ASD Level 1: Quick Facts for Teachers

"Would you have a simple summary, kind of a snapshot, that describes the most relevant aspects of ASD Level 1 that I can give my son's teacher so that she can get a basic understanding of this disorder without having to read a book on it?"

Sure! Just copy and paste the quick facts below, and give it to the teacher...

ASD Level 1:
  • is a developmental disorder, not a disease or a form of genius
  • affects language less, but does present with difficulties in appropriate speech and communicative development
  • affects the way a child relates to others
  • is a highly functional form of autism
  • leads to difficulties in reading non-verbal cues
  • is characterized by social interaction difficulties and impairments related to a restricted, repetitive, stereotype behavior
  • is not the result of "bad parenting"
  • is often confused with ADD and ADHD
  • is not classified as a learning disability, but it is a disorder that impacts learning
  • can help children learn how to interact more successfully with their peers
  • focuses on the three main symptoms: poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness
  • involves medication for co-existing conditions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and social skills training
  • is geared toward improving communication, social skills, and behavior management
  • is not a cure, but there are a number of different interventions that have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with ASD
  • mainly helps to build on the child’s interests, teaches the task as a series of simple steps, and offers a predictable schedule
  • requires an interdisciplinary approach (i.e., speech pathologists, social workers, psychologists and developmental pediatricians all may be involved in treatment)
  • should be tailored to meet individual needs
  • strives to improve the child's abilities to interact with other people and thus to function effectively in society and be self-sufficient
  • is a complex process that involves spending time with the child, gathering background information from parents and teachers, directly testing the child, and integrating information into a comprehensive picture

Facts as reported by children with ASD Level 1:
  • To talk to a person with ASD may be like talking to a college professor.
  • Having ASD is like being on a different planet. 
  • Sometimes having ASD is really annoying because, for example, at school, I get special treatment or other people pick on me because I'm weird or different.

    Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

    ==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD


    •    Anonymous said... I agree my 8 year old son has ASD and we just stayed in constant communication. With the teacher, principal and assistant principal. They all were wonderful with my son. We take each day as it comes. The one problem we have is what sets him off today May not set him off tomorrow
    •    Anonymous said... I would create a snapshot on YOUR child. The problem with a book or a checklist is that it may or may not apply to your son. That is who the teacher should be concerned with. Any prior experience with or knowledge of children with autism should be thrown out the window because every child is so unique.
    •    Anonymous said... They are sensitive, they can't read facial expressions so they cannot predict what may happen so any changes need earliest notification to reduce stress, fear and the urge to run.
    •    Anonymous said... They understand express their thoughts and emotions but will not necessarily notice, be bothered by or understand yours / others. This is a skill that is not innate to them but can be learned. Oh yes and they are amazing.

    Post your comment below…

    Crucial Strategies for Parents of Challenging Kids on the Autism Spectrum

    More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
    Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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    Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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    Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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    Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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    Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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    Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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    A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

    Click here for the full article...

    Parenting Children & Teens on the Autism Spectrum: Support & Education


    We wanted to create a support and education group for parents that is safe and confidential. So, we did!

    JOIN our new private group for parents, teachers and other care-givers of children and teens with ASD. Our staff will be providing "tailored parenting skills" in daily articles and videos. Feel free to post questions, too.

    Let's support one another as parents - and advocate for our special needs children.


    ==> JOIN TODAY: Parenting Children & Teens on the Autism Spectrum: Support & Education 


    When and How to Tell Children They Have Asperger's

    Image Source: Pixabay


    Discovering that your child has Asperger’s is a challenging situation for any parent. You may feel worried or overwhelmed, unsure of how to tell your child about their diagnosis. While it’s natural to feel anxious, it’s essential to have a conversation with your child. Your child has the right to know and understand why they might be different from their peers. As a parent, it's your responsibility to ensure your child receives the support they need. In this post, we’ll explore when and how to tell your child about their Asperger’s diagnosis.

    Age and Maturity

    While there is no right time, experts suggest that it’s best to have the conversation before your child enters adolescence. Children are aware of their differences early on, and if you delay the conversation for too long, they may develop feelings of confusion and isolation.

    Children with Asperger's may already be aware of their difficulties in certain areas, like social interactions, making friends, or coping with sensory processing issues. By talking openly with your child, you can help them understand their particular needs and how to get the right support at school, home, and in other areas of their lives.

    Respect Your Child’s Processing Style

    A child's processing style should always be respected, especially when it comes to communicating that they have Asperger's. It's essential to approach this topic with sensitivity, compassion, and understanding. It’s important to offer simple explanations that cater to their developmental level and individual needs. You should even consider getting advice from a family nurse practitioner on how to handle this.


    Take the time to listen and observe their reactions. Explain things as best you can in a reassuring tone, so your child feels comforted and supported while they process this new information. As adults, we play an important role in helping our children adjust to life with Asperger’s, and respecting their processing style is a crucial part of this journey.

    How to Explain to Your Child

    You need to prepare yourself first. Take some time to learn about Asperger’s, its symptoms, and how it affects your child. You may want to seek support from a therapist, counselor or support group. Gather your thoughts, practice what you’re going to say, and choose a time when you and your child are relaxed. Try to avoid distractions and create an atmosphere that is calm and focused.


    When having the Asperger’s talk, avoid using complex medical jargon, instead, use simple language that your child can understand. You could start by explaining what Asperger's is: "Some people’s brains work differently, and that’s okay." Then you could share more specific examples of your child’s difficulties and differences, and how they make your child unique. You can also mention that many successful people, like Albert Einstein, have been diagnosed with Asperger's.


    It’s also essential to emphasize that the diagnosis does not change who your child is or their worth. Explain that the diagnosis is just a label that can help people understand them better, and it opens up more resources and support available to them. End the conversation with an opportunity for your child to ask questions or share their thoughts and feelings. Listen to your child without judgment, and reassure them that you will continue to support them as they navigate their journey with Asperger’s.


    Telling your child about their Asperger’s diagnosis is a genuine expression of love and acceptance. While the conversation may feel challenging, it’s an essential step towards helping your child feel seen, heard, and supported. Remember to approach the conversation with an open mind, create a safe and relaxed environment, use simple language, and most importantly, listen to your child. By doing so, you can help your child navigate their Asperger’s journey with confidence and self-love.