Ask MaryPat: Advice to a Nanny Caring for a Child Diagnosed with Autism

Dear MaryPat,
The family that you matched me with are so sweet! Charlie just turned two years old and he is such a joy though has just been diagnosed with autism. Can you tell me what this means and how I may have to adjust my approach with him?

Thanks,
– Marianne

Dear Marianne,

Autism is a reasonably common disorder that often makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others. Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning that there is a wide range from moderate to severe cases, and no two cases are exactly alike. It is common for a child with autism to have delayed speech and difficulty understanding body language, difficulty making eye contact, and not responding to his or her name or playing with toys in unusual, repetitive ways. Children with autism have a tendency to lose control when they are in overwhelming or frustrating situations.

I encourage you to stay in close communication with Charlie’s parents and to ask them to help educate you and include you in a plan on how to address his specific needs.

Please contact us anytime you have a question or concern.

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