Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

1/14/08

Christschool Video: Autism at 10 Weeks of Age

Another Great Video From Christschool...

I wanted to share this video, mostly for what is written in it. I agree wholeheartedly with what Christschool says here. His son is so adorable, and so it's also a sweet video to watch. I too am of the belief that autistic 3 year olds were also autistic 18 months olds, autistic 2 months olds, and autistic in the womb. At least, I should say, I feel 100% that my daughter has been autistic from the moment she was conceived. Every autistic individual has their own journey, their own traits. As a whole, scientists and doctors have summarized many common features that are a part of most autistics. But, it's important to remember, each person will have their very own unique experience. I do feel that a lot of regressions are simply autistic traits becoming more evident to parents.

At any rate, almost everything, from pregnancy to delivery and onward, with our second child was completely different than our first. I was extremely nauseas, lost weight until I was 5 months along with my second pregnancy. My youngest daughter moved, often erratically, in the womb. I even joked with my husband that she would pull an "Alien" (the movie) on us & pop out of my stomach. She was delivered, blue and not crying. She had issues from day one, some birth defects, many digestive issues, and developmental delays evident by 6 months of age. Had she not have the cumulative amount of issues, or the severity of each was less, perhaps doctors nor us parents would have been concerned until she was closer to 3 years of age. Certainly, had I not had my first child to gage various milestones, I would have been far less worried about my second.

I think this is something all parents must really understand and think about. I also like the comparison Christschool makes with this "phenomena" to that of eyewitnesses. I studied eyewitness testimonies in school, your mind tends to compensate and "make-up" details, often subconsciously. I think this happens a lot, unintentionally, with parents of autistic children. Despite everything going on with my daughter from Day One, I was very skeptical of an autism diagnosis. I remember during her evaluation, I told my husband that I thought she was making so much progress and doing so great, there's no way she'd get a diagnosis. He looked at me in such surprise, he even laughed. We had a long discussion, and I realized I was sugar-coating my daily reality with my child. Partly, the meltdowns, mood swings, and other behaviors were becoming typical, despite them being very atypical. The other part, was all the love I have for my child. It felt at times that speaking about all the negative things we were dealing with, was complaining about her or degrading her. I had to understand that we were discussing these things to help her. It was not a whine-fest or pity party, I had to look at this in a concrete manner. I almost had to remove myself from my emotions, and view what was going on in my child's life more as an outsider. I viewed several videos of my other child at that age. These perspectives, and my husband's reassurance, helped me greatly. I can understand how parents can unknowingly tweak their child's history, remember things inaccurately.

I think if parents can realize or admit that their child's autism is a part of them, not something separate, they will learn to accept their child, all of their child. Hopefully, they will then focus on ways of helping and accommodating their child, supporting them, and preparing for their child's future--with autism. Instead of pouring all their money into fake cures and dehumanizing treatments in hopes of getting rid of their child's autism, they may focus their attention on their child's life, and making the most of each day (again, autism and all!).

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