Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Stigma of Autism

Autism.  That is a heavy word.  Many look at anyone with this diagnosis as something less.  My oldest has a formal diagnosis of High Functioning Autism, and yet prefer to use the older term of Asperger's.  I believe that those with Autism are, in fact, MORE than the rest of us.  So, why do I avoid the term?

I avoid using it because, most don't believe the way I do.  I don't want C-note to be seen as less.  He's different.  Behind his differences he has an intelligence that is WAY beyond his age.  He is a being of pure logic.  He is able to put information together in ways that astound me.  Does any of this sound like a person that is less than the rest of us?  He does have a hard time with abstract thought, like pretend play and reading facial expressions.  But, that is ok, his brain is too busy with  all of the thoughts that are CONSTANTLY running through his head and organizing those thoughts.

My son has High Functioning Autism and he is so much MORE than I could have ever hoped for.  Having a child diagnosed with autism, or having autism yourself is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, it is something to be proud of.  Those on the spectrum are capable of much deeper thought because more of their brain power is dedicated to a single purpose.  I want my son to own his autism.  He is amazing and so is everyone else who is on the spectrum.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It's the little things

Those with Asperger's are special in ways that can only be imagined.  They are so intelligent and book smart, but have trouble putting together many of the smaller, every day connections.  My husband and son prove this to me on a daily basis.

The latest example was from C-note.  He has been reading about other cultures.  One of the things that came up was that some cultures eat various food while it is still alive.  After I explained what cruel meant, he had to know why it was cruel.  C-note is not a mean boy.  He never wants to hurt another living creature.  His trouble came in because that creature is already going to be food, what difference does it make?

I don't think that I was able to answer him to his satisfaction, but he did become very thoughtful and moved on.  I may not always be able to answer his questions in ways that he will understand, because his brain doesn't see things in the same way.   My hope, is that later, he will be able to apply our other discussions and make the right decisions, even when he doesn't understand why it is the correct one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Overwhelmed but Blessed

In October, I found out that my daughter is allergic to whey, casein, eggs and wheat.  I also learned that my middle child is having absence seizures.  My oldest is, as he has always been, a very special quirky boy with ASD.

My daughters allergies have required a lot of adjustment.  But she loves to eat, so what could have been difficult has been downgraded to a minor inconvenience.  Even though she is only 2 yrs old, she avidly avoids anything she knows will make her tummy hurt.

My middle child, Bumblebee, has the seizures, but they are so mild that medication is not needed.  We do have to watch to see if they get worse.  Most of the time, we don't even know they occur until he starts to complain of a terrible smell (a side effect of the seizure).

C-note is thriving in our homeschool environment.  Does that mean we don't have bad school days like anyone else? no.  It does mean that he isn't dreading going into school every day.  It means that I don't have to take a wailing child into a place that is distressing for him.  I also don't get notes from a teacher, almost daily about his "bad" behavior when he finds something overwhelming.  The weekly parent/teacher conferences are gone too.  He loves to learn new things.  He wants to know everything, about everything.

Life isn't perfect.  Things can be difficult, but they could be worse.  Lil' Bits allergies, while increasing in severity, haven't put her in the hospital.  Bumblebee doesn't collapse for his seizures and doesn't need anything to control them.  And C-note is calmer and happier than he has been in a long time.  We have had drastic changes in the past year, but they have all been for the better.

I am truly blessed.