Living with Autism
Zoe has autism. There, I’ve finally written it, thought I’ve been saying it for a long time now. High functioning autism – I don’t really know much about Asperger’s so I can’t say. Yes, it’s more and more common.
What is autism? Hell if I know. No one really has given me an accurate description and outcomes, intensity, responses, and reactions in kids with autism vary greatly. Essentially her brain works differently, and that makes learning regular stuff harder for children and people with this diagnosis. Exactly what it makes harder varies, so again, really, who knows what autism is?
She is high functioning. What do I mean by high functioning? She’s not really trapped inside a private world with an inability to interact or do things. She does severe speech delays, difficulties with transitions, and social settings can be difficult but she does go to school and I can see her having a happy, productive life with college, a career, maybe even a family if she wants. She’s more comfortable with people she knows, but therapy has made a world of difference in her progress as thriving little girl.
She also has sensory processing disorder (SPD). Basically, her brain does not process sensory input like a typically developing child. For some things, she is hypersensitive (like noises and big crowds). This causes difficulty sleeping and calming down from stress or tantrums. In other areas, she’s more insensitive than a TD child, such as her feet and hands. This causes her to mouth objects a lot and made her a late walker. At age 2, she still had difficulties with things like going up and down steps. SPD may or may not be seen in children with autism, and it may be seen in kids without autism.
One thing you should know: she IS intelligent – very quick on problem solving, skilled at puzzles – so these disabilities actually can affect people’s perception of her. Non-verbal does not mean dumb, and whoever came up with that term for people who can’t speak was clueless.
MUST HAVE RESOURCES TO HELP YOU RAISE YOUR CHILD WITH AUTISM:
A MUST READ if you parent or love or care for or teach someone with autism: How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s. Just stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and buy it if you’ve ever wondered what your child with autism was thinking, why they are behaving as they do, and how to help them behave without losing themselves.
- “Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Strategies for Maximizing Their Strengths, Coping with Adversity, and Developing a Social Mindset“, is less of a psychiatric treatise and more of a road map to helping your child thrive and succeed. Topics include teaching kids self-esteem, building up their strengths, teaching them to make decisions, fostering both unconditional love and realistic expectations for your child, to name a few. The concrete examples from real parents and kids, including the parent’s screw ups, will hit home, I promise. Not only that, but the good doctors share specific techniques and communication tools to put your best parenting foot forward.
- “7 Steps for Dealing with Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy Child with ASD” (click to download PDF) is a new report by parent coach, Connie Hammer. Connie Hammer helps families raise children with autism, teaching them everything from how to handle meltdowns to potty training. Not only that, but you can rebrand it for yourself and offer it on your blog.
Other great courses by Connie Hammer:
3 Simple Secrets for a Smooth Sail Back to School
How to Potty Train Your Child with Autism
Staying Sane During the Holiday Season with Your ASD Child
Not only is this report a good read with guidance and strategies from a great parenting coach, you can earn money by rebranding it and offering it to your audience! Every time someone buys a product from the link in the report, you will earn a percentage when you share it with your audience. So download this report now:
Great, challenging places to learn about autism:
- The Thinking Mom’s Revolution
- Temple Grandin, one of the most famous people with autism.
- Talk About Curing Autism
- Generation Rescue (Jenny McCarthy’s org, so you’ve been warned)
- The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, reminding us that the biggest force in advocating for people with autism or autistics or Aspergers are those very people
Things you should know about autism:
- There is a debate raging about “curing” autism. I know a parent who’s child had severe allergies and eventually displayed traits similar to autism. He was eventually diagnosed with celiac disease. I learned a lot about celiac disease from my friend and from Elizabeth Hasslebeck’s book, “The G-Free Diet“, which I recommend if you want to learn about celiac disease. Zoe’s been the same since she was in my womb, so this is NOT completely a reaction to food. That being said, I see a lot of benefit from gluten free diets, so we are trying it now. Dropping caseins (found in dairy) completely changed her sleep patterns. Will it cure her? I wouldn’t say cure, but if I can improve quality of life, I’m all for that!
- I live in the great state of Pennsylvania, that provides a lot of support for parents with children who are autistic. There are some states that provides ZERO support, which means learning disabled children who are diagnosed with autism get no early intervention (EI). EI literally changed Zoe’s life for the better. If you live in one of those state, write, call, and get on with your congressman. Look up local resources-you’re not the only parent with this problem. And email me, ginabad (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll see what I can do to help. NO child should be allowed to languish when therapeutic help is available.
- Check out this Rodale article on the causes of autism.
You can learn more about SPD at: