I have received the huge package of results from Jace's testing. I hear some people talk about where on the spectrum their child is. I was only told he was on the spectrum... Please help
People ask that because of how everyone describes autistic children now. You will hear High Functioning Autism and Low Functioning Autism. Most people use those descriptions for the two sides of the spectrum. There is no exact spot a child falls on it varies from child to child. With that being said there are similar characteristics that many autistic children have but none are exactly the same.
I have two ASD children and I use HFA and LFA to describe them to people who do t know a lot about autism because they are terms they tend to understand. My daughter would be the LFA because she is 10 and nonverbal with the abilities of a toddler for the most part, and my 11 year old son as HFA because he is only a few years behind his peers and has far less symptoms of autism.
Some people are offended by the terms but that is just how I describe them.
Here is the DSM-V criteria in specifying "levels" of autism:
Severity Level for ASD
Restricted Interests & Repetitive Behaviors
‘Requiring very substantial support’
Severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills cause severe impairments in functioning; very limited initiation of social interactions and minimal response to social overtures from others.
Preoccupations, fixated rituals and/or repetitive behaviors markedly interfere with functioning in all spheres. Marked distress when rituals or routines are interrupted; very difficult to redirect from fixated interest or returns to it quickly.
‘Requiring substantial support’
Marked deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills; social impairments apparent even with supports in place; limited initiation of social interactions and reduced or abnormal response to social overtures from others.
RRBs and/or preoccupations or fixated interests appear frequently enough to be obvious to the casual observer and interfere with functioning in a variety of contexts. Distress or frustration is apparent when RRB’s are interrupted; difficult to redirect from fixated interest.
Without supports in place, deficits in social communication cause noticeable impairments. Has difficulty initiating social interactions and demonstrates clear examples of atypical or unsuccessful responses to social overtures of others. May appear to have decreased interest in social interactions.
Rituals and repetitive behaviors (RRB’s) cause significant interference with functioning in one or more contexts. Resists attempts by others to interrupt RRB’s or to be redirected from fixated interest.
I do think it's important for you to have your child's test scores/papers explained to you. These are the specific results- strengths & weaknesses in all areas for your child. It's custom results. The 3 level chart above helps, but isn't nearly as specific as his test results. Knowing where he's at, his strengths & weaknesses will be a great help every time his is tested. Please don't be shy to ask the school special Ed teacher to explain in simple terms. It's their job, and it's free. Please know most parents with these packets are as confused as you. I was a special Ed teacher for ten years and always felt bad for parents having so much information thrown at them at once. Most of the general Ed teachers don't understand them either. Advocate for him, and don't be afraid to ask ?'s at school. That's what they are there for. Special Ed teachers know these things are hard for parents. Good luck & hang in there. You can do it!!!
My ADD son was tested, and I know exactly where he falls compared to peers his age. Psychologists and psychiatrists will run these tests if school isn't equipped. That's who I used, because they are much more educated, experienced, and qualified.
It's definitely easier to identify the higher functioning children, and the lower functioning children. The kids between the two are more difficult to explain or understand for some people. You can tell where your child falls in the spectrum by reading the test results. You will have percentages that will tell you where they are at by comparing them to other autistic children their age. If you can't read test (they are very tricky). Ask a dr., special Ed. Teacher, or state agency. Good luck!
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