This is Our Autism

Fellow Autism Momma, Blogger, and Military wife, who also happens to share the same first name as me posed the question “What is Your Autism?”

I started to respond as a comment there, but there is just too much to say…..

Autism is a journey. It started as speech, eye contact, and all other social development screeched to a halt when our son was 18 months old. It is Doctors who wont listen. It is family members in denial, critical , blaming me. It is other family members embracing us, coming along side and being there the best they know how. Autism is sensory issues, meltdowns brought on by the sound of the vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, the sound of his little sister crying. Autism is cupping his hands over his ears and repeatedly opening and closing them as a thunder storm approaches.

Autism is no sense of danger, jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool or darting into the street without stopping to look. It is wandering away from the safety of home because he gets an idea in his head and decides to go to Toys R us on his own.

Autism is knowing an animal for every letter of his ABC’s. It’s watching the same movie over and over and over and over and over….(you get the picture ) repeatedly, day after day. It is randomly, usually out of context repeating lines from said movie, at any given moment of any given day.

Autism is long sleepless nights. It is non stop hyper active energy.

Autism has sent my world upside down, into a complete tailspin, and yet, it has shown me so much about myself, about my children, about the world we live in. I have seen the best come out in some people, and the worst in others. I have heard it all, “but He looks so normal, there is nothing wrong with him.” “He is just spoiled, your a bad mother” “Autism is ruining your lives, you should put him in an institution” “Oh we will watch your girls, but you have to take that boy with you”. It is rejection, Pain, sadness. A loss of dreams and hopes, a bundle of fears, a constant, daily struggle.

Autism is learning about things like IEP meetings, meltdowns, seizures, elopement, and echolalia.  it’s piles of paperwork. It is Dak standing up at church, in the middle of church and announcing “I done, I go home NOW!” It is screaming and wanting Daddy home NOW when Daddy goes away for Military training. It is taking something, anything he can get his hands on when Daddy’s gear comes out of the closet to go away for training, and hiding it.

But, Autism is so much more. It is a reminder to slow down, to cherish the simple things.

It is the first time I heard my son say ” I love Mommy” at age 4.

It is seeing Him jump up and down with excitement and yell for the first time EVER, at age 11 “That’s MY BEST FRIEND!!”

It is the leap my heart felt when He ASKED, guest list and all, for a Birthday party for his 11th birthday.

It is the sound of his contagious laughter ringing through the house as he plays WITH his sisters instead of alone in his room.

It is trying not to laugh as my youngest daughter comes flying out of his room screaming “MOM tell Dak I am NOT evil!” with Dak HOT on her heels swinging his lightsaber and yelling ” I Dak-man, I battle evil”, and wanting to jump for joy that he is PRETENDING, while having to explain that he can not hit his sister with his lightsaber, that she is in fact, not evil.

Autism is a journey, paved with tears, patience, and LOTS of prayer. It is hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst. It is a battle some days, and on those days, I feel like I simply can’t go on. It is a rollercoaster where the highs are WOW! and the lows are……well, Ouch.

Like my husband tells anyone who will ask, our son is not broke, He is just wired different.

Autism is love, Unconditional, deep love, stronger than any meltdown, bigger than any low. It is a love that keeps me going even on those days when I want to give up. It is a love that enables me to pick up the pieces, calm him down when he falls apart, to fight with doctors, to stand up for his rights at school. It is a love that is like nothing I have EVER known in my life.

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8 thoughts on “This is Our Autism

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. it’s so nice to hear other people talk about what we go through every day. It’s so hard for me to put into words myself. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Tears pour from my eyes as i read this everything about it screams to me thats my 2 year old!! From the covering her ears at the sound of the vacumm or blow dryer but not to the sound of a train , To sensory issues of feeling no pain Fall down knees scraped and blood running and she goes on like nothing, to sleeplessness Naps are almost non existent we go in our bed and 5 seconds later we are out I put her back to bed and 5 seconds later she is out (over and over and over and over) Same thing at bedtime we have literally done this 20 times an i quit counting after that and nights are becoming worse, Speech has went from your normal 18-24 month old speech to younger than 12 month old speech, Instead of 15-20 words that we were saying we are now saying 2-4,Self injury things from biting herself pulling her hair or hitting herself in head with toys. We have not eyt been diagnosed but i have seen enough from day to day with ehr and reading tons and tond i am convinced we are somewhere on the spectrum?

  3. Wow Tears pur from my eyes as i read this everything about it screams to me this is my 2 yr old. We have not bee diagnosed yet We are on a waiting list But im convinced we are somewhere on the spectrum!

    We have experienced and are experiencing it all and then some everything Going from the normal talking 18-24 month old and a vocab of approx 15-20 words regressing to 2-4 words, to the covering our ears at the sound of the blow dryer or vacuum cleaner but not the sound of a train?, to Sensory issues falling down scrapping knees and blood running and it not phasing her the slightest, Self injury hitting her self in the head with toys or book or whatever,biting herself,pulling her hair,

    Thunder never bothered her until just a few weeks ago now it thunders she covers ears and screams, She ahs always been a lovable cuddly one yesterday while speech therapy was here she was a total TOUCH ME NOT!! Did not want to be touched!

    It is Social and developmental issues adn so much more. We are currently waiting as there is a waiting list but i am definatly convinced we are somewhere on that spectrum.

    Is there any places on tips to handle certain situations or things to try as im sure everyone is different. Im a new mom at this and not afraid to say im lost at times on what to try! 😦

    • Christy, Know that you are not alone first of all. I would suggest start by reading this Post written by a fellow blogging Momma friend of mine: http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/welcome-to-the-club/. There are a few books and other links on my reading list you might also find helpful. Then check out some of the other Blogs I have listed down the side of the page under “Autism Blogs I Love”. none of our children are exactly the same, but there is a wonderful amount of information in the Autism Momma Bloggers community. It is a learning experience full of lots of trial and error, Patience and tears.

  4. Pingback: 1 in 88…not just numbers, PEOPLE « Footprints in Time

  5. Pingback: This is Our Autism…Revisiting a previous Post | Footprints in Time

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