Kayden is a 7yr old. His dad is caucasian and his mother is Spanish.  He is an only child but lives close to relatives that he sees frequently. Kayden is on the autism spectrum. His parents had him in daycare since he was very young; the caretaker only had about 5 kids at any time. This provided the opportunity to give each child meaningful one-on-one time.  It prepared Kayden for kindergarten and put him on track with other students. When Kayden talks all his sentences are monotone and pauses for each word. He is very calm and shrieks when he’s excited and squishes his face.

Relationships with children and adults:

Kayden introduces himself when he meets new kids. He interacts very well and makes friends easily. He is well behaved but he does follow the actions of others so he can get mischievous but not of his own accord.  When working on classwork it is best to seat Kayden with students who stay on task. When it comes to adults Kayden feels more comfortable if he has at least one person he’s familiar with.

Activities and Interests:

Kayden plays little league baseball, loves swimming in his pool, and enjoys being on his iPad. The games he plays on his Ipad are majority educational. The games he plays frequently revolve around an activity like making food, or getting ready like showering, brushing hair, or putting on clothes. He sings songs out loud when he’s playing around in his home. He has a really good memory! Kayden is very particular about the music or sounds he wants to listen to. If you don’t hit the nail on the head he progressively gets more irritated. If by the 3rd try you have not gotten it right it causes an outburst.

Formal learning

Kayden thrives off of routines. If there is something that needs to get done but he gives you a hard time all you need to do is set an alarm. When the alarm rings he’s eager to complete the task at hand.  When going through the day’s agenda I give a time limit on the board for the class so that when the alarm rings we can have a smooth transition to a whole class discussion. When playing baseball his favorite position is the pitcher.  He goes through all the steps out loud from his stance, to his throw. He learns well with repetition. When problem-solving it’s beneficial to provide Kayden with more than one example so he can do it again and again plugging in different numbers. When Kayden is talking to you he needs you to look at him so he knows you are listening. If you don’t look at him he will grab your face and turn it towards him. However, Kayden has poor eye contact so he will not be looking at you when he’s talking to you or you are talking to him. Kayden does well with visuals and hands-on learning.  Kayden likes to work on math problems that involve games or manipulatives.

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August 2, 2022 7:50 pm

Dear Karyn:
I am intrigued with your post, “Description of a Child,” because I have never directly interacted with a child like Kayden. He seems fascinating and eager to learn. He is a unique child in the sense that he needs to have things scheduled to complete them.
One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “When Kayden is talking to you he needs you to look at him so he knows you are listening. If you don’t look at him he will grab your face and turn it towards him” I think this can become troublesome because other kids may not understand Kayden enough to know that he does not mean harm by this. 
Another sentence that I found unique was: “The games he plays on his iPad are majority educational.” This stood out for me because it shows that what kids begin watching from a young age may be what they carry with them while growing up.
Have you seen this article, https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/repetitive-behaviors-and-stimming-in-autism-explained/ ? I thought you might be interested in this because it explores the idea of “stimming” in kids on the spectrum and discusses in detail how this act of repetition may actually cause more problems later in life. 
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you seem to think outside of the box and come up with stimulating ideas and scenarios. 

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