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3 year old autism

For the record I am posting anon b/c I have LOTS of family on cafemom, and I don't want my SIL to take offense....
We all just found out that my niece (3) is autistic, and my SIL is refusing any treatment, and just flat out doesn't believe it. All the symptoms are there and you can tell, but my question is...Is there anything that we (aunts uncles grandparents) should know about autistic children?
Like, should we communicate with her a little different? Does she need anything special to help her grow and develop?
I have no experiance and little understanding about autism, anybody have any crash course information?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:29 PM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • give her love and attention just like you would any other child...even though you may not THINK that she cares b/c she may show no emotion she does.

    I have always thought my dd understands a LOT more than what she lets on. ;) My dd is super smart...she is 4 and can read...and has been reading for at least a year.

    Her mother needs time, it can be very traumatic and hard to accept. Try to put yourself in her shoes and you may get a glimps of what she deals with everyday.

    I have hard days and easier days...and feel like no one really understands where I am coming from, so support her, dont force her to understand by pointing out things to her about her dd, that can be SOOOO unbearably painful.

    I would also read about autism, its impossible to explain it here on need! ;)

    Really, kids with autism are not as different as people make them out to be, they can be a huge blessing and amazing kids!

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 7:57 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Well,it all depends on what she can tolerate,and what she has difficulty with.Treat her as you would with a neuro-typical child,no need to talk down to her or anything(not that you would).maybe buy her some toys like blocks to stack/line up,crayons and books to color,etc.Basically toys to learn from.Some children have difficulty with noise,or lights,crowds,certain textures and such,so find out her likes and dislikes and try to make her more comfortable by incorporating these or avoiding them.Good luck with it all.Hopefully your SIL will see the truth soon.

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 6:41 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I would also take the child's lead in what she likes. If she likes animals, go with stuffed animals, books about animals, if she likes trains, go with that. The more interested in a subject she is the more you will have to talk to her about, the more verbal she will be. I am not an expert on this, it is what I've observed with children at my daycare.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 7:22 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Does the child have a second parent? Early intervention is so important.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:01 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Kids with autism are still kids. When you speak to her it needs to be simple, clear language - not baby talk just don't use more words than needed. Autism is such a wide spectrum and the symptoms and abilities can be very widespread. I have a 12 year old with autism who is in a special education classroom and if you speak with him it's very apparent that there is something "off", I also have a 9 year old who was diagnosed with autism but is in a typical classroom and has been classified AG, nobody would ever guess he's on the spectrum. So . . . without knowing more I can't really speak to how you should treat her or what you can do to help, but I'm willing to answer any questions you may have.
    Please encourage your SIL to get whatever help is available - any therapy (speech, occupational, etc) certainly isn't going to hurt your niece! And early intervention is the key to autism!

    Answer by missanc at 9:06 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I hope your SIL can find a way to accept her child's diagnosis soon. The early help is received, the better the outcome. I have a nephew who is autistic so I can under the challenges. Best thing you can do is learn more about autism which will give you a better idea on how to interact with your niece. I always tried to treat my nephew the same as the other kids even if he doesn't acknowledge it. Biggest challenge I found was buying gifts, particularly toys. I recently got an email regarding a web site that rates toys for kids with disabilities. It's called It might be useful to you.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 11:05 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • Read The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. It will help so much. Hopefully your SIL will see the light as it is so important to get early intervention. Does she think her daughter will just outgrow it, does she not want the label, or is she having a hard time accepting?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:06 PM on Jan. 20, 2010