What I've Learned Mothering a Child on the Spectrum


Rhonda Chapman has a son who is on the autism spectrum. They found out that he was on the spectrum at age 4.

Since he was their first they had no one to compare him to. The workers at the daycare could see that he needed to have a doctor take a look at him.

It was a bit overwhelming because there was so much information out there. They were able to get him tested and have him diagnosed. It felt as though it was their fault, or that they should have caught it before that.

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Getting Diagnosed

Her son was in his own little world. He explored things by putting them close up to his eyes. Some kids on the spectrum like to put things near their eyes. He didn’t like to play with other kids. He would cry if there was too much noise in the environment. He would cry when they went out to the store.

Her son is almost 11. If we go at his pace, instead of expecting him to progress on a certain schedule, it helps him develop.

They had a pediatrician who would say that their son would never do certain things, but he is doing all of them now. With people caring and teaching him things, he is able to learn and adapt. For example, he has learned to be more flexible if things change in his schedule or environment. “If you give your child space to grow, they will grow.”

Work With a Team

It’s helpful to work with a team and to be in communication with them. When parents and therapists rely on each other, they create a partnership to help the child grow.