Looking for any advice

Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:20 pm

Looking for any advice

Postby All4spencer » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:30 pm

We are adopting my nephew after the death of my brother. He is 3 and is non verbal autistic. We do not have any information on his habits or needs other than what we have seen during family visits, as my brother cannot tell us and his wife murdered him and doesn't want to speak with us. We are focusing now on making him feel safe and loved, but we have no idea how to meet his needs. We are reading everything we can and trying to set up counseling and school for him as soon as possible.
Thank you all in advance for your thoughts and advice

B.L. Pike
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:29 am

Re: Looking for any advice

Postby B.L. Pike » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:46 pm

All4Spencer, I'm really sorry for your terrible loss. As an adoptive mom myself (all nine of our kids are now adults), I just have to say that "making him feel safe and loved" is exactly perfect for your focus--maybe even your entire focus--now and probably for some time to come. Much more important for now than any program or school. In fact, under the circumstances, finding ways to feel safe and loved yourselves, even as adults, will be a priority too. If you're anything like me, I can imagine you must feel cut adrift and maybe even inadequate to the job, but trust your love for this nephew-turned-son--it'll lead you by the shortest route to the resources he needs.

I'm excited for you as you begin this new adventure. There's nothing as challenging or as rewarding as a new child. Best thing you can do is to enjoy him.

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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:33 am

Re: Looking for any advice

Postby Santosg » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:11 am

It is great that you've stepped up to help your nephew. The first priority is to get a very extensive medical checkup. Vitamin deficiencies, neurologist, vision, hearing, etc. You want to know what might be the issues facing him, beyond simply the fact that he has autism.

Secondly, you should immediately begin contacting social service and early intervention services in your community. Find out exactly what resources they have available for your nephew. These should include, at a minimum, speech therapy and hopefully advanced behavioral therapy known as ABA.
He might also need occupational and physical therapy. Many of these should be covered, in part or in whole, by the community at large. Your biggest focus should be on getting him ABA therapy. ABA therapy is going to be the key to getting your nephew to learn language skills. You'll find examples of the method on youtube and it is important that you also learn this and apply it in our house .

It is not hard to figure out but important to implement in your interactions with him. He's got to start making an effort to communicate---this does not even have to be words right now--it could be as simple as a gesture or a point. For instance, if he's hungry: give him a choice. What do you want to eat? He will reach for one food item over another. So you say: oh, I see, you want X. That's the initial step.

Since he is 3, I'm sure he's eligible to go to a specialized early intervention elementary program at the local school. But there might be other autism based programs that he'd also be able to enroll in. Ask around, find out what has the best reputation. Above all, try to find one that has a strong emphasis on ABA.

The biggest challenge is figuring out the biomedical aspect as this can be the most expensive. There are ways to really reduce the cost. For instance, find a DAN doctor in your area that hopefully you could make his primary care provider--so that office visits are covered.

Your nephew has had a hard life but there is so much for him to live and learn. It is important that you avoid a lot of the talk that is common within the 'experts' that state that autism cannot be treated and that many biomedical interventions don't work. They often do work and help the child develop tremendously.

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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:25 am

Re: Looking for any advice

Postby swalton » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:25 am

Make and build the connection. Reach him.

Yes on every word of the previous replies. It's a tricky balancing act; you really have your plate full. But in all the logistical things that need to be done for your nephew-medical, psychological, physical-I think the most important aspect of having a child with autism is the connection he has with you and the connection you have with him.

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