Ask Mike

My name is Michael Westwood. I am 24 years old and I am currently living in Florence, South Carolina. I graduated from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts this past May with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. While I attended Curry College, I earned the “Resident of the Year” Award in the Spring of 2016. My hobbies include watching professional wrestling, watching sitcoms and listening to music. I consider writing to be one of my strongest talents, so I am hoping to be a professional writer someday. I am also on the autism spectrum, which I have learned to cope with very well. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in the third grade and it impacted my ability to socialize properly for several years.

However, through getting treatment by way of social skills courses provided through the grade schools I attended, I progressed in being able to hold a conversation and read non-verbal cues. I recommend social skills courses for any person on the spectrum, as the courses I took were very beneficial to me and allowed me the opportunity to make friends in both high school and college.

Due to my success socially, I would like to help anyone that is curious by answering questions that anyone may have on how to live with this disability, as it is lifelong and can be hard at times depending on the severity of it. The column is called “Ask Mike,” and hopefully, I will make a difference. Please use the form below to submit your questions and I will do my best to answer them in the column.

 


“Ask Mike” Question Submission

Q: I am very excited about this new feature. My son, who is autistic and 11 years old, seems to get very upset when his daily plans change. Do you struggle with this? If so, what helped you? – Amelia

A: Hello Amelia,
I did struggle with my daily routines being changed as a child, as that is a normal symptom of autism. Fortunately, I have been able to cope with that symptom much better as I have gotten older. My advice to you would be to do what my parents did for me, which is to sit your son down and explain to him why the changes are being made and what the new plans will be. It may take a few times of doing this to get him used to it as autistic people, especially children, need certain things to be reiterated to them because of how their minds process information. I hope this helps,

Mike


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