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Here you find questions related to parenting a child with special needs. The problems are listed alphabetically and you will find questions relating both to ADHD and Autism. Under the Links Out you can find useful links for inspiration or more background knowledge. Some of the questions may also be relevant to school, but for questions that are specific to learning situations, see the FAQ on Education.



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Intellectual developmental disorder - Does my autistic child have it?

Question: My autistic child scored low when testing intellectual capability... My child does not talk...
does that mean my child has an intellectual develpmental disorder?

Answer: No. Even if the test results say so, or you have not heard a word from your child yet, assume intelligence until proven otherwise. A test that is not tailored for autistic children's development milestones or other difficulties (like being motivated to participate) can only show you the MINIMUM intellectual capability. This can be very far from the reality. It is important to feed your child intellectually to reach his or her full potential.

Question: My child is non-verbal, should I still read, and what level in books should I choose?

Answer: Until proven otherwise, assume intelligence. Choose a variety of books, point to pictures and teach letters. See what your kid enjoys and how much of it. One day your kid just might pick up the iPad and write "I love you mum". Take a look at the books with Super-A, written to enable interaction even with the non-verbal child by pointing to answers. Also see the Rapid Promting Method!

Diagnosis - How do I explain it?

Question: How do I explain what being on the autism spectrum is to family or friends?

Answer: Autism involves difficulties to process and to interact with the world and people. This overwhelmes the child much like extreme stress would. Like someone suffering with post-traumatic stress, the autistic child can be sensitive to sounds and other sensory input, and also has a difficult time thinking straight - planning, taking in others perspective or separating what is important from details. Much like you would loose these abilities under great stress. All this leads to problems to communicate, form relationships, explore, play and learn.

Question: How do I explain what having ADHD means to family or friends?

Answer: ADHD involve difficulties to pay attention and keeping still and quiet. Much like a small child super-excited about something to tell or seeing something they really want. This inner excitement makes it difficult to keep track and focus: pay close attention to details, organize tasks, or just keep quiet and still at the desk.

See more in About - AUTISM & ADHD

Question: How do I explain what having ADHD or Autism means to school?

Answer: You should not need to. However, you may want to direct the school staff to some of the guides in Links Out - Education.


Toilet training - How do I get my autistic child to go?

Set realistic expectations. Many children with autism mature late (parent to high-functioning kids often report around nine years). What you can do:
a) Teach why and when. b) Motivate with rewards from a jar in the bathroom. c) Schedule toilet visits. d) Learn the signals for when it is time to go (maybe your child leans forward) and make your child aware of them.


Play a game to practice bathroom  vocabulary and talk about how and when to use the shower or toilet paper.





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