You as parent(s), caregiver(s), may believe your child with autism could have mental retardation. Knowing your child, and depending on the age of your child, the level of autism, that is a subject that is not an easy one to expound on. Why? Many parent(s), caregiver(s), family members, believe the child they know who has autism, is mentally retarded.
Many individuals with autism show special and strong strengths in areas that other individuals who do not have the disorder. That does not indicate your child has mental retardation, just because autism is a factor.
I personally know a young man who is now 15 years old, who struggles with autism. He has never been toilet trained, but his memory is extremely keen, he is very athletic, and knows how to get from one place to another without being lost or lose sight of directions. Yet, he does not read, but loves visual icons, and pictures. He does not formulate sentences or structure them to make sense. Yet, he will ask for what he needs, and obeys rules, and respects authoritative positions of people who help and guide him.
This young man that I know, also took tests when he was 4 years old, and the medical experts at that time, labeled him autistic, and mentally retarded. As the years went by, he took more tests that were upgraded, and the tests now reveal he has a high IQ, and was never mentally retarded, but has autism.
The first thing I would suggest for parent(s), caregiver(s) to do, if you suspect there could be mental retardation, is gather updated information from a reliable autistic specialist, and have your child tested.
There are many autism spectrum disorder individuals, who are not exposed to life experiences, therefore their IQ tests might be lower, because of not being exposed to the proper teaching, and learning environments.
Many children with autism as they become more exposed, or are taught to be challenged with life experience, they learn to develop, and grow in their learning stages, and sometimes will be ahead of other children without the disorder, when it comes to learning or developing new areas.
It might be a good idea to have your child evaluated and tested for mental retardation, if you are not sure, then have your child be evaluated, and tested again at a later date, when your child has grown in more areas of learning, and developing.
Give your child with autism respect, and when you talk to your child, talk to him or her, as though they were valuable, and in the same room. Your child may be understanding more than you are aware of.
Remember, have a positive outlook for your child. Never believe he or she is too delayed to learn or grow, and teach new skills. In addition, IQ tests are not always the answer, or are they always true. Children change, tests change, and environments change. Keep up with your child for progress, and encouragement.
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