Thursday, December 15, 2011

Autism as a Teenager

So much of my life now is centered around autism.  And I'm sorry for it.  I don't mean to be negative, sound negative, or read negative...

I really do want to post about fashion.

Or politics.

Or, films.  (Because I love these topics!)

But, it's just been a terribly challenging time for me.  For my life...

And today, was especially hard.  As mother to an autistic child, I can say it was truly sobering.  (And, anxiety-evoking!)

I walked out of the hospital, the local medical university, with my husband and child, after a routine appointment this morning, to see a dark-haired teenage boy walking in our direction.  He was no more than fourteen, the boy.  And his parents, who were struggling to keep up with him, lovingly called him Speedy.

Under normal (parenting) circumstances this might be no big deal, but he was different.  He was stimming!

Again, this may seem like no big deal, but to the parent of a stimming autistic toddler... it was heartbreaking!

DON'T KNOW WHAT STIMMING IS?  CLICK HERE.

It's like we saw what our child, Aksel, might be like as a 13-year-old with autism?  And, it scared us.

Because, for the first time, we saw autism as a teenager.

I mean, our near two-year-old is really cute flapping his hands now.

Will it be cute when he's in high school though?

I, for one, don't want my child to be picked on for his differences.

I don't know if I'll have the fortitude of character to withhold expressing my emotions?


Because he'll always be my baby!  And because, I was picked on as a kid for being just a little different.

READ ANOTHER MOTHER'S STORY WITH AUTISM.

On a last closing note, Aksel's been excelling in therapy.  And despite today's encounter, my spirits are (and have been) relatively high.

I mean, the progress my boy's made in three-and-a-half months is incredible!  And I believe, early intervention is key!

Happy Holidays!

We Are Top Baby Blog

4 comments:

  1. The fact that you got a diagnosis and help so early is definitely on your side. AND the progress that your seeing is certainly promising. I really admire you and am pulling for you and your Aksel.

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  2. I love that you're posting about autism because it is a real thing that touches so many people. Writing about what's important to you is what a blog should be all about. More power to you and I hope nothing but the best for you and your family. :)

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  3. My son is 11 and autistic. Public school with all the noise and distractions was just too much for him, not to mention that yes, kids can be cruel. People ignorantly think that kids with autism are unaware of the ridicule, but they are so wrong. My heart was broken when in 2nd grade my son came home telling about how 2 little girls had an argument about who had to sit next to him, because neither one wanted to be near him. So, he homeschools and we are in our 3rd year. Believe me, it is much easier than when I had to spend all of my time at the school trying to educate all of the teachers, counselors and students about autism and the fact that, "No, he can't just make himself stop chanting..." and, "No, he doesn't do it deliberately to disrupt your class!" Or even more fun, trying to explain to the teachers why he would sit staring at his work for 4 hours straight rather than just finishing it. My son is the most kind-hearted child and the unique perspective he has on the world has really taught ME a lot. My family and friends used to lament the fact that he was 'special', but they now know not to do it in my vicinity. He is Aidan and he is Autistic and the way his brain works is part of what makes him the person he is. I would not change my boy for anything, because he is exactly who he should be (and I must admit it took me about 7 years to have that epiphany). Yes, his life is hard, but who's isn't? He truly lives every moment and most people I know can't say the same. We have been very blessed and he has some amazing friends and playmates from the neighborhood who for the most part treat him like any other kid, but when he starts with some of his behaviors they are compassionate enough to take it in stride. I do feel that it is very important to start integrating kind and compassionate playmates into your child's life as soon as possible, because when other children 'grow up' with an autistic child for a friend they are much more likely to see them as their friend instead of 'that weird kid'. My son's friends are such wonderful kids that when a new kid makes a remark about my son's chanting or hyper-movements, they pull that kid aside quietly for a little talk about what is up and make it very clear that there is the 'right' way to treat my son and a way that will get you chased from the neighborhood. Haha! I realize you are still at a very early stage with all this 'autism stuff'. I remember the years of watching for progress and behaviors and running to endless therapy sessions. I remember throwing a lot of 'why me? why him?' pity parties. I get it. I do. But, I am here to tell you, that while it is a difficult journey with an autistic child it is one well worth taking.

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  4. Gillian, don't worry too much! When a child diagnosed with Autism early and started lesson/therapy early, you will see great improvement. While it might be heartbreaking to see what happen to other people, you have to keep in mind that each and every child is different.

    It's new year soon and I wish you and your family all the best and God will be with you and your family and be there to support and help!

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Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts. I love 'em all!

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