Autism Awareness Month:Our Journey

Some days are good, and some days are not so good. I think that is what many of us mothers who have a child with Autism would say.

I don’t talk much publicly about Autism because I want to respect my son’s privacy. But what if by not talking about it, I am doing him a disservice? What if talking about it makes his life easier because more people understand it?

What if his friends knew that they needed to ask him more questions and start more conversations with him, because he may not always talk to them? What kind of world would we live in if we didn’t sweep these things under the rug like they are a taboo topic?

Don’t be ashamed to tell your story.

In our family, we don’t run and hide from the hard things, that is not what we teach our kids. So why should Caleb need to keep his autism a secret? It’s not his fault that you don’t understand it, or him.

We tend to make fun of or just simply not talk about things that make us uncomfortable, but why should we continue to do that with all of the information you could ever need at your finger tips?

This morning, I met a mom at my daughter’s pre-k and we started talking about where our kids will be next year. The subject came up about the services at my son’s school, and we started to have a conversation about Caleb. She was curious about what it’s like to be a parent with an Autistic child.

She asked if I minded talking about it, and I realized that no, I don’t mind talking about it. I would love to help others understand.

In fact, I crave being able to be open with other’s about what our lives are like. It’s not something that only affects him, it affects our whole family. I need to be able to talk about it.

Autism has helped me to stretch and grow as a human and parent in ways that I can’t even count.

I have had to learn all over again how to parent, because I can’t deal with him the exact same way as I do my other children.I have had to learn to be creative, patient, empathetic, and many more adjectives that haven’t always come naturally to me.

Some days are good. Some days are not so good. Some days are both, but it is always worth it.

 

*I wrote this post a few years ago, and I wanted to share it again in honor of Autism Awareness Month. *

If you think your child may be on the spectrum, I wrote a post about Early Intervention that you should read.

If you would like to know more about Autism, visit Autism Speaks. This site is full of a wealth of information!

Show your support: Shop Deep Discounts and New Deals Added Daily. Every Purchase Funds Research & Therapy For Children With Autism. Show Your Support Today!

National Autism Resources Corp – This site has many items and resources available for children with Autism.

I have used essential oils since my son was little. One of my favorites is Calming the Child. This even worked wonders with our typicals!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy here.

What You Should Know About Early Intervention

 

The other day, I was speaking with an early childhood educator about toddlers who begin to exhibit signs of Autism and how hard it can be to navigate the waters of talking to the parents. I remember all too well, the first time Caleb’s preschool teacher asked me if he had been diagnosed with any developmental delays. She was very kind and tactful and handed me a packet for TEIS.

At that point, we were beginning to notice some small things. Caleb lost his vocabulary, stopped making eye contact, and really loved to watch spinning wheels. He also was very sensitive to different food textures and wouldn’t eat many foods that most kids would. He would also “script” (I didn’t know what it was called at the time), which is where a phrase is repeated verbatim, often over and over.

I would google Autism, and read all of the things, and still not feel like I had a clue of what was going on. One minute I was convinced it was Autism, the next minute I was convinced it wasn’t. After some urging from my mom and sister in law, I finally took him to the doctor. The doctor really mostly dismissed my concerns, and said we should try speech therapy.

I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was to hear that. 

But, the doctor was wrong , and I am so grateful that I had friends and family who said so! As hard as it was to hear at the time, it was exactly what I needed. See sometimes we make something out to be so big and bad that we can’t really see the end game.

If I had refused to believe that my son had Autism and refused to get him any services, I would have been doing him such a disservice. 

Caleb has been in therapy since he was two years old, and has made so much progress beyond what I could have imagined. He started with just speech therapy, and has had feeding, occupational, and physical therapy. He currently has an IEP and receives services in school as well as private therapy.

I cannot imagine where we would be had we not began early and gotten Caleb the help that he needed. 

It is really scary and intimidating when you think that your child might have Autism. I agonized and mourned some when I realized that Caleb did, in fact have Autism. But I am here to tell you that it is not the end of the world, and that you will find that it is actually opening you up to a whole other world you would have never experienced otherwise. That isn’t to say that it is always easy, it can often be frustrating and difficult. But at some point, I accepted my new normal and stopped worrying so much about my son.

We take it one day at a time, one year at a time, one challenge at a time , and one phase of life at a time. Each year will bring new obstacles, but we will keep finding ways around them like we always have. And so will you.

If you are a parent of a child who you may be feeling some concern over their development, here is a place to start : https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/concerned.html

https://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/early-intervention-toddlers-autism-highly-effective-study-finds

If you have a child with Autism, and would like to share your story please contact me at leslie@leslieslittlecorner.com