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Learning Deep, Is Loving My Son's Uniqueness

My Son isaac was diagnosed With Autism At The Age Two, When He Was a Baby He Was a Normal Boy,

Infact He Did Everything Normal, But He Never Said Any Word's Just Sound's.I Was Getting Concernd At The Age Of Two Because He Was Covering His Ears Alot To Any Nosie,And Flapping His Hand's.He Is 3 Year's Old Now And He Is A Loving Child And I Can Say

He Is Trying Hard To Speak Or Sing Too! And i Know When He Start In Prescool He Will Learn Much More!!

So To All Those Parent's Out There,Have Faith Because Its All About Being There To Our Children Who Need's Us Everyday And Deserve To Be Understand <3

Amy Ariel
Woonsocket, RI

Learning Deep, Is Loving My Son's Uniqueness

My Son isaac was diagnosed With Autism At The Age Two, When He Was a Baby He Was a Normal Boy,

Infact He Did Everything Normal, But He Never Said Any Word's Just Sound's.I Was Getting Concernd At The Age Of Two Because He Was Covering His Ears Alot To Any Nosie,And Flapping His Hand's.He Is 3 Year's Old Now And He Is A Loving Child And I Can Say

He Is Trying Hard To Speak Or Sing Too! And i Know When He Start In Prescool He Will Learn Much More!!

So To All Those Parent's Out There,Have Faith Because Its All About Being There To Our Children Who Need's Us Everyday :)

Amy Ariel
Woonsocket, RI

Not-So-Great Expectations

I am a firm believer that every person and every event has a purpose in life. I also believe that those with disabilities are not necessarily disabled. No matter how unfortunate an occurrence may seem there is always a way to overcome one's limits. And so it is with me, an insightful and caring individual who is always striving to reach new goals as an individual with Autism. I used to be shy, unsociable and easily frustrated. I preferred to be by myself rather than dealing with other people. I couldn't handle loud or sudden noises, couldn't bear to hug my mom and was extremely hyperactive. I absolutely needed routine and screamed my head off when life went differently. My parents didn't think I would excel in school, go to college or get a high-level job. Today I am taking three college classes and am working towards a degree as a chef. I am also employed by KU dining services in Lawrence, Kansas and participate in Special Olympics. I like to socialize, make new friends and share my perspective on life. I can stand loud noises and changes in routine and my hyperactivity has decreased dramatically. I couldn't have done any of this without proper support from others and the desire to change.

What does it mean to be disabled? Does it mean that someone has trouble walking? No. Does it mean that someone is cognitively impaired? No. Does it mean someone who has trouble learning or trouble speaking? No! A disability is not an impediment or a hindrance that can be diagnosed by labels like Epilepsy or Autism. It is not those with hindrances, but those who don't want to and don't try to overcome them that are, in essence, disabled.

We all have something to give to the world. And so it is with me, the person, the man who has overcome not-so-great expectations.

Steven Thawnghmung
Lawrence, KS

Drake the Great!

My son Drake, is the most unique character I know. Drake was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at age 10 and I know that having a child with Asperger's, I have been given a rare gift.

I love Drake. Drake, despite all the things that are hard for him and the parts of the world that he doesn't understand, is a happy, unique, and wonderful human being. I never view him as a "problem" or "difficult" or even as a "challenge" and that is simply because of him. I am a better person because I was given Drake. I am infinitely more patient as a parent, I rarely yell or get frustrated, and I am his biggest advocate. I love Drake and thank God for entrusting him to me, to be his mother, his advocate, his lifelong friend. I love Drake.

Jessica Webb
Peoria, AZ

Sofie s Story

This is my daughter sofie she is 13 now , sofie was born 03/10/00 my 3rd daughter , i had a difficult pregnancy and sofie came two weeks early and it was a very quick birth, she was born into water as i was in the birthing pool in hospital. when she came out she was so quiet and looked so chilled out i thought i must have a good baby, but this did not last with in hours she was wide awake and screaming , red in the face as if we were killing her, from this day till she was 5 years old she never slept well, had major tantrums, never spoke properly, and hated clothes, i had never heard of autistic spectrum and none said she may be autistic , i worked alot so sofie was in nursery from 12 months, where she used to scratch other kids, hit throw stuff, people said we spoiled her as she was my third but her dads first child, when sofie was 5 her father died she had just started school so for years after her behavior in school was put down to his death.this went on all through primary till her last year when a lady pointed out she thought it may be sofie has aspergers , so after a referral and another 18 months plus she was diagnosed with Autism and sensory processing disorder, now i am fighting for a statement for school and we will then look at other options for her education it has been a long and frustrating road but i would not change my sofie for anything she is one special girl.

maxine cross
ketley, United Kingdom

Our Darcy!

On April 12th 2014 our 3year old son Darcy was diagnosed with Autism at a moderate level.

Although we knew something wasn't quite right with our little man it still didn't make hearing the official diagnoses any easier.

We wiped away our tears as we were ready to take on this obstacle side by side with Darcy.

As months went by, we have seen the most unbelievable improvement in Darcy's speech & socialisation skills especially since attending Daycare and having his own carer to work closely with him.

Darcy is now willing to try knew things, joins in with the other children at story time and is able to drink out of an open cup rather then a drink bottle.

Darcy loves playing outdoors and has only recently learnt to climb up the steps and go down the slide.

Darcy will now sit down whilst having his lunch with the other children and also now enjoys colouring in.

We are extremely proud of Darcy & the amount of improvement he has made since his diagnoses back in April.

Scott & I are determined to be right by Darcy's side throughout this journey to support, encourage and guide him in the right direction!

Love you so much Darcy! xxx

Scott & Kelly Sell
Melbourne, Australia

Our Aidan

Aidan was born a beautiful baby boy just before Christmas in 2006. He met all of his development milestones including using words to have his needs met at age one. At about 20 months, Aidan "lost" all of his functional words and began using only scripted lines from TV shows or movies. He also would not acknowledge family in the room unless you touched him, and would not engage in meaningful play. As an Early Intervention Specialist, I knew immediately that my beautiful baby boy had Autism. We immediately began Early Intervention and transitioned into the School District. Aidan progressed wonderfully. We accessed ABA therapy and Aidan took off.

Today, Aidan is not only using functional words in sentences, but he is able to tell you an original story with a beginning, middle and end. He is performing at grade level in all areas, but still struggles in reading. Although, Aidan has lots of behaviors that we work through, he surprises us every day with what he knows and is able to do!!

Deidre Bynum
Friendswood, TX

Brenden's story

Eight years ago I reserved one of the best blessing of my life. He's name is brenden. He was the most loving and happy baby. But about 4 months of age we noticed that he was not making any sounds. By the age of one he still was not crawling or trying to make any sounds. So we took him to his doctor. Who told us that he was just a little delayed. At around fifteen months we had him tested to see if he could hear. They said that they thought he was not hearing. I prayed and believed that my little boy could. Around 3 with a lot of work and prayers my son finally said his first words. The day he said mommy was one of the best days of my life. Brenden has never complain about being different than his 9 year old brother. About a year ago we find found the right doctor to help figure out why he was having so many delays in his milestones. She diagnosed him with sensory deficit desorder. This is were sound ( in he case cause pain) or one of the other 5 senses get over loaded. Brenden always has the best best out look even when he gets overcome with the sounds around him. Even though he still sound younger than he is and sometimes get picked on at school he never gives up. He is an honor roll student with a big personality. Who loves people and never judges anyone. He has shown me what the true meaning of God love is.

murandia anderson
westlake, LA

Tyler Inspired Me to Follow My Dream, Too

My Tyler is an amazing young man. I knew something was different when he was an infant because he wasn’t like any of the babies I had known or read about. Yet I never imagined what made him different would be autism. When Tyler was young, I was very worried that he would never be able to handle the many challenges that life presents as he often had meltdowns, walked around with his hands over his ears, and got very anxious in new situations. And yet he has! He found his passion on stage, a magical place where he can pretend to be someone else, dress up in costumes, be a part of a make-believe world, and communicate with everyone in the audience at the same time. He even performed at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland with other young actors from his high school. Tyler will begin his junior year at college at the end of the summer. So amazed and entertained am I by his determination, quirky sense of humor, and unique way of looking at the world that I wrote a book, Travels with Tyler: A Mom’s Journey with Her Aspie Son. Tyler has inspired me to go after my dreams, too.

Tracy Mannon
Herndon, VA

Could the Doctor be wrong.

Anthony was born 8-25-10, My pregnancy was perfect other then the gestational diabetes. He was a perfect 8lb 3ounces, 20inches long. The only issue we had from birth, was that he wouldn't latch, the nurses said he sucked his tongue while in the womb, as most babies suck their thumbs. it was an issue, but we got around it, with bottle feedings. He reached his milestones perfect. walking at age one, said "mama", Dada" "baba", and had a personality to kill.

At around age 2, was when we started to get concerns with his speech and behavior and eating habits. He wouldn't say much other then "this one", "that one" " mommy", "daddy". that was the most of his vocabulary, and the crazy tantrums, of kicking and making a grunting noise, that i could barley handle. It became an issue when we would be around relatives where no one knew what he wanted. At around 2 and a half We then took him to my old pediatrician, and filled out a questionnaire, The doctor came back to the room after reviewing it. and said " your son has autism". I was shocked to hear someone just blurt out "Autism", with out even talking to my child. After that about 2 months later, our questions were more of needing answers, and we seeked a second opinion.

Around his 3rd birthday after talking to a specialist, she guided us into taking speech therapy. Thus far it has worked amazing for us. But we still didn't know if autism was a real factor. We then spoke to an autism specialist, where they were teetering on weather to diagnose him on the spectrum or not. But she did in order to catch it at an early stage, instead of waiting to late. As of now we are waiting for his behavioral therapist to call, and we are guided to getting him into a special needs pre-school. But We are working through it, and to this day, i wouldn't change him. Autism or not. he has an amazing spirit!

Valerie
Columbus, OH
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