Parenting… Not easy. Parenting a child with special needs… Can be downright brutal. But let’s go over a few things to keep in mind when parenting a child with Autism.

Think of Autism as a learning disorder for social and emotional needs and skills. People on the spectrum have underdeveloped right hemispheres of their brain (most of the time), and this is where social and emotional skills come from. A very well-known PhD Daniel Goleman wrote a great book called Emotional Quotient. Children on the spectrum have low EQs. When higher functioning they can have high IQs though, and that is because your IQ comes from your left brain (for the most part). 

Now this brings us to the topic of “Brain Age.” Developmental Functional Neurologists like ourselves at HML use the concept of Brain Age to explain to parents where their children’s functioning is at. For example, you have your 8-year-old Johnny whom is on The Spectrum. Johnny is smart, very smart, Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory smart, but he does not play with others, has little to no friends, does not know how to interact with his siblings, play team sports, convey his feelings, etc. Johnny throws temper tantrums is disruptive to the household, school and places of recreation. 

With this scenario, is Johnny truly 8 years old? Chronologically, yes. However, if we examine Johnny and look at all neurological, emotional, a psychological function, he may have a brain age of 4 years old. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just his starting point. At HML our goal would be to close that Brain Age Gap. In the meantime, what does this mean as parents? This means that you can look at other “neurotypical” 4-year old’s and see how they act and behave. You can get online and read about typical 4-year-old behaviors and milestones. And keep this in mind when working through tough situations… Johnny is 4, reason with him and treat him like a 4-year-old. Use language that a 4-year-old understands. 

This can help tremendously in rough patches, tough days, or moments of ups and downs with your child. They can be the smartest child around, but they have not learned social and emotional skills, just as a 4-year-old has not… That where with all with aid yourself and your family in navigating the day to day challenges that you are faced with.

Of course, if you’d like to learn more on how to close that Brain Age Gap and get higher functioning out of your child, it is always complimentary to discuss your situation on the phone or in person. 

Want to learn more? Contact us today!