Rayleigh mum speaks about raising an autistic child

Southend Standard: What people don't understand about my boy Linden What people don't understand about my boy Linden

LYNDEN Bradfield is ten. He has no friends and, save for a few words, cannot talk.

He is a bright, intelligent and happy child, but faces challenges every day because of a particularly severe form of autism.

There are varying degrees of the condition, which affects development and the way in which those with it perceive and relate to the outside world and other people.

Like Lynden. many autistic people have trouble communicating and interacting with others.

The condition also means people with autism tend to lack the ability to think flexibly and adapt to their surroundings.

After World Autism Awareness Day, last Wednesday, Lynden’s mum, Amanda, 42, from Rayleigh, said she hoped public understanding would begin to improve, She added: “Lynden is a normal- looking child who is very attractive.

“But sometimes we can be walking outside and he will be making lots of noises, so people tend to judge him, and me as a parent. They see him as a naughty child, because they don’t understand.

“As he’s got older, he’s got better at dealing with his deficiencies, but there are times when it all falls apart and he goes to pieces.

“It could be any time – when you’re driving, or walking down the high street.”

Some youngsters show the signs of autism early on, but Lynden was two-and-a-half before he was diagnosed, after his normal childhood development started slowed and went into reverse.

She said: “I noticed problems from about 20 months. He developed normally before that. In fact, his hand-eye co-ordination was amazing. He was able to hit a golf ball from about 18 months – his grandad was over the moon about that.

“Then he lost everything and regressed. Now he can’t really talk, apart from a few single words, doesn’t have friends and has difficulty dealing with noisy environments.

“Communication is a big problem for him and he can’t read or write yet, though he can deal with change quite well, something with which some autistic children have big problems.”

Lynden also tends to be hyperactive and requires a lot of stimulation, which can present his parents with even more problems.

Amanda explained: “He needs to be squeezed and massaged a lot and he is very hyperactive.

“On a sunny day, he can be out bouncing on the trampoline, but on a cold or rainy day, he can’t get out and it can be very challenging.

“As he can’t communicate with me, that can lead to him having a meltdown, out of pure frustration.”

For all this, Lynden is making progress, and technology is helping him to interact. The iPad he received for Christmas, for instance, has enabled him to construct sentences such as, “I want a drink” using pictures.

Despite the difficulty of predicting how children with autism will develop in later life, Amanda said she tried to remain hopeful.

She said: “At the moment, he wouldn’t be able to live an independent life, because he wouldn’t be able to do things like go to the shops and say what he wanted.

“There doesn’t seem to be a clear path of development and, when he was diagnosed, we were told he was unlikely ever to say much.

“But I know another child who had the same diagnosis who is now seven and, although he’s not talking much, he’s now reading out of books.

“There’s no pre-set limit to what he can achieve.”

Comments (5)

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5:14pm Tue 8 Apr 14

dannyskelt says...

Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism.
Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism. dannyskelt
  • Score: -4

6:53pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

dannyskelt wrote:
Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism.
How? If it increases awareness of autism, is that not a good thing?
[quote][p][bold]dannyskelt[/bold] wrote: Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism.[/p][/quote]How? If it increases awareness of autism, is that not a good thing? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 6

7:51pm Tue 8 Apr 14

LinfordsLunchbox says...

"What people don't understand
about my boy Linden" how to spell his name properly by the looks of it
"What people don't understand about my boy Linden" how to spell his name properly by the looks of it LinfordsLunchbox
  • Score: -5

10:03pm Tue 8 Apr 14

MandasPandas says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
dannyskelt wrote:
Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism.
How? If it increases awareness of autism, is that not a good thing?
It is always a good thing! I think it is very well worded. Autism is a spectrum disability and although some may be able to function in a 'typical' manner in public, sadly many can't. Autism is not a physical disability but a mental one which makes it harder for the general public to recognise. Educating as many people as possible about the common traits of an autistic individual would go a long way in helping those on the spectrum (along with their families).
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dannyskelt[/bold] wrote: Little bit annoyed by this: 1. by the way it's worded. 2. From the way his mother talks about her own son and being out in public! Seriously!? It's things like this that causes misunderstanding of people with Autism.[/p][/quote]How? If it increases awareness of autism, is that not a good thing?[/p][/quote]It is always a good thing! I think it is very well worded. Autism is a spectrum disability and although some may be able to function in a 'typical' manner in public, sadly many can't. Autism is not a physical disability but a mental one which makes it harder for the general public to recognise. Educating as many people as possible about the common traits of an autistic individual would go a long way in helping those on the spectrum (along with their families). MandasPandas
  • Score: 5

10:35pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Southend Andy says...

My son is autistic & know what its like if he has a bad day when we are out. If people look & stare I will look at them & say 'he is autistic' never get a response from them then.
My son is autistic & know what its like if he has a bad day when we are out. If people look & stare I will look at them & say 'he is autistic' never get a response from them then. Southend Andy
  • Score: 4

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