Challenges For The Child With Autism

As you can see, I do not like to define a child with autism by saying 'the autistic child'. It is a child that happens to have autism.

Zach sees a picture of a boy lying down beside a bicycle. We would automatically deduce that the boy fell off his bicycle. However, Zach would have extreme difficulty figuring that out.

The boys in the playground are throwing snowballs and like all things, Zach wants to join in too. Then a teacher comes into the picture and the other boys know they should stop but Zach does not. Who is the one that gets into trouble? The one that doesn't know when to stop and just trying to fit in.

About a year and a half ago, we planned a trip to Disney World. We decided to surprise our children so we just told them where we were going on the way to the airport. Not the best choice for a child with autism. (I do realize some parents would never even imagine going to Disney World with their child with autism.) Zach had been sick the week prior to us going so the stress on Zach was enormous. The happiest place on earth wasn't necessarily the happiest place on earth that week. Disney World is a very noisy place and loud noises can be very overwhelming and overstimulating. Not to mention all of the people and the pace. Zach needs down time where he can just play with his cars, Lego and/or blocks. The days were very long and unfortunately didn't allow for a lot of time for that.

Other minor challenges for Zach that add to the difficulty getting out the door with four children include getting clothes and footwear on. Zach often needs help with turning clothes right side in and help with the front and backs of clothes. He is such a visual kid it always amazes me that he struggles with those details.

He can also struggle with taking his boots off and we are really selective with buying footwear. Some shoes are just really difficult to put on his feet. Zippers and buttons are difficult as well.

One other challenge includes when Maddie and Jack are dancing around having a great time. Zach is not a dancer and the excitement of the moment can make him overexcited so he can really struggle with calming down and really struggle with not being overly rough with the others. He just ends up upsetting the other kids or hurting them.

I'm writing you these things to inform you about the challenges of autism. But Zach is a wonderful boy and despite these challenges, he is very special. I wouldn't change him!