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, November 03, 2006

A Girlfriend's Guide To Autism:

This is the guide I would write if a good friend had a child who got the diagnosis of autism and she asked me my opinion....

1. The first thing I would say is...I will answer your questions, but you might not like what I am going to say.
2. Sit back and take a deep breath.
3. Do not look differently at your child. You have the same child you gave birth to, but now you have a reason for why they are like they are.
4. Take a little time to get angry, sad, mad, bitter, whatever....just don't dwell too much on the negative.
5. You can tell people if you want, that is totally up to you.
6. If your child is under the age of 3, call your local March of Dimes or Any Baby Can and request an evaluation. These people came to our home with 5 different children. They work with your child with Speech, ABA, OT, PT. They are the first steps in helping your autistic child.
7. If your child is over 3, contact your local school district to get an evaluation and to set up an education plan for your child. This is where my children have thrived. I am so grateful for our school district.
8. Read anything and everything you can about autism. You must decide what will work for your home and your family. Do not listen to everyone at one time. Look at all of your options. This may take a while...that is okay. You won't do anything you will regret later that way.
9. You may lose some friends and family members. They don't mean to be distant, they just don't know how to behave around you anymore. You don't need any Pity anyways.
10. Especially, do not pity yourself. That is the last thing your child needs.
11. Do not change your routines at home or out in public. Routine is very important for an autistic child. They rely on routine. It keeps them feeling safe and secure. If you have a change in routine, let your autistic child know in advance. I have learned that saves alot of anxiety come the day of change.
12. Keep your doctor and neurologist (or specialist) aware of any treatments you are undergoing that they do not prescribe.
13. If you are married or have a signifigant other, keep a date night or a date afternoon....it really helps with the stresses involved.
14. Do not keep your significant other out of any of the plans or procedures you arrange for your child. This will cause big problems later...believe me.
15. Most important, make sure your children know you love them. Make sure they feel safe and secure every day and every night. Let them know they can trust you and all that you say. Autistic children need to know they are secure and mine love the extra hard squeezes we give with our hugs.

You see, I do not see the big deal with having an autstic child or autistic children. After the initial shock of having Caitlin being diagnosed, all the other diagnosis just fell into place.
We would not love our children any more if they did not have the label of autism.

I do not see the need for all the drama that comes with the diagnosis. I don't see why parent's are feuding because one does biomedical and one doesn't. I do not see why some mother's are so damn mean about it.
I have had the pleasure of dealing with 3 mothers on the AW Forum board who are downright nasty. I would hate to be the child on the other side of that anger.
If these mother's do not think that their negative attitudes about autism do not reflect in how they deal with their children, they are sadly mistaken.
You can look at the pictures of one of these children and see they are not happy with the procedures done to them. How sad to have to cover you own butt at night...afraid your own mother is going to give you a suppository or a shot....

I know, I know.....you are a better mother because you are trying to make your child better....okay, if you buy that......

I am so glad to be married to the man I am married to. He adores his children and loves them more than life. He works so hard for our family and these kids show him how much they love him. He is our hero.....
He has never expected them to be any less than they are...and that is pretty damn good.

I am so happy to have the friends I have... the one's that except my children as they are. And love them no matter what. The friends that know these children are all they can be and will grow to be so much more.
I am thrilled to have met people on the internet that accept their autistic children as much as we do. Women that I have met that I love like a sister...you know who you are. Who know when I am serious and when I am kidding...thank you for that.
I hope you know that I admire you far more than you do me.

Autism is not a death sentence....it is a chance for a parent to look back and reevaluate what you wanted from your child's life. You must take the time to change every expectation you had of your child and just let what ever will happen, happen....

One of my very close friend's called me the other night to ask me about detention. I told her I have never had a child in detention. She did not understand....I told her that my children were not like her child. That detention would devastate them...they could never be bad at school.
I told her that when parent's look at autism as a bad thing, I do not....
I look at it as:
Yeah Autism:
1. Bus delivery at the door.
2. No boy crazy teens
3. Good grades.
4. No wanting name-brand labels on clothing.
5. No teen-age angst.....



Soapbox mom said...

Hi Jeanette-
That is quite the checklist you put together--very admirable indeed.
Add "Don't Panic!" at the bottom, tho. I see so many parents rushing to treat a child "before it's too late!" Ugh. Just ugh.
Speaking of ugh, sorry I was not in contact much over the weekend. I did the unthinkable--I got sick. Was fine when I got up yesterday morning, but by noon I was a-hurling. No, I am not pregnant. That is the first question my mom always asks whenever my stomach acts up. ;)
Better today, so it's off to the salt mines again.
You have a great week with all the kids.

kf said...

Other reasons: Most of the time,
Autie kids don't want to throw wild parties for their friends.
They don't steal money from your purse.
You'll rarely have to bail one out of jail.
They don't bully other people.
They are not racists.
They are known to be "social saints".
They treat everyone equally.
Have a strong sense of justice and fairness.

Rosa said...

Hi, my name is Rosa and I am the mother of a wonderful 6 year old son with a diagnosis of PDD-NOS. I have to say that I am in complete agreement with the statements you made in the "Girlfriends Guide to Autism." When are people going to stop trying to change their children and realize that their children are staring them straight in the face?? Autism is going to be a part of our kids lives no matter what and until these parents embrace that and stop trying to change that fact, their kids will never be able to reach their full potential.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with you more. Everyone involved with the school system and human services was trying to get us to put our 2 yr old Mildly Autistic child in school by age 3. Saying like yourself that it will prepare them for school. Thats the biggest bunch of crap I ever heard... It's about the funding, point blank. Here's a novel idea, how about parents raise there own kids for Christ sake. Sluffing them off to get what? a dumbed down government edu. For what? So they get along better with the brain washed kids/teachers?? I think not. Our other 2 kids were home schooled for the first 3 years of there edu.. and guess how they did when they entered. TOP of there class and gifted... Thinking of pulling them out as they have seemed less interested in learning since introduced to the government edu 2 years ago..

Lady you couldn't be more of a sheeple if you tried... Unlike aw forum (you speak so much of)I dont have to insult a child but I prefer to go to the source of the ignorance....

Bet you let the doctor turn your child into a zombie with the schedule c drugs as well. I cant stand reading your blabber for another line but I'd be willing to put money on it. But you don't believe in vitamins... Fucking moron!!!

Oh and I forgot... nobody gives a shit what you did... Supported the piss poor public edu, the dope pushing doctors, and big pharma. I bet you fucking ran to get your kids stuck with lord knows what..

Hurry run get your fucking swine flu shot cause you seen it on tv.. must be real.... idiot.. do us a favor stop reproducing as your only adding more idiots to the gene pool....

Mom26children said...

Hello Anonymous,
ANGRY much ???
I hope your child(ren) do not feed off of your anger...it really is quite harmful to a child.
I have NEVER insulted a child, disbelieve in vitamins or do any of the things you graciously accused me of.
Again, I am amazed by what people do under the "guise" of Anonymous...or are you really ????
How is the weather in MS ?

Thanks for visiting my little ol' blog...come back any time !!!