Unstrange Minds by Dr. Richard Grinker discussion about why Austism and Asperger are diagnosed in the USA compared to some other countries by tutor, John Toker

The impact of culture and location on a family’s response to ASD.

In contrast to the United States and other countries, for example England, India has relatively little educational intervention for those with ASD. In general, those diagnosed on the spectrum are either referred to as retarded or labeled with a euphemism as such by calling them Autistic. Pediatricians and other doctors either acknowledge that they do not know what the ASD includes or they assert that their patients lack sufficient education to understand the ramifications and techniques to help their children with this diagnosis.

Mothers, also in India, are usually blamed for their children being Autistic; relatives claim that they are overprotective of them and in so deprive such individuals of opportunities to socialize. Realistically, mothers in India are under tremendous pressure and strain due to the lack of support that is essential for anyone raising children with ASD; the fathers almost always abstain from directly caring for such individuals. Albeit, Grinker suggests that access to the Internet may lead to a progressive approach in aiding those with Autism.

The impact of autism on the siblings and parents of a child with ASD.

Despite having a relatively high level of professional help in the US when compared to many other parts of the world, parents often feel frustrated that they are not able to help their children with ASD at an adequate level; they often do not see themselves and professionals as having the appropriate training or correct ratio between student and teacher. Albeit, some areas of the United States disproportionately have superior resources for those with such learning issues; they tend to be relatively wealthy districts.

Siblings often feel ignored by their parents because those with ASD require an inordinate amount of attention. They usually have to be quite around siblings with ASD because outburst from being over stimulated are likely to happen otherwise. Olivia, Isabel’s sister was unusual in that she was able to cope far better than most siblings in such situation; typically, they will be stressed out and feel isolated in facing their own problems and worries.

The experiences of the Grinker family had in dealing with their child’s autism and the school system

Roy Grinker found Applied Behavioral Analysis, ABA, to be too expensive and tried with his wife to create structure that would be similar to it. Grinker and his wife, Joyce, found it exhausting and too difficult to do. Floortime, by Dr. Stanley Greenspan required Roy and Joyce to engage in a social exchange with Isabel; they sat on the floor and increased length and complexity of interacting with her. Grinker and his wife found this to tiring and that Isabel wound up crying about it.

Although Isabel had marked gaps in speech and language, her visual and spatial skills were relatively strong for her. Pre-school at the Smithsonian’s Institution’s Early Enrichment center helped Isabel with some added sense of structure and especially socialization; albeit, issues with ASD, sensory integration, being hypersensitive to environmental sounds, while lacking sufficient sensitivity to pain continued to be problematic for her.

Grinker learned that Isabel was able to  connect her visual and tactile learning skills to her verbal gaps; museums were especially edifying for her. Classifications in biology were particularly interesting and an area of strength for Isabel; this was partly a result of going see them at a zoo and in a museum and to a some extent being part of  the social dynamic of it all. Language for Isabel and people in general, as the author discovered, could only be developed on the ‘scaffolding’ of social interaction; this began with Isabel developing eye contact skills.

Once Isabel started kindergarten, she was in a Montgomery County public school, which was one in Maryland. Her first teacher lacked patience and skill to educate Isabel; the principal did not support one on one teaching and could not articulate the meaning of ASD. Albeit, other educators as the years progressed were highly praised by Grinker because they were competent and effective in helping Isabel learn in school.

Isabel excelled particularly in zoology.

John Toker has a Master’s Degree in Education with a Concentration in LD K-12, and a Master’s Degree in Psychological Services with a Concentration in Counseling with a Post Master’s in Counseling. John is a tutor for Autism, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, Executive Function Disorder and other learning issues. John taught in FCPS, and MCPS; he is usually a tutor in Northern Virginia, especially Fairfax County including McLean, Vienna, Reston VA and other areas in Fairfax County and sometimes a tutor in MCPS, in particular Potomac MD, Bethesda MD, and Rockville MD within Montgomery County.

Tutor John Toker web site to help people with ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Autism, Asperger, Executive Function Disorder