About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Friday, August 18, 2006

You Asked For It....

Okay, get ready, it is a long story. Our first daughter Caitlin was born in 1991. She was a screamer from day one. But, she was gorgeous. So many complements. I knew something was wrong, but I was a first-time mother. Eventually, when she was 2 1/2, a doctor had to admit she had autism. That is when I learned that I am no less intelligent than a doctor, just less educated. I read every book there was about autism. I became an expert in autism. My husband and I never blamed each other, never blamed medicine, never blamed anything. When Caitlin was 3 and starting Early Childhood, still non-verbal, we had our second child. It wasn't genetic, they said. Deirdre came into the world in 1994. No screaming. Aaaahhhh....... I had a miscarriage the following year. In 1996 in came Erin. Again, screaming from birth. Autism diagnosis at 15 months. No words until the age of 3. Caitlin at the age of 9. Deirdre has been talking since 6 months of age. Erin screamed so much I never got sleep. I became pregnant when Erin was 6 months old. I thought, "What the heck, I don't sleep anyway". Meaghan was born in 1998. A wonderful, beautiful baby. Never a problem as a baby. We took a trip to Disney World. Enter little Patrick. Again, a screamer. Diagnosed at 12 months. Yes, another surprise. When Patrick was 6 months old, I was pregnant with twins. Only one survived. Enter Kiernan. He was the perfect baby. No screams, no problems. Diagnosed autistic at 12 months old. He started showing regression at 10 months. We did not plan on having 6 children. But, we did. We did not expect 5 with autism, but that is what we got. Our children have improved without medication and biomedication and without dietary interventions. They have done well with OT and PT. They did not do well with ABA. That was scary. Our oldest is now 15. She is a freshman in High School. She is a straight A, Honor Roll student. She has a full-time aide. She amazes us every day. Our second child was diagnosed with Aspergers at 9. She surprised us with her diagnosis. It did not change her, just explained her quirky, non-social self. Erin is in 4th grade. Fully inclusioned, honor roll. What an extraordinary child. Meaghan is a typical 3rd grader. That is not always a good thing. Patrick is in 1st grade. So smart and so much a boy. He still has problems with sound, light and water. His words came before he was 4. Kiernan is still very much autistic. No words at all. He is the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. But, you know, I am not biased. That is our family. Our home is active and loud. I would not want it any other way. Autism was not a death sentence. Autism just made us rethink how our lives were going to be. We are not saddened by what our children were going to be, but we are so excited about what they are going to be--Exceptional people.

1 comment:

Soapbox mom said...

So many girls! I'd hate to be at your house at "that time of the month" as it's bad enough with me and my oldest daughter being on similar cycles! ;)
I applaud your approach to parenthood. You love your kids and it shows. You accept your kids, with or without apparent limitations, and that also shows. I say "apparent" because ALL people have limitations of some sort. Not just autistic or otherwise disabled/challenged people.
Please keep visiting my blog. The next post will be *slightly* off-topic of autism, but one you may enjoy and remember in a few years. Yesterday, I took my oldest son off to college. I cried like a fool on the drive home, but not sad tears--euphoric and "I'm going to miss him so much!" tears.
Something that many folks don't realize about us parents of large families is that just because there are a bunch of them--this doesn't spread your love more thin--it slathers it pretty thick. Don't you think?
Keep posting away--your family sounds awesome!