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(10 Posts)
Cooperhy Mon 24-May-21 13:05:37

my 5 year old grandson has been diagnosed with autism. He is a very bright little boy but is behind in social skills-interaction with others and engagement with avtivities-his speech is improving and he will get extra support however, I would love to know if their is anyone that has had the same problems with there child or grandchild at that age but who are now older children who have improved there social interaction and have friends etc.

geekesse Mon 24-May-21 13:20:42

My 8 year old grandson has autism. He’s learnt how to do social skills well and unless you knew he has autism, you wouldn’t immediately pick him out as very different from a group of children. Much of that is down to support from school and parents, who have made sure they understand how to help a child with autism.

Sarnia Tue 25-May-21 09:25:25

I have an autistic grandson who is 12 next month. Social skills are usually an area where an autistic person struggles. You don't mention if your grandson has been statemented. If he has it will open doors to the best and most appropriate educational provision for him which will teach him strategies to develop his social skills. If he hasn't got a Statement I would urge his parents to get him one. It is tailor made to his needs and is a legal and binding document which the local education authority must comply with. It has been a God send in my grandson's case. I wish him well.

Franbern Tue 25-May-21 09:50:59

Cooperhy - my eldest g.,child - a boy, showed early signs of autism, particularly in regard to his total lack of social skills. Was identified and statemented by the age of 5 years old. Managed through primary school (just about) with support.
He always appeared intelligent, but his social skills were just not there in any way. As he was quite a big lad (dad had been a rugby player), he often appeared quite frightening.
Secondary school selected with care by his parents as it had a good SENCO department. Went from bad to worse to disaster within months. By the age of 13 years of age, he was excluded from mixing with any of the other pupils there, and diagnosed as being 'clinically depressed'. The local Education Dept, in one report listed him as 'uneducable'.

However, he was fortunate with his family. Parents fought to get him into a special school for autistic pupils, horrifically expensive (why are these not part of state system?), and he had to go as a weekly boarder as it was too far away. Local Ed. council fought them (due to cost). Parents were prepared to take them to tribunal, and won,.

He went and that school worked their miracle. He learned his own controls, and to understand that other people saw the world differently to him. He knew when to walk out of a room if things were becoming too difficult. Left there at 16 with a good solid bunch of GCSE results.

Went to local college (living at home) for A levels, that they insisted were taken very slowly (just one in the first year), plus work on further improving his social skills. Their SENCO department taught him to how to get public transports, how to go down to the pub, how to join in local groups that were in his interest. How, further, to respect other people. Left there four years later with a B in Maths (first A level he took), and then A's in Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics.

As (or even more) important, also as a lovely, friendly, happy confident young man. Just finishing his first year of a 4-year Masters course in Chemical Studies at the prestigious department in Southampton Uni, where he has come second in his cohort in exams.

He has also appeared as the leader of his student group, and has been the organiser of sorting out a student house for several of them for next year, and also, the one who organised (and won) a battle with the student accommodtion department when they were refusing to do anything about the broken boiler last January - (no hot water or CH).

So, you wanted success stories, so thought you might like this one. At 21 years of age, he is everything one could want in a young man. However, there are still areas where this autism is apparent. He is very touch sensitive, so clothes, duvet covers, etc have to be selected with great care. He always buys seven identical t-shirts to wear, same type,material and colour. One for each day of the week!!! Also noise sensitive. Has, at yet, shown absolutely no sexual interests. Small areas - and do not effect what we can now see will be a happy and successful future, in which he will pay back to society many times the amount spent on those few years of special education.

FannyCornforth Tue 25-May-21 09:57:09

Franbern what an absolutely marvellous outcome for your Grandson. You must be so proud of him! Thank you for sharing this.
I work in SN education and it's fabulous to hear a success story like this thanks

Margiknot Tue 25-May-21 10:23:49

Our son, now 21 has autism but also learning disability. He had social skills support in first his special school and then special unit at college, so actually his social skills although not innate, are pretty good. He was taught phrases to use in specific social situations. He has always had a drive to be with others, so had the drive to try to get on with others. His sensory issues are still there but he has become more tolerant over the years.

Peasblossom Tue 25-May-21 10:37:22

Yes, thank you for sharing that so openly with us Franbern.

My story of hope is a different scenario but a story of hope nonetheless.

I first became aware of autism 40 years ago when I was working with pre-school children and had a child in my class that was “different’. I couldn’t put my finger on it because he was obviously very intelligent and interested in classroom activities. It was his interaction with other children that was unusual, treating them like objects and his literal interpretation of speech. I once said we were going to paint some flowers - and he did!

Anyway, I have kept in contact with him and the family, through his education and beyond. As an adult, he lives very happily by himself. He belongs to a few Clubs that provide the social interaction that he is comfortable with like Chess. He specialised in Sciences and went on to work in medical research.

He is a fine (not so young now man) with a life that he enjoys. And has made a valuable contribution to society.

silverlining48 Tue 25-May-21 10:40:43

Franbern that’s a wonderful story and you must all be so happy and rightfully proud about your grandson’s huge success, both educationally and socially, but you have given many personal details including his university which could identify him.

Nannee49 Tue 25-May-21 11:45:37

Very moving and positive stories Franbern and Margiknot. And Peaseblossom too. Thank you so much for generously sharing on here. My late beloved uncle struggled most of his life and it's wonderful to hear such inspirational, hopeful stories for today's little ones. I hope this helps, Cooperhy, in support of your dear GS and family at the start of their journey. Very best wishesthanks

Fennel Tue 25-May-21 19:47:13

Franbern what a positive story, thankyou.