in case' he gets made fun of. If your son hasn't mentioned being bothered by other's reactions, I don't think it's a problem.
People give me strange looks fairly frequently because I talk to myself a lot, but I really don't care. I definitely learnt to temper it a bit growing up, but even in school it never really bothered me if people thought I was a bit weird (my strategy if people tell me I'm weird has always been just to go 'yep, I know'). I find most people accept idiosyncracies when they're used to you anyway, they just accept that's just what you do.
You could, if it's causing an issue, give him some things to say to explain to people e.g. 'that's just what I do when I'm excited'. But don't make him feel that the way he's expressing himself is 'wrong'.