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Navigating Autism: A Parent's Journey

Member Testimonial Navigating Autism: A Parent's Journey to Understanding and Support

My son's name is Christian and he is 15 years old. My son is diagnosed with autism. One of the things that Christian struggles with is the social aspect of things and how to make friends. And he doesn't understand why people don't understand him. And also, he had an issue with space. So like when he liked someone, he just felt like he needed to be very close to them. So he didn't understand how that would make people feel. So those those are some of the things that he was able to learn how to maneuver through the center. So for me, it's helped me to give him time to process those things instead of asking him a thousand questions. So that's one of the things that's improved our communication between each other. The other thing is regulating those big emotions. Christian has big emotions, so he could go from being very happy to very upset. And so when I give him those types of measurements of things that he's learned here at the program, he uses that. And his teacher will be like, Thank you so much, because he was able to calm himself down within less than a minute. He's learned a lot. And also for myself and understanding who he is and to have more reasonable expectations and respecting when he is.

Navigating the complexities of autism can be a profound journey for any family. It involves understanding, patience, and a lot of learning—both for the child and the parents. In this series, we share the story of Christian, a 15-year-old diagnosed with autism, and his mother, as they find support and understanding through their challenges.

Christian's mother explains that one of his primary struggles is with social interactions. "He doesn't understand why people don't understand him," she says. Christian also had difficulty with personal space, often standing too close to people he liked, not realizing how it might make them feel uncomfortable. These challenges are common in children with autism, who may find social cues and norms difficult to grasp.

Learning to Navigate Social Settings

At the Bristow Center, Christian learned valuable skills to better navigate these social complexities. His mother notes the progress he has made, "He was able to learn how to maneuver through those social challenges." The center provided Christian with strategies to recognize and respect personal space and improve his interactions with others.

Another significant area of improvement has been in communication between Christian and his mother. She has learned to give him time to process interactions without overwhelming him with questions, enhancing their communication. "That's one of the things that's improved our communication between each other," she reflects. This adjustment in approach has made a substantial difference in their relationship and Christian's ability to express himself.

Christian has also made strides in managing his emotions, which could fluctuate widely. The techniques learned at the center have empowered him to calm himself quickly, much to the appreciation of his teachers and family. "He uses that. And his teacher will be like, 'Thank you so much, because he was able to calm himself down within less than a minute,'" she shares.

This journey has not only been transformative for Christian but also for his mother. She has gained a deeper understanding of autism and adjusted her expectations to better support her son. "Also for myself in understanding who he is and to have more reasonable expectations and respecting when he is," she explains.

Christian's story is a testament to the power of dedicated support and understanding in managing autism. Through personalized guidance and patience, both Christian and his mother have experienced significant growth, enhancing their quality of life and their relationship.

Contact Us

If you're struggling with this or other behavioral issues and need more personalized advice, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

At Bristow Center, we're here to support you and your child through every step of their social development.

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