The Faces of Autism: Meet Coulter
Meet Coulter, a hard-working 6 year old diagnosed with Autism. Coulter was featured HERE last year!
Coulter was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2.5 year old after his parents noticed regression in his speech. He had been developing typically until he was about 1 year old, then, between 12-15 months his developement just stopped. He stopped talking, started lining up his toys everywhere, stopped engaging with others and would not make eye contact.
Coulter is very persistent. No matter what obstacle iss in front of him, he knocks it down. With therapy and the right help at home, he's made so much progress. Coulter never just gives up on anything. He struggles socially and has a serious problem with relating to other people. Coulter will do things that hurt others, not intentionally, but because he can't relate his own experiences to another person. He can also be bossy with other children and even adults. He needs a lot of support in social settings to be successful.
In the past year, Coulter got to take last summer off for Speech Therapy! That is HUGE! He started in the fall again, but only one day a week to work on social concepts. His parents also had to address his toe walking, which is very common in children with autism, with a physical therapist. There has been a lot of success with this so far!
From Coulter's parents about raising a child with Autism:
"It's a ride. When Coulter was being evaluated at 18 months old for Early Intervention, we practically begged them to tell me it wasn't Autism. I thought it would be the end of the world. Now I know it's just a different take on the world. I wouldn't change him for anything. This is our normal, and I don't think we'd know how to live any different way.
We have met so many new people through his experience. I never imagined how many interesting and wonderful people I'd meet through something that I thought was the worst thing in my life. I would never have met them. My son has also made some awesome friends and it's so great to see him make friends with people who have the same struggles he does."
Problems with social skills is a very common issue for children with Autism. Ranging from complete indifference and isolation to extreme aggression and/or "bossiness". The bossy behavior is often attributed to the lack of flexible thinking in people with Autism. Things need to go a certain way, therefore they come off as bossy.
HERE is an article about social disconnection.
If you suspect your child may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are great supports in the community. One of my favorites is BisMan Autism Families on Facebook, the people there can help guide you in the right direction, through the process.