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I need some help...my dd (3.5 yrs NT) was hysterical tonight that my ds is ignoring her. he is 21 months and was just diagnosed with asd (classic autism). We actually had a play date today and for some reason my ds was intrigued by my dd's playmate. Needless to say, my ds was offended. My ds hardly takes any interest in her.<br><br>
Does anyone have any advice? How do you explain autism to a 3.5 year old?<br><br>
TIA.
 

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Oh, how sad for her and for you to witness her upset. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
I really don't know. I haven't figured out how to explain to my son's twin--they are both 3.5. I've grieved for my son actually that he isn't getting experience the sibling relationship he might have otherwise had. We aren't in the exact same situation as now Andrew does sometimes engage with Caleb but at other, seemingly unpredictable times, he is extremely resistant and even mean and I know Caleb doesn't understand and is hurt.<br>
I imagine you are going to see more of what I do as your son gets older and your daughter experiences him more. Caleb has adapted really well to Andrew. He is so good with him. I really think that he has learned to really pay attention to the other child (any child) and adapt to that person. It is interesting. He's also very quick to help Andrew (and any child struggling) and is quite protective. So there are good and bad things.<br>
There have been times when I've tried to explain that Andrew needs space more than other people when Caleb has been hurt or that Andrew needs special help learning or doing things (to explain therapists or mommy paying more attention to Andrew). It is still hard for me to see Caleb trying to interact and Andrew resists--sometimes violently actually. But over-all I know that Caleb is going to have to come to terms with this and figure it out over time. And these experiences are part of that process.<br>
Is there anything you can teach your daughter to do that your son might enjoy? Caleb has had a lot more time to practice but he learned things that were more likely to engage Andrew and he does those things a lot here. It is interesting to me because I notice that other children their age play way differently and Caleb does that with other children but with his brother he reverts back to more simple things that Andrew will join or enjoy. I know I'm not explaining this well--but if there is something that your daughter can do that would maybe get a response or might make her feel better about it? Sounds, jumping, silly, singing, humming, looking at books, whatever--my son is sensory seeking and I know sensory avoiders would likely be way different--but if you could figure out what it was about those other children you might be able to figure out what he might like from her if he's in a receptive mood when she tries it anyway!<br>
Over-all it just stinks I think but try to keep in mind that there are benefits, many benefits, too for your daughter in learning to accept and appreciate and care for those who are different.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> That must be so hard.<br><br>
My 5 yr old dd would <i><b>like</b></i> it if 7 yr old ds w/ asd (asperger's) would ignore her some days! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
She has her own struggles w/ him and I can see it but am helpless. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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My oldest is 5 (my ASD child is almost 4) and she doesn't seem to notice too much. But she is extremely bossy and pretty much forces him to do what she wants him to do. In a way that's good for him because it makes him interact with her. She knows Dom is autistic - about a year ago I got her a book called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAll-About-Brother-Sarah-Peralta%2Fdp%2F1931282110%2Fref%3Dpd_ys_iyr19%2F103-0075135-3033400" target="_blank">All About My Brother</a> and we talked about how Dom is like that little girl's brother and what autism means. Basically I told her that he thinks differently and sees things differently. So she really doesn't think too much of it.<br><br>
Dom also has a couple of his own books that Beth has read as well: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAutistic-Planet-Jennifer-Elder%2Fdp%2F1843108429%2Fref%3Dpd_ys_iyr1%2F103-0075135-303340" target="_blank">Autistic Planet</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FUtterly-Unique-Celebrating-Strengths-High-Functioning%2Fdp%2F1931282897%2Fref%3Dpd_ys_iyr18%2F103-0075135-3033400" target="_blank">I Am Utterly Unique</a>. Both great books.<br><br>
Dom does completely ignore his younger sister and has since her birth. He only acknowledges her to push her out of the way or to get his toy back. But I'm hoping that she'll learn to be bossy like her older sister. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> My 5 yr old dd is also bossy. I like your perspective on it - forcing the asd one to interact. That's really good. I'm going to remember that. I'm also going to look for those books. I know they would help my kids.
 

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It might also be an age thing on your DD's part....my DD is 3 going on 4 and she has APD so she doesn't respond "normally" to her peers. Whenever we have a playdate with an NT child, the child always asks me "why doesn't she talk to me?"<br><br>
I think at 3-4 NT kids are really trying to figure out the whole social thing...and a child who doesn't respond normally I think freaks them out a bit.<br><br>
Maybe you can find some good books out there that will help your older DD understand about people who are "different"? It's been hard for me to find an easy way to explain to a 3 year old why my DD won't respond to them...let me know if you find something that works!<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 
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