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Hello from a teacher of autistic children

kdrinning

New Member
I am a Special Education Resource teacher. I have several students with non-verbal autism. Sometimes it's hard to separate what is autism versus "normal" reactions to stimuli. I have a lot of questions.
 

Nitro

Admin/Immoral Turpitude
Staff member
Admin
V.I.P Member
welcome to af.png
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Dear Mrs Drinning, I’m writing to thank you for being the wonderful sort of teacher that these kids need. By the simple evidence of you wanting to get information from the source rather than trusting what’s written in books, mostly by neurotypical people who’s only concern is getting in to the best seller’s lists.

I was quite nonverbal until grade 3. Teachers tried to tell my Mum that I was dyslexic and that I would never be able to read and write. Mum burst out laughing at that and one of the teachers got really cross and asked Mum if she cared at all about her child. By that age I had already completely exhausted the children’s section of the public library and had started on mainstream novels, Asimov, Niven, etc.

I hated being at school and I hated even more being dragged up in front of the class to read out loud. So I’d just stand there trying not to wet my pants and say nothing. What turned everything around for me was my grade 3 teacher, Mrs McFetridge.

Early in the school year she had a talk to my Mum, I can still remember every nuance of that conversation 50 years later. She said my previous teachers were just silly young girls that didn’t know one end of a baby from the other. She said that I had no learning difficulties, she said the opposite was true, that I learned too quickly and easily and because of that I was bored.

She told Mum that I had a condition known as “tongue tied”, that the amount of loose skin under the tongue was too short and restricted movement and that this was why I had trouble reading out loud. That wasn’t actually true but what made all the difference to me was that this lady actually tried to understand, tried to see things from my point of view.

That lady changed my whole life.

She also organised for Mum to take me and see one of her friends for elocution lessons. The friend was some sort of priest, I don’t know what denomination or rank but he wore funny black silk pyjamas with red piping on the sleeves and down the front and he had a funny square hat made of the same black silk with red piping. He was great big fat man and very jolly, sort of like father christmas and I liked him.

He taught me, in his own words, how to give a sermon without the benefit of a microphone. How to make my voice very loud without yelling and how to pronounce words with perfect diction so that people up the back of the church could hear and understand every word. His teachings were reinforced by my teacher getting me up to read stories to the rest of the class.

A lot of people regretted my taking those lessons later in life, I have a very powerful and well controlled voice and I can be quite vocal when I want to be. :)
 

GrownupGirl

Tempermental Artist
V.I.P Member
I never went to special education, nor would I have wanted to. I was too "smart" for special education and too dumb for a class full of normies. Like many if not most women with ASD I was diagnosed until adulthood when my whole life just got really horrible. After all, I just have weird and intense likes and dislikes, problems with eye contact, say stupid and cringy things, and don't relate well to other humans. I don't flap my hands or rock without a rocking chair and I actually show emotions and facial expressions. I also have bad anxiety, and probably dyscalculia and/or non verbal learning disoder, but I've never been close to being diagnosed with that. I'm lucky to not still be living with being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. The mental health care where I live is ABYSMAL. In fact it's worse than ever, now. As a result, I am a perpetually bitter and angry woman. Hope your day is not as unpleasant as I am.
 

Moogwizard

My mind is my own church
V.I.P Member
I never went to special education, nor would I have wanted to. I was too "smart" for special education and too dumb for a class full of normies. Like many if not most women with ASD I was diagnosed until adulthood when my whole life just got really horrible. After all, I just have weird and intense likes and dislikes, problems with eye contact, say stupid and cringy things, and don't relate well to other humans. I don't flap my hands or rock without a rocking chair and I actually show emotions and facial expressions. I also have bad anxiety, and probably dyscalculia and/or non verbal learning disoder, but I've never been close to being diagnosed with that. I'm lucky to not still be living with being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. The mental health care where I live is ABYSMAL. In fact it's worse than ever, now. As a result, I am a perpetually bitter and angry woman. Hope your day is not as unpleasant as I am.
sorry to hear they misdiagnosed you . Sometimes I really wonder about Doctors . Hard to find one who actually cares .
 

Moogwizard

My mind is my own church
V.I.P Member
Hello, welcome to the forum.





I met a special doctor. My parents took me to see a doctor when I was a kid in the 80s because they noticed something was going on with me and they were worried. I isolated myself and did some other things, something was obviously not right. After looking me over for three minutes he gave me a pen and told me to write my name. Then he turned to my parents and said "your son is left-handed. So he's a little odd, it's normal for lefties, you don't have to worry". Doctor of the year. :) Because of that I wasn't diagnosed before I was 30.
Reminds me of my great grandmother saying I am evil because I left handed and never spoke much . But I told her she does not make sense because I just write with my left hand . Everything else including using scissors I use my right . The schools got mad too because they kept asking make a choice what hand are you going use . Pick one . I said no I will use both . Why do I just have to use one hand
 

Streetwise

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am a Special Education Resource teacher. I have several students with non-verbal autism. Sometimes it's hard to separate what is autism versus "normal" reactions to stimuli. I have a lot of questions.
this makes me more depressed if a spec ed teacher still doesn't know that what hope do i have that a paramedic in England will know anything about autism
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
I am a Special Education Resource teacher. I have several students with non-verbal autism. Sometimes it's hard to separate what is autism versus "normal" reactions to stimuli. I have a lot of questions.
Hello and welcome. It is nice that you are seeking information here, and anyone that would like to better care for children who have challenges deserves warm support in my opinion. Like @Moogwizard said, I would ask away – you can start a thread about anything. Plus, there are many many extant threads to search through that may have answers you are looking for.

My initial thought is to consider shedding the idea of normalcy all together. Instead, perhaps there is a range of responses and some of them are more adaptive than others. Rather than abnormal responses, you could look at maladaptive responses, because normal doesn’t really matter that much if it is not causing harm.
 

PastelPetals

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hello and welcome! I spent most of my life in special ed (I still am as I am currently in a residential transition program) and I am opening to answering questions! Welcome to the forum!
 

Crossbreed

Neur-D Missionary ☝️
V.I.P Member
Hello & welcome @kdrinning.
I am an ASD1 father with children at all three severity levels of ASD. I do not have the co-morbids that my ASD2 & 3* children have, so I cannot relate to those firsthand, but I can share my experiences as their father and as a benign autistic.

*I am the guardian of my 28yo ASD3 daughter.
 
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Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
Sometimes it's hard to separate what is autism versus "normal" reactions to stimuli.

Part of that is because it is a spectrum. Doctors have drawn an arbitrary line in the sand and said "This is autism. That is not." - but for every behavior there will be people close to the line on both sides, and some so close you can't tell what side of the line they're on.

I have answers, but they may not match your questions. Bring on the questions, and thank you for caring.
 

Sunny1

BeautySeeker
V.I.P Member
Welcome to the forums, Kdrinning! I like that you are willing to recognize that there are things that you don't know as much as you Would like to about it! And are humble enough to ask for knowledge from other people. It is an admirable trait. Go, You!
 

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