Re: eye contact

On Mar 2, 12:02 am, "Donna Metler" <dmmet...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Sarah V." <nanny...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

On Feb 24, 10:11 pm, "Donna Metler" <dmmet...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Given your older son, I'm guessing your
younger one is gifted as well, and on my GT parenting board, and every
single one of us who has had our child in preschool settings has heard the
"A-word" from someone.


Could I just point out that autism is a developmental condition, not
Voldemort?  Given the amount of misunderstanding and prejudice that
already exists around autism, I'm a bit bothered by hearing it
referred to as though it was an unspeakable obscenity.
All the best,


I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. Tone doesn't come through on a chatboard.
In my view, unless you're a developmental specialist who has done a thorough
evaluation on a child, Autism IS an unspeakable word that shouldn't be slung
around casually. I don't think many preschool teachers snap-diagnose kids
with mental retardation or even speech delays. But there are an awful lot of
us who have had kids "diagnosed" autistic by preschool teachers because our
kids acted differently than they expected-and most of these kids have turned
out to NOT be autistic.

The reason why I stated it that way is that this is how DD's preschool
teacher treated it-like it was something shameful, wrong, and bad, and from
the second she'd latched on to "autism" and "savant behaviors" as an
explaination for DD's early reading, interest in languages and the alphabet,
counting numbers, and so on, that was it. Everything DD did, or didn't do,
was then a sign of autism.  Everything I said was a sign that I was in
denial. No other possibility even entered her mind. Her written reports
reflected this as well-minute details which she analyzed as being
"echolalia", "perserveration" and the like-which the developmental
specialist commented were normal 2 yr old behaviors that probably every
child in the room was doing.
But it would have been
much better had the teacher avoided the "Autistic" label and limited her
statements and what she wrote up on her observations to the facts, not her
beliefs. Until there is a formal diagnosis, it really is "That which shall
not be named".

The problem there wasn't with the teacher saying the word 'autism' in
full instead of alluding to it by its initial. It was with her a)
making a diagnosis when she wasn't qualified to do so, and b)
interpreting everything your daughter did as a negative symptom of her
'diagnosis', which would not have been appropriate even if your
daughter *had* been autistic. None of that would have been in any way
more acceptable if she'd been telling you that all your daughter's
actions were symptoms of 'the A-word' instead of telling you that they
were symptoms of autism.

I agree that there are times when it isn't appropriate to start
talking about autism, but talking about it without stating the name in
full isn't the same as not talking about it. By all means decide
whether you feel that raising the subject in the first place is
appropriate or not, and act accordingly. But if you're going to
mention it at all, talk about it by name. Please don't treat autism as
a swear word, because it isn't one.

All the best,