When I was a preschooler I was VERY SHY, even afraid of my own visiting relatives. At around age 9 or 10 I remember hiding in my bedroom when my grandparents came to visit. I didn't like the attention or fuss. I was happy enough in my tiny little world.
As a preschooler mom says I was glued to her leg, more than the average kid my age, so she took me to a child psychologist. He told her I might have autism. He suggested that I be put into preschool. I only remember the very last visit - he wanted me to bop one of those punching balloon clowns, the ones that are weighted on the bottom and come back up. I refused. I hate "performing" ie doing something and having people watch me do it.
That was back in the early 1960's. Psychology has come a long way. Autism has since been given a spectrum. Perhaps the doctor, if it were today, would have suspected Asperger's for me.
Anyway, I have since joined chorus several times, had to give speeches in middle and high school classes as well as my Public Speaking class in college, and spent several years as a preschool teacher. It's so much easier to get up infront of little kids! I've even had to teach classes on dog grooming/care to the owners of dogs taking obedience classes at PetSmart (I worked in the grooming salon a few years ago).
I am very different from the little girl back in the 1960's. Sometimes I can even be very outspoken. I think I was just super shy and had no self-confidence and my "symptoms" came close to what Asperger's is all about. Psychology has come a long way since those days!
Now we have the ASA - The American Society of Autism. Check out their very informative website at http://www.autism-society.org/. They have tons of info from parents, doctors, and people with autism. Here's something fun- if your child has autism, you can upload his or her artwork and have it join their online exhibit. You just need to get those pictures into your computer via a scanner or your digital camera. Check it out! http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=art_exhibit.
Let me know if you participated in the exhibit or found their website helpful. :-)