Autism, Awareness, and Acceptance

Sorry. Comments had to be closed.April is Autism Awareness Month. That might not even be on my radar if I wasn’t the grandmother of two fantastic little boys who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Old timers here might remember praying for our family and our grandson Conner three years ago when he had heart surgery at Vanderbilt when he was only two months old. He and his older brother Mason are very special, very normal, and very different, but they both face the challenge of a life lived with some challenges that most of us do not have to live with.

Johnny Bravo shared the story on the video below on my post this morning, which made me think about the work my daughter in law is doing year round, and especially this month, with the local autism group. I wanted to share this awesome story, and I googled information about autism awareness only to find out that there is some controversy over it. Some parents “hate that term” to use their wording. Some advocate acceptance instead of awareness.

I am not going to figure out the angst and resentment, it seems to me that people need to be aware of something before acceptance comes.

I took this definition from gemiini.org blog and their post on autism awareness, where I also found the picture.

One of the most simple definitions of Autism is:

“A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.”

I would add to that definition that autistic people may have sensory processing issues. My oldest grandson is very sensitive to sound and he often wears headphones to protect him. For example, we never thought about the music at mass, which normally isn’t a problem. But last Easter the choir and organist were truly singing and playing at highest levels, joyfully celebrating, but to Mason it was very, very painful.

Anyhow, all I really wanted to say is this. Parents and caregivers of autistic children have a very challenging and tough job. It is heartbreaking, tiring, humbling, and ass kicking hard. Sometimes something like this happens, and you cannot believe how much it can revitalize and change not just a child, but a mom and dad and family.

Autistic children may be the “brats” you think are throwing a fit. They might be the shy child who is over in the corner. They might be the child who is fixated on the meerkats at the zoo and won’t leave the window so your child can have a turn (yep, that’s Conner) or they may be loud, say socially awkward things, or you may never even know they are around you. Any kindness you extend will make their family’s burden much lighter.

 

Thanks to Johnny Bravo for sharing this awesome story. It made my day.

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79 Responses to Autism, Awareness, and Acceptance

  1. Avi says:

    G-d bless you and your grandchildren. My oldest is also autistic and my beloved wife and I helped form our local Friendship Circle

    Liked by 15 people

  2. jackphatz says:

    My son was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder at age 10. He is now 37, lives with me and always will. As heartbreaking as the reality was back then, it’s even more so now knowing my years will soon be numbered and there just isn’t anyone who will be there for him that he’s comfortable with.
    In the meantime, we argue over climate BS and other ugly stuff he reads on the net!

    Liked by 18 people

    • Does winning make him happy?

      Liked by 2 people

      • CC says:

        Unless one has lived it, there are few in the real world that truly understand the heartache that accompanies PDD and/or ADHD. As a nurse, it has been even more frustrating as the parent of one…and having had a spouse who ivied in denial. Childhood for these kids, is often painful and lonely. As a parent, it is a challenge that never leaves. It continually changes and challenges both parents and the victim. In 1984, I made the decision to vaccinate for HIB flu….at the encouragement of the pediatrician, whom I trusted. Back then, no info, no internet, little access to libraries….

        Parents often carry a burden of guilt. The kids, struggle to adapt and fit in.

        Liked by 19 people

        • We’re with you, CC.
          We all do our best.
          The rest is in God’s hands.

          Liked by 10 people

        • jackphatz says:

          One of the worst days of my life was hearing my adult son in his room crying because he suddenly realized the full scale of his situation. You must adapt and carry on.

          Liked by 6 people

          • YvonneMarie says:

            jack-
            The fact that your son had the courage to accept the truth is a huge deal.
            He is still young. He should go to trade school.

            Maybe your son can get through a community college trade class, 1 class at a time.
            The role models will be found there.

            Liked by 2 people

      • jackphatz says:

        You know I don’t think ‘winning’ is an objective for him. I don’t think he looks at something as winning or losing. Unfortunately, he has spent too much time on game message boards and the wrong reddit! We now have agreed to disagree.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Katherine McCoun says:

      I can not imagine the burden of planning for your son after you pass. I pray you find extended family or a church family & that God place some kind of “family” in your life or guide to a non profit or gov program that is trustworthy and will care for your son after you are gone. Blessings.

      Liked by 11 people

  3. GrandpaM says:

    One of our grandsons has a mild form of Asperger’s.

    Liked by 6 people

    • queenslandkel says:

      My youngest grandson has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. That’s what they call it in Australia. We are lucky he’s high functioning and quite affectionate. When he doesn’t want a hug he gives an air hug (hugs the air between the two of us). He’s very literal and rule bound and we’re currently celebrating his first school term where he hasn’t been suspended. He’s in his second year at high school. Being very literal and rule bound, he can’t understand when a teacher sets rules and then doesn’t follow them. He just doesn’t get it when they set rules and then don’t follow them. He questions them, which a lot of them think is the behaviour of a brat or smart Alec, rather than understanding he’s just trying to work out the teacher’s behaviour as it doesn’t make sense to him. We wouldn’t swap him for the world. We love his little ways and know when his head’s ‘ too full’ and he needs time alone to ‘decompress’.

      Liked by 17 people

  4. Evan Schulz says:

    Don’t vaccinate, save the health of your children.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Menagerie says:

      I vehemently disagree and caution ALL here that this thread had better not turn into a free for all over vaccinations. Not the place for it. Any who are interested in that discussion can find excellent information with a trove of facts that Stella worked hard on and posted a year or so ago.

      Liked by 8 people

  5. Evan Schulz says:

    Don’t vaccinate, eat organic, save your children’s health.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. William Schneider says:

    Speaking of Autism, please keep in mind that powerful new research is showing a strong link between the aluminum in vaccines and ASD. There is wonderful treatment options available in treating these children now. Check out Children’s Health Defense website for more info.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. TwoLaine says:

    I remember praying for little Conner and am so glad to see he pulled through! Prayers, love and hugs to all of you. I know it is a special challenge and a special joy.

    Perhaps you might find something here to be of use:

    Autism Care Today
    https://www.act-today.org

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Dekester says:

    Sincerest best wishes Menagerie.

    Thank you for all you do.

    God bless PDJT

    Liked by 9 people

  9. SnapperCheeks says:

    Blessings to you and your family Menagerie. And to all those very “special” children out there.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Mari in SC (thankfully no longer MD) says:

    Six months ago, I moved from Maryland to South Carolina and while I love living in SC for many reasons, my one regret is leaving my neighbors, including the 13 year old son, who is autistic. We had a really good relationship and I helped with getting him off the school bus some days, babysitting on occasion, etc. I miss them all and regret that I cannot help his single mom, a close friend. Fortunately, another neighbor stepped in and is helping them out.

    The mom, Jen, is one of the strongest people I know and I love, pike, and admire her so much.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. MightyMustardSeed says:

    Thank you for highlighting the different presentations of what each person may be struggling with.

    So nice to slow down and realize we all could make things easier for families and individuals that have the moment to moment challenges.

    I appreciate the richness found on the CTH branches.

    Liked by 11 people

  12. Sherri Young says:

    Does anyone here have experience using weighted blankets or weighted vests? I would be interested to get some feedback.

    Also would like some feedback on phosphatidyl serine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CoinSteward says:

      Weighted anything is very calming for an ASD person. Easily made vest with pockets filled with bean bags. Using Velcro vest under a shirt works well also. If you want to go high tech, you can use a sealed bladder attached to a hand ball pump to add and remove pressure when needed. Just depends on individual and what they are comfortable using. For our son, I took plastic beads and replaced the stuffing in a life size stuffed dog making it about 15 lbs. Even at 19, my son takes it with him to use at night where ever he is staying. Up to his pre-teen years he had it with him all the time. Of course, the puppy has had many surgeries to stop pellet leaks as well as a new under belly. However, the calming effect is remarkable to watch.

      Not sure about phoshatidyl, but will ask the nurse (BSN RN – wife) in the family to see if she knows and will come back with a response if I learn anything.

      Liked by 4 people

      • CoinSteward says:

        Answer from the wife/nurs – drug/supplement interaction can vary, so best to consult the experts and make change very slowly. Some medical professionals are better at this than others, so do not be afraid to get a second, third, and sometimes fourth opinion.

        Find a support group if possible, there are too many variations on issues and responses to know the latest in all areas. Always remember, the parent knows their child better than anyone, especially in the case of ASD. This can sometimes include medical professionals. If the medical professional does anything without first explaining what is going to happen, do not wait to intervene with some education about the consequences of such an action. Many still do not have first hand knowledge and experience regarding the impact short and long term related to jumping to action before explaining.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Menagerie says:

      Mason, age 5, loves his weighted blanket. Conner, age 3, does not like them. And yet he likes to pile toys on himself when he sleeps.

      Liked by 5 people

    • TreeperInTraining says:

      Weighted blankets….yes!

      We use them when we are agitation levels increasing.

      Weighted vests…..yes, again. I made mine out of a fishing vest and bean bags for weights.

      Both helped my sensory seeker.

      Imhoo

      Liked by 2 people

  13. CoinSteward says:

    I too would like to add my voice to the chorus of those who see the world of ASD up close as a dad. While the challenges are many and the lack of understanding does at times seem never ending, the eyes do glisten intensely when another soul is kind in word and deed to my soon. The small act of inclusion in an activity, conversation, and/or meal is absolutely a day maker.

    For someone looking to see through the eyes of a parent and child on the journey of life with ASD, check out the following book.

    Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free

    This book does an excellent job of sharing the joy and challenges for both parent and child. My own story began many moons ago when the diagnosis came with a heavy dose of reality about what at that time was an expectation that the best case would be learning to tie his shoes. However, for our son the best case became our next goal to exceed. I am told I am a workaholic at the job, but to be honest my son works harder than I could even image just to take one more step toward independence.

    Today he is 19 and driving a car. There is no such thing as impossible if one has persistence. Each day is a new challenge to be conquered. Most of the world of neural normal is filled with easy assimilation of new skills, but in the world of ASD every task is something new to learn. Just remember to seek to understand before assuming. You may find just how little you know and what a wonderful life you really have. 🙃

    Liked by 14 people

  14. sickconservative says:

    My daughter is a new child/school psychologist working her first year after internship so has been an education for me.
    You sometimes never see how widespread something is till it hits you personally.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. TeaForAll says:

    Menagerie,
    Thank You, for bringing Autism Awareness Day to light. My Nephew was diagnosed with Autism . He is now 24, living at home. Working at a Abilities Center doing piece work. Loves to work and get his pay check every week. He is Happy, Productive, and very helpful at home. Who are we to judge. I give my Brother and sister in law all the credit. Life was not easy when he was younger , but they persevered and powered thru to bring him to his level. God Bless all that have developmental issues .Life is always precious
    Tea

    Liked by 8 people

  16. lotbusyexec says:

    One of the saddest days of my life was when I was told one of my children was on “the spectrum”. Had no idea what that meant in 2003. The person who did the assessment was kind and yet when I asked what it meant he said that she was 2 years of age yet had the skills mentally of an 8-month-old. He stated – “she will never catch up to others her age.” Me, being a mom was like, “She will be OK, she WILL catch up.”. He looked at me and said “No, she will never catch up. She will always be behind”. I remember the profound sadness I felt and at the same moment my determination to help her rise above this “diagnosis”. No diagnosis is an end game — We all have the ability to rise to be better and help another get better. Autism, like any diagnosis, is just that – IT DOES NOT DEFINE ONE. I have always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a circle. Once I realized that not all holes are the same I sought out my own way, like many. And guess what, there are many a shape and place for us all to fit. We just have to find it! The golden rule in life goes a LONG WAY!

    Liked by 13 people

    • lotbusyexec says:

      PS — Going forward from 2003 — That was not the “saddest day of my life. My daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed in 2004. She was put in a” box” because her symptoms fit the description of someone with Autism. When she passed on 6/21/04 I realized that every day was precious and I would take her here, with all her possible “issues” (deaf, incapacitated,…) and with the possibility of her tumor coming back ANY DAY. If your child is here and making a go at life you too must do the same! To never have had my dear daughter, and the rollercoaster of highs and lows, would have been the bigger loss. She was a gift!

      Liked by 27 people

      • Indimex says:

        What a precious story. Sweet reminder to live in the NOW and be grateful for every single moment we have with our children. It’s been rough lately. I needed reminding. Blessings

        Liked by 4 people

      • Mari in SC (thankfully no longer MD) says:

        I am sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine what you went through. My daughter is now 23 but 21 years ago spent a week in the hospital with a curable infection that required 2 surgeries and antibiotics. That week was awful. I can’t imagine dealing with a fatal diagnosis. Again, my sympathies.

        Liked by 4 people

  17. Menagerie says:

    Let me emphasize this please. Please. I am asking you all not to make this post about vaccinations. We here at the Treehouse hashed this out over and over some time ago, and Stella was awesome in doing research and posting many, many facts for all to read. Both sides had their say.

    It seems to be one of those issues where people make up their minds and refuse to even consider the other side.

    Let this post be about the video, and the example of the kids, please.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. Concerned Virginian says:

    My son just married a woman who has a boy and a girl from her previous marriage. The boy was diagnosed with autism at an early age. He is now 14. His condition is difficult even with therapy and medications. He has the mental acumen of a 9-year old, cannot read or speak clearly, etc. My son and new daughter-in-law established a trust for the boy to help pay for his medical/living expenses down the road and they are putting every dollar they can spare into this trust.

    Liked by 10 people

  19. Inca Hoots says:

    I am not an anti vaxer! I believe they are necessary and the dreaded diseases that have been eradicated should never resurface because some choose to not vaccinate their children.

    I am referring to personal anecdotal evidence of the vaccines administered for those born around 1985.

    Liked by 2 people

    • sickconservative says:

      And not because we have open borders.
      My son was born in 85 and had a neighbor that was anti-vaccine then, my wife and I discussed it and went with the vaccine path as really couldn’t live with ourselves if we were wrong.

      Like

  20. deplorablegracie says:

    I recommend reading the work by Ron Davis about autism.

    It seems to me that most people “see” the world at one “angle” or orientation in their mind. Whereas autists see the world at many different “angles” or orientations in their mind. This affects the senses, time, consequence, and other concepts. Without the proper foundation, autists cannot develop things as others do, such as sense of self and their relationship to the world, that we all take for granted. The key is to initially get to that one singular orientation which can be done, even with the most severe autists that cannot communicate.

    I recommend Ron Davis’ work on dyslexia and learning also.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. AnotherView says:

    I’m so glad this post was put up–my prayers go out to you. I’m someone who found out several years ago I have Asperger’s Syndrome which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. After a lifetime of feeling like a social outcast from an inability to form stable personal and professional relationships, I’m relieved people are becoming more aware Autism and also ASD, recognizing the symptoms and talking about them.
    I grew up in a time when lack of social interaction, awkwardness, and being clumsy were considered nothing more than shyness or being bashful. Many years later shyness was labeled as anti-social behavior and classified as a mental disorder. But it wasn’t until 1994 that Asperger’s Syndrome was officially recognized and listed in the DSM4 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
    Folks with Autism or in the ASD desperately need empathy and acceptance. I can’t speak for others in the ASD–only myself–but I’d like people to know that outward behavior doesn’t always indicate internal feelings. I’ve been told I alienate people, I’m cold, rude, inhuman, even robotic, though prone to childish outbursts of temper for seemingly inexplicable reasons. Internally, I’ve quietly battled anxiety and depression for decades because I am unable to process emotions plus whatever is going on around me like everyone else. I’ve always wanted to be like any other person, yet only feel at peace when I’m by myself. Being socially different is costly. As a result, I’ve never been blessed to experience marriage and children, never had any life-long friends, and haven’t had one friend in my life since I retired a decade ago. Having Asperger’s is like living in a bubble, watching the world outside and never being a part of it. It’s a very lonely, awkward world.

    Liked by 13 people

    • wondering999 says:

      AnotherView: one of my cousins was diagnosed with Asperger’s. He is exceptionally bright, works in a highly specialized technical field, and keeps himself informed about many, many topics. I welcome his group emails about topics I would not otherwise hear about (well, maybe on the Treehouse…) Best wishes to you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • AnotherView says:

        How kind…thank you so much. When I first started reading about Asperger’s, I was surprised to discover most folks diagnosed with it are very strong intellectually. I wish there was an online forum where Asperger’s folks could chat and share ideas with each other. I imagine your cousin is like me–more comfortable writing than speaking.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Menagerie says:

      My prayers go out to you as well. I am sorry for all your hurt and struggles. I pray that someday we will find ways to help those who have ASD, Asperger’s, and other disorders be able to overcome the barriers they face.

      I too often only find peace when I am by myself. I have a large, close family, and they are a wonderful blessing, but I have always been a loner. It would be very easy for me to become a hermit, except for my family and my involvement with my church.

      I’ll be praying for you, and boy, could I use a friend too. You are welcome to email me any time at the Treehouse email. We get tons of emails a day, so please put attention Menagerie or something like that in the subject line if you do choose to email.

      God bless you, and you will be in my prayers.

      Liked by 9 people

    • TeaForAll says:

      We here are your friends but never met.I
      I am sorry that you were meant to feel that way.
      We are all Blessed
      🙂
      TEA

      Liked by 4 people

    • GB Bari says:

      AnotherView, thankfully you are quite able to describe your plight and experiences very articulately, which in itself is very helpful to others trying to appreciate the personal challenges faced by someone who lives with ASD.

      I have one question: Have you watched any movies (either fictional or based on a real life person) that attempted to portray a central character who had ASD where the portrayal seemed to be accurate?

      Thank you for your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. anonymous says:

    Not a mental condition ..a neurological condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. decisiontime16 says:

    Autism statistics…

    1970 – 1 in 10,000

    2018 – 1 in 59

    https://tacanow.org/autism-statistics/

    Autism prevalence figures are growing

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 59 children in the United States.

    An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
    Boys are 4.5 times more likely than girls to have autism

    Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

    Autism costs the nation over $268 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kimmy K says:

      And blessings especially to those with special needs children. May God bless you and your wonderful children, they truly are a Gift from God!

      Like

  24. JB in Jefferson says:

    Unfortunately I know all about the spectrum, ABA 4 nights a week 2 1/2 hours each night. Then speech and occupational therapy on the other night of the week. Violent out burst at times to unknown antecedents but, it could be worse at least for now we are mainstream at school and behaviors are becoming more manageable

    Thank god we are in a place in life where my wife can give her undivided attention to him, she is a saint

    Liked by 2 people

  25. decisiontime16 says:

    Something is causing this alarming rise in autism..but what?

    Liked by 3 people

  26. cliffaheadwolvesbehind says:

    U have counseled special educators for years. I just want to say so many of them are completely dedicated to learning the unique way a child in the spectrum communicates.
    The educators and the parents of So many of the unique children in the spectrum are simply amazing and work quiet miracles every day.There is more understanding how to reach and support them every year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • wondering999 says:

      One of my non-verbal (but high hearing/comprehension) clients used a limited form of sign language instead of talking. On the first day or few days a caretaker won’t necessarily know what he means, but it becomes clear.

      American Sign Language is a valuable, complex skill. I took a class but found it much more difficult than I had expected. Still, I mastered quite a few of the basic “Baby ASL” signs. These are fun for small non-verbal children who don’t yet have the physical/dental structure to articulate well.

      If I were the Empress, there would be free ASL classes videotaped for the public and presented on public access television channels (there are many on YouTube also, but that requires computer access). ASL is useful, and FUN, even if it’s challenging to learn for older people

      Liked by 1 person

  27. wondering999 says:

    I have worked with several people on the spectrum, all of them young guys, and my children’s friends in several cases had siblings with autism. I have tried to educate myself because I am a sort of “prepper” in my limited way — it could always be me with a family member requiring 24/7 care. So, I try to pitch in.
    I have worked through several different agencies over the last decade, and one of them called an employee meeting to emphasize a number of important/expensive points. First, don’t flush “flushable wipes” (“they’re lying to you!”) which result in stopped up toilets and expensive plumbing calls. Second, cover anything you put in a microwave, and keep it clean and dry. Splatters inside the microwave will overheat and cause the paint to fall off the inside, requiring replacement. There were several more, but this advice really went to my heart:
    “There is always, always a reason!”

    The administrator shared the story of a client who would inexplicably have meltdowns at odd seemingly unrelated times. The staff was frustrated with the client’s “acting out” and attributed it to her just being hateful. Then, a ceiling fan stopped working. Things were peaceful in the group home, for months, for no obvious reason. Then — the ceiling fan was fixed — and as soon as it was turned back on, the client melted down, big-time. Staff put two and two together. Something about the sound and motion of the ceiling fan was what caused the client to melt down, and nobody had ever figured it out before, since she couldn’t talk.

    The leader’s point was not to abhor ceiling fans, but to be observant. Keep in the mind the principle: “There is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a reason, even if you can’t immediately see it.” I try to apply this principle in other areas of my life. Instead of getting angry or judgmental, it’s helpful to realize that when other people are unreasonable, something is going on with them. That doesn’t mean I have to indulge “bad behavior” but, recognize that there’s something going on that I can’t see or understand. Maybe with careful attention, the situation eventually will become clearer.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Ackman420 says:

    It seems these days, everyone either has family member, or knows someone with a family member who has autism,

    I spent 8 years working in public school Special Ed and with Easter Seals in the 90’s. Our student and client population within the autistic spectrum exploded in those years. It hasn’t stopped.

    Recently, my 3 yr old niece was diagnosed autistic.
    God Bless our children,
    and God Bless and nurture our friends and family who are loving them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • warhorse says:

      diagnosis of autism exploded in the 90’s because they changed the definition. sort of like how they keep changing the definition of “obese” downward so they can continue to claim it’s an epidemic.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ackman420 says:

        I’m not sure of that. Likely has something to do with the numbers, but it seems to me that we had more kids, not just more diagnoses.

        Like

  29. Carrie says:

    My youngest daughter, who is 7, has autism. Today my friend and I took her out to 5 different places to keep her more flexible, because her school routine has led to some extra rigidity. I feel lucky because although she struggles to speak, she is very affectionate and loving.

    While I have struggled with her diagnosis and I specifically moved back to the U.S.so that she could receive more treatment, it still hurts to see the stares if she is struggling in a new situation.

    I have also read a lot of literature, but I can really recommend “Uniquely Human” by Dr. Barry Prizant. It was really the most uplifting book I have read and the most understanding of the perspective of the children on the spectrum. Dr. Barry has treated children on the spectrum for a couple of decades and many of his former patients are now adults. He told me he is now working on writing a book about those same patients and how they are now trying to function in the adult world. Time and time again in his book, he says do not give up on your children, that they will continue to learn even after when some “experts” claim they won’t. Some of his beloved patients even learned to read in their 20’s. Very uplifting and touching book in a genre that can tend to be a bit preachy and other times very dry.
    I send respect and love and support to all of you with young and older ones with special needs and to the brilliant therapists who help them through their lives.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. TheGardenerGeneral says:

    Both my children, a boy and a girl, are on the autism spectrum. When I was 5 my parents decided to become foster parents and since that time have cared for over 125 children. Many had different neurological disorders, including autism. This, along with my love and experience with improvised theatre, I feel gave me a leg up when working with my own children. I have found it to be a deep blessing, in that my focus is most often on the most fundamental things in their lives. Things I can see get overlooked often by parents of neuro-typical children. We homeschool them, as our school system is not flexible enough for their needs and the other children often single them out as not belonging to the pack or tribe. Aside from my children’s challenges, they also bear amazing gifts. My daughter taught herself to read at 18 months, my son has an amazing physical awareness and prowess. Both of their memories are fabulous. I say to many people, they are built like everybody else, with just a few knobs turned way up and/or way down. I accept others not knowing much about it, as I hardly know much about the many other disorders out their, but do my best to softly educate and bring awareness when I can. Bless you for your words and thoughts dear Grandma Managiere. Any help to spreading awareness goes a long way.

    Liked by 6 people

  31. Right to reply says:

    My youngest son is Autistic with Tourettes. An interesting fact for you. 8000 Autistic people are in jail in the UK. Quite frightening that a mental disability that causes things out of your control, can get you locked up with violent criminals and rapists!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. warhorse says:

    when I was a kid it was “he’s a little weird, but he’ll grow out of it”

    and we did.

    Like

  33. TeaForAll says:

    Menagerie,

    Thank You we all needed this Post Today. Time to smell the roses, and breathe and share with each other
    Thank You , to all of you for sharing your experiences. and challenges
    God Bless
    Tea

    Liked by 2 people

  34. PS says:

    My son was diagnosed early as high functioning autistic, and it look a while for me to come to an understanding that it wasn’t going to get better on it own. I myself was a “late talker” according to my mom, so I was predisposed to think he would outgrow it. We did OT, speech therapy, etc. and hit it hard. We mainstreamed him as much as possible, encouraged flexibility while letting him tap his creativity. He never liked to draw, but get a computer in his hands, and he’ll make anything. By 2nd grade the teachers were ready to end his IEP. But not every story ends this well, since we met many other parents whose special needs children did not progress over the 5 years. He’s almost at the end of 3rd, now in a gifted program.

    if I could explain it, for his ASD, it is like a hyperactive memory. Everything triggers recall.. a song, a show, a joke. All non-synchronous to us, but related in his stream of conscious. And it’s like a photographic memory, down to words on a page, dialog in Season 2 Episode 11 of some obscure cartoon. Normally I think we can tamp down that impulse, or our brains are too slow at recall. But he remembers math like me, music like his mother, and I think he’ll turn out all right in the end.

    Liked by 6 people

  35. TreeperInTraining says:

    Thanks for this thread.

    I am a mother of two teenage boys diagnosed with Moderate Autism, ADD and one with a seizure disorder.

    Beautiful, life changing, challenging, awe inspiring and humbling.

    We flap, eat inedibles, hit and bite ourselves, have no safety awareness and self help skills are limited. Our verbal vocabulary is limited, so communication is tough. We scream for haircuts, talk loudly, sometimes get aggressive and really stand out in a crowd.

    But we read and can do math…, both above grade level, memorize radio ads and movie lines, love the ocean, are amazed by the sky, moon and stars and love to play in the mud.

    We love Lady GaGa, My Chemical Romance and Billy Joel.

    My eldest loves Trump (his MAGA shirt is worn out) and Dr. King…and says that Pope Francis is a fraud and a scheister! Lmao

    I am but a follower on their journey. The grit and determination I see in them every single day brings me to my knees every night…thanking God for blessing me with these old souls.

    Imho

    Liked by 3 people

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