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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CAP AND GOWN...

Yep...it is that time of year for ordering the cap and gown for the high school
student who is about to graduate.....
It is just setting in that I am the mother of a Senior in high school.
And, believe it or not..
Caitlin is so excited to walk with her graduating class.

Yes, I had to coax her into it...
"It is too noisy"...
"too many people"...

I said, "Caitlin, You have worked so hard for this and dang it,
I want you to do this"...
"Oh, okay..."...

17 years ago, we did not know what Caitlin was capable of.
She was non-verbal and very destructive and aggressive.
We had her in extensive therapies and made sure she was inclusioned
throughout her eductation. We had an amazing group of people, in the last 17 years
who made sure my daughter would not fail.
BUT...the most of the credit is put to Caitlin.
I know my critics state that she is not "that Autistic"...but, you would be so wrong.
This girl has to struggle with sounds and lights around her that drive her nuts.
She takes a situation and adapts....
She hums and stims...she jumps and paces...she adapts....
but..Don't we all?

You won't read this on Age Of Autism...

You won't see the determination of a severely autistic child who has maintained an
A-B average since elementary school. Who has had amazing behavior at school despite
the fact that she gets disturbed by behaviors around her. You won't read how she
graduated from a public high school with NT classmates.
You won't read how she is graduating by making grades....not just passing...but truly
graduating with her class.

You won't see this on AoA, because this is not a "pity party"....this is a CELEBRATION!!!!

Am I proud...
DAMN STRAIGHT!!!

So, today, with great pride (yes, I am tearing up as I write this)..
I got to order my daughters cap and gown for her GRADUATION !!!!

17 comments:

r.b. said...

Congratulations to Caitlin.She has worked so hard to get to that point, I am SURE!!

KWombles said...

I'm tearing up, too! Yay, Caitlin! It's so exciting. I hope she is as proud of her accomplishment as you are. :-)

Fighting for my Children said...

Congrats to Caitlin and her mommy too!

Dawn said...

wooHoo! Go Caitlin. Yes, graduation is noisy and hot and loud. I hope she can cope with it. But you and she have every reason to be proud of her hard work.

Mom26children said...

Thanks for the comments guys.
Dawn, Caitlin is being prepared for her graduation...noise included.
We try to prepare her for these little bumps in the road.
The reason she came off so very well in the Extreme Makeover show is because we prepared her for the noise, but if you watch our show, you can catch her with her hands over her ears.

talesofablendedfamily said...

Congratulations to Caitlin!! A high school graduate...that's fantastic!

Phil Schwarz said...

Yay Caitlin!
And Caitlin's mom too.

Journalists have sometimes asked me what successful parenting on principles of common sense about autism looks like. It's what you and I and Jypsy Norman-Bain and so many others have been doing all these years.

And at this stage it's great to see Caitlin, and Jypsy's Alex, and our Jeremy, and so many others, begin to blossom as young adults.

Fighting for my Children said...

I just watched a home makeover with 5 autistic children. Was that you???

Mom26children said...

Fighting For My Children,
It is very possible it was us...
Was the mother extraordinarily beautiful ???
;)

Fighting for my Children said...

oh, yes lol, She looks remarkably like your profile pic too!

Stacey S. said...

Congrats to Caitlin. I have a question for you: My daughter is going to be three next weekend and she was diagnosed a year ago. She has been in therapy and doing everything recommended but I have noticed that here sensitivity to sounds has increased. Is there anything I can do to help her with that? I feel like she is always uncomfortable because she can literally hear the humming of electrical appliances even when they are turned off! She wakes up screaming in the middle of the night because a car passed down the road.

I am tired of listening to doctors and thereapists because they all tell me something different. I am hoping that another mother who has been there can offer some practical advice.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Caitlin and the whole family!! I teach first grade and have had several children on the spectrum. I am so glad you did the AOL interview. That is how I found you. We need to hear your story and the other successes. It allows me to keep working past the meltdowns, screaming and School admin. who aren't helping at all.

Ollie said...

Wow Awesome story. I just found you on AOL health but already I am very interested in your family. I hope you enjoy all the public support you are getting, (and Caitlin although I'm not too sure ;) ) Very cool! Go you, mom!

Denise said...

Congratulations, Caitlin! You have done a wonderful job, and so has your mom! Have a wonderful graduation, even if it is crowded in there and noisy at the end. I hope you have a great summer also.

shari said...

I just read your blogs via AOL. Wow it struck a chord. I have 4 children 4 with various degrees of autism. You are right on the mark and it seems like we've taken similar approaches.

They have been the best unexpected journey I could have imagined. I learn from them daily. My son (13) is similar to your older children, and people always ask me if he's cured. But I know how hard he works everyday to "fit in" and maintain an A average (without modifications). His perseverance is his gift.

Like you, I am certain they came out this way. I also see it as neurological. They process information and stimuli in a non typical fashion.

Thank you for helping to feel a little less unique.

Shari

Shell said...

WOOHOOO Congrats Caitlin!!! Great acheivement and you can do this!!! You are an inspiration to other children that will be going through what you went through and I will be happy to share this with my kaytlin in oh 15 years :) Walk that isle with pride and know that YOU did this and that YOU can do anything you put your mind to.

Elaine Lowe said...

I just found your blog. You give me so much hope! Yeah Caitlin!

You help give me the strength to stand up to all those who want to "cure" my son with diets and such, and the school district who doesn't want to give my son the services he needs to succeed and thrive.