Q: Our small son was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. We would like to know, beyond the professional treatment that he receives (he is in a special communications class), what is our role as parents. How are we supposed to treat this problem and how can we give him the tools he needs to face life? He seems to be talented musically – he has a wonderful ear for songs – so much so that the only words we hear from him are specifically in songs and melodies.
A: The general advice is to give him abundant love. He should feel that he is in a warm, protective cocoon. Beyond that, the main thing is to develop the talents that he already has. If, as you wrote, you see that he has musical talent, invest your energies there (as is age-appropriate) with the goal that he will speak and express himself with song and music.