Childhood – specific concerns

a. Communication – the ability to communicate is a primary concern in childhood. Although there are a multitude of needs for a child with autism, communicating overall needs and wants and desires his primary.

b. Learning and focus – the ability to focus one’s attention on what’s most important and to keep that attention focused on areas where they can learn, develop, organize and grow and then build so that they can continue to learn is likely second most important.

c. Attention and concentration – in order to learn, the child needs to keep and to focus their attention and to concentrate on the caregiver/teacher that is providing the information. Information in this area needs to be presented in a way that the child can understand and accept it. Often times this information needs to be presented in ways other than spoken language such as through pictures or in physical action rather than spoken language.

d. Behavior – behavior often is an expression of language. Many times a child with autism has no other way of expressing frustration and anger or not understanding a concept other than through his or her behavior. Recognizing their behavior for what it is rather than what they are doing will lead to a better understanding of what they know and what they don’t know. Using the child’s behavior as a guide can often lead to a better presentation of material for the child so that they can eventually recognize and then use the concept that the caregiver/teacher is attempting to present. Typically, behavior is a good guide and evaluating the success or efficacy of new information.