How Answering These 5 questions Will Bring You Clarity About Your Child’s Autism

The mother was visibly distressed about her 14 year old son.


He had been asked to go for counseling sessions as he hit children in his class.
On closer examination, it was found that he was being bullied by the other students.


He had a few minor learning difficulties but was able to cope with the 9th standard curriculum scoring 17/ 20 in his latest math test.
Sometimes he displayed attention problems.


The developmental pediatrician painted a bleak picture before asking them to me.


The boy answered my questions about his studies and school and came across as a pleasant, polite teenager.
He shared information about the subjects he had taken that year.


On the face of it, nothing seemed amiss.


Then I showed him these slides from a presentation by Dr Gutstein (RDI Connect)


teaching children with autism life skills


He couldn’t figure the subtle nuances of this.
Commenting on the physical attributes of each picture was easy for him.
He couldn’t get his head around how this could be.


I continued to dig deeper.


I asked him if it was difficult for him to connect with people. He answered in the affirmative. He didn’t have a single friend at school or in the home environment.


He found it difficult to take changes or uncertainty. He had to be informed ahead of time or he avoided those situations.


Where academics and learning were concerned, he seemed to be on track.


But there was a missing piece.


Another young friend on the spectrum is married. He has problems with relationships. And he cannot hold down a job.


He doesn’t understand how he comes across to his wife, when he’s being over bearing.
He gets irritated with his parents- not understanding them or the nuances of communication.


If there is a problem it must be resolved immediately or else he won’t move on and forget about it.


He can have a decent conversation for a while, after which we run out of things to say to each other.


There is an underlying piece missing.


Another person that I spoke to admitted that his daughter was self diagnosed with autism. She asked him to get in touch with Sai Connections to find help for her.
She was 17.


Nobody picked up that this bright young woman had autism?
Strange, isn’t it?


These young people have a lot in common.


They all speak fluently. They have managed to get through school.
On looking at them, you wouldn’t figure something was amiss.
On interacting with them you might realize.


We need to shift the way we look at autism.
Instead of basing it on speech and IQ, how about basing it on dynamic intelligence?


Ask yourself the following questions:


1. Your child talks but does he share what an event or occurrence meant to him personally?


2. Can she borrow your perspective to resolve uncertain issues?


3. Can he co ordinate with you while playing hide and seek? Can he start or stop with you? (Replace peek a boo, with cricket or any such game for teenagers, adults)


4. Can she use an experience they had the previous day to avoid a negative result or repeat a positive one? Does she understand consequences?


5. Can he go with the flow? If plans change suddenly can he adapt? Do new situations throw him?


These are the core deficits related to dynamic intelligence.


Autism is not related to IQ or speech. These may be co occurring conditions along with the autism.


Having the ability to speak does not rule out autism.
Having a high IQ is not an anomaly for individuals on the spectrum.


In fact, I believe many of them are hugely intelligent- even if they don’t speak.


If we use this narrow criteria of speech, behaviors and IQ, we’re missing a lot of people who need help but are seemingly ‘normal.’


These are the youngsters who slip through the cracks.
They undergo trauma and are inundated with mental health issues- mostly high levels of anxiety.


Seek help to remediate the core deficits of autism.
Build dynamic intelligence.


This is what my teacher, Dr Gutstein has been saying for years.


Anybody who talks about the universal impairments of autism is really missing the point. There’s only one universal impairment. People with autism have other problems just like anyone else; sensory problems, motor problems, etc., nobody is saying that’s not true, but the universal impairment of autism is the loss of dynamic developmental opportunities through a MindGuiding relationship


-Dr Steven Gutstein


If you’re a parent experiencing these core deficits, reach out to us.


And if you’re a professional who wants to learn more about dynamic intelligence, avail of this 6 week, online course to help you understand dynamic intelligence.


We’re available at


Kamini Lakhani

Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.

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