Today we continue our series of guest blogs related to Autism. We have covered the basics. The simple. In the next few posts we will step into lifestyle and social issues related to raising a child with Autism. If you have any questions or comments…leave one for our guest bloggers. :)
Read on as Tatanisha stops by to share more details about living with Autism.
While I could sit here and write about statistics, I have just a few things I would like to share with you regarding Autism from my point of view.
A rainbow has a variety of colors. Well, autism is the same way. A popular saying among families with living with autism is, “When you meet one child with Autism, you meet one child.” The Autism Spectrum is vast and encompasses children varying from low functioning to high functioning. While most children have a lot of similar issues and characteristics not two children are alike. Each child is unique and it is difficult to compare it with another child on the Autism Spectrum.
At first glance our children look just like everyone else’s children. They don’t have cooties and they are not contagious, contrary to some people’s belief. Our children have a range of behaviors based on their inability or ability to process information and environment, their capability to understand social and non-social settings, and their capacity to communicate. Quite a few of our children are unable to communicate verbally. At times crying or other means of communicating is their only means to express themselves. When my twins were young they would scream and cry for no apparent reason. I didn’t have a clue, but the therapist working with our family told us that he could not tell me what he wanted, so this was his way of trying to tell me, “Hey mom I’m trying to tell you something.”
Most of the children on the spectrum lack the necessary social skills to keep up with the rest of the world. They would rather play by themselves, off in their own la-la land. I remember Ziah used to walk around the house just bouncing his head back and forth… back and forth. To this day, I still can’t figure out what is going on inside his head, but he’s happy. It’s important that if one is going to interact with a child on the spectrum that you go to their “la-la land”. Engage in their type of play, instead of insisting that they come to yours. Once you are able to make that connection, then the transition can start to slowly bring them into “reality”.
Parents welcome support. We welcome the sincere questions that will bring awareness and understanding to those on the outside. We do not like to be judged or criticized that we lack parenting skills. If you see a Mom in the grocery store struggling with the basket and a child that “seems” to be acting out of control, take a moment to see if there is something you can do. Most of the time they will say no. However, deep down inside they will appreciate your grand gesture.
We also don’t like for our kids to be compared to your child, when clearly there is a developmental delay of difference. One thing I hear parents say is when they try to reach out and talk to friends and families about their children, the response is critical and judgmental about what they are doing wrong, or that their son did it the other day.
A really unique function of children on the spectrum is the obsession in a special interest. It could be computers, a specific toy, a baseball team, etc. They will obsess over that feature until they know everything about it. In our house, Zion became engrossed with Sonic. Over the past few years, he has been learning all he can about this character. I could ask him about school and get short, cryptic answers. But if I start asking about Sonic… whew! He can go for hours!
Finally, we want others to understand that our children are gifted and unique. They make leaps and bounds every day. My twins have come from being non-verbal to verbally blowing my ears off! They are both still delayed in several areas, but we take this thing one day at a time. Our children are able offer a different outlook to life and a different view of the world. Their minds are going faster then they can process things.
Having children on the spectrum opened up my eyes to a world of understanding, patience, compassion, acceptance of others, nonjudgmental approach, and a willingness to love and accept my sons for who they are.
There are several positives to having children on the spectrum, which can get overlooked because of the negativity the rest of the world wants to rest upon.
You can read more at about our journey with Autism on my blog- http://www.awortheyread.com/
Blogging about my life, the kids, and the general craziness of what happens in a topsy turvy but always exciting adventure! Every day is a different story: having twins- Both on the Autism Spectrum along with Sensory Issues and a Anxiety Disorder. Then there’s the 5-year-old, who is for lack of a better word, eccentric!