So I have a kid who might be on the autism spectrum. If it’s true, it would be at the very high end of the spectrum. Here are some of the things that have gotten me wondering:
- The child’s communication skills are just a little bit off. The voice is mostly one note with less variation, expression, and intonation than other children.
- For most of the year, the child has raised his/her hand at morning meeting to make comments about things that he/she was interested in, rather than on the topic at hand
- For a few months earlier in the year, the child was told “you’re not my friend” by another child, and couldn’t get over it. The child kept pestering the other child, asking “are you my friend now?” and following the other child around the room, so that the other child was actively avoiding him/her. The child kept talking about it with me, the mother, and out loud to him/herself, over and over, almost to the point of perseverating. Not sad, but anxious and bewildered.
- The child finally made a friend, and it was with one of the most immature and poorly behaved girls in the class. The two of them play together often, and do talk to each other, but often it’s like they’re still doing parallel play.
- The child then made another friend, with a boy who has some special needs and some behavior that is spectrum-y also.
- The child is not behind academically — arrived in my class able to count to 100 and able to name all of the letters of the alphabet already.
I asked for advice, including from the autism teacher at my school, and learned that yes, I should talk to this child’s parent. Gulp.
I am now taking notes and observing, and trying to figure out what I will say when I call the mother to request a meeting. Any advice about how I should handle it?