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My sweet child

Austin is 7 years old and is the sweetest little boy you could ever meet. He has a smile that shines like an angel and is very bright. He was diagnosed with Autism in the summer of 2010. He is socially awkward but if you get to know him, you will be his best friend.

He is not like other little boys who like to get out and play baseball in the streets or ride his bike around the neighborhood. He does not like to go outside at all. He don't like to go anywhere for that matter. He is a home body. We go to visit family and won't be there 5 minutes and he will ask if it is time to go home.

He loves puzzles, he will put a 150 piece puzzle together in 20 minutes and then when he gets bored with that, he will flip it over with the picture side down and put it together that way.He also love playing games on the computer..he played a hidden object game with my mom one time,she showed him how to play and where to find the objects, after that he did it all by himself without any help like he was a pro, not just 1 level..the entire game!

Austin is such a good boy, my husband and I are blessed to have such a sweet child.I can't imagine life with Austin being any other way. We are a happy family and although it is mandatory for us to stick to routines in this house, we are just happy to be together and Austin always makes life interesting! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my sweet child with you.

Lorrie
KINCHELOE, MI

A Mom & Two Kids On The Spectrum - Together.

My name is Whitney, I have PDD-NOS and I have three wonderful children. Chance is 7 yrs old, he has mild to moderate high functioning Autism. He didn't get properly diagnosed until he was 5yrs old, eventhough he was receiving services through Early Intervention, no one suspected Autism except for me. He had been misdiagnosed three times by two different child psychologists and a pediatrician. After he was diagnosed I had to fight to get him the services he needed but he is doing great now. Chance attends a local public school and is in a mainstream classroom. He loves all things Star Wars and penguins.

I have a 27 month old daughter named Trinity who is also on the spectrum. We're currently going through the evaluation process to get her a proper diagnosis. Trinity was crawling by 5 months old and walking by her first birthday. She is very bright and curious, she is extremely intelligent too. Trinity doesn't speak words but is very vocal and she is a beautiful, sassy little girl. Trinity loves Mickey Mouse and reading books.

I'm very comfortable with ASD. My children are miracles and I relate to them well. Many people ask me what it's like to raise two children with ASD, when you have it yourself. People often assume it's very difficult but in my opinion it isn't. I can relate to my children from a point of view that no one else can. I've been there and done that. Having PDD-NOS has been a gift when it comes to parenting my children with ASD because I "get it". We may be quirky and sometimes strange, but we're a whole lot of fun! If given the opportunity I wouldn't change a thing, we're all unique and special in our own ways.

Whitney
Cookeville, TN

My Daughter has Colors.

Hello, My Daughter Anna, we call her Annie. She was born premature into this world almost 19 years ago with a birth defect that required surgery. Of course I was worred she would have massive damage but she was wide-eyed from the beginning. She did not cry alot,would just watch everyone around her all the time from newborn on. She learned to read letters from peoples shirts and t.v.'s, from 15 months on and astounded friends and family all the time. She was always reading the dictionary and encyclopedia's were never a punishment. I have never looked at Annie differently and never thought of her differently. She has always been bullied in school because she was considered different. I believe it is the outside world that is different...different because they can't accept something they can't quite understand and are afraid of. While Annie and all Autistic children around the world see our world in colors....we in our short-sightedness only see what is in front of us....in black and white. I believe they are lucky to see the colors and we are unlucky to only see what is put in front of us. My daughter draws beautiful pictures....writes beautiful poetry...animals love her...my daughter and all children with Autism have what all people in this world try to achieve....Colors.

Robyn Mackay
Lake Stevens, WA

I Never Thought He Would Learn To Read and Write....

My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 1/2 years old. He was literally climbing the walls and furniture as soon as he could walk. By the time he was 4, he had his head stapled shut twice. One day my husband found my son hanging by his hands from the upstairs railing over an 8 ft drop so he boarded off the upstairs for almost a year!

We were at the end of our wits (btw our girls were 5 and 7 at the time.) The worst part for me was that this beautiful child couldn't speak. He couldn't even tell me what was going on in that wild and crazy head of his. We didnt' know what to do for him, how to reach him. We couldn't take our eyes off of him for a minute w/o some crisis happening. We felt like failures as parents.

But then we got him into early intensive pre-k. Not long after, we found out he was having these night time seizures... once we started treating those, many of the more dangerous behaviors stopped and he started to learn to speak. By the age of 5, he was potty trained and starting to use language for something more than telling me he wanted juice.

Now he is 8 years old, and its so amazing. He has these great teachers, and he's learning to read, write and do math. He has some quirks - he's very set in his ways and he still has a bit of a temper, but he's got a great sense of humor. It has taken a lot of work, but my son has come out of his shell. When he was two, I had no hope for his future, but now? There are so many possibilities....

Sara
Jefferson, OR

Becoming a mom and instinctually knowing something is different.

I became a proud mom at 21yrs of age. I read the books what to expect etc..I really became conflicted by little things like my son not sitting up or crawling in the appropiate range of time. I spoke to Dr.after Dr. with continuing concerns, and I received all types of nonsensical answers to my concerns. I knew it was something that was serious in my heart. I was just baffled by the different thoughts of Doctors saying it is nothing to be concerned about. When my son was two I thought maybe he has a hearing problem, but he had no problem identifying a plane flying over. That theory was out. My next concern I addressed with friends that had young children I had them watch my 2yr old walk off into a big courtyard that lead to a street. My son never looked back after 30 yards or so and continued walking toward the street. He was not concerned about me being close. My friends agreed that was not normal. I finally found the answer from his speech therapist that recomended I see a specialty pediatric Dr.(My Angel) He observed my son for a little while and said to me you are dealing with a problem that is a lot tuffer than you are thinking it is. My angel had me research different words one of which was Asperger's it was amazing when I read about it. It just described him to a tee. This was actually a relief to me because from that point forward I knew what I was dealing with. My point is the concern and stress of not knowing what it was or how to help was very troubling for me. I felt helpless until my angel Dr. Baldwin showed me the light.

Proud parent of a child with Asperger's
Cabot, AR

I Am... Jacob.

My Name is Jacob. My mom is writing this for me because she accepts me exactly for who I am. She does not judge me or think something is "wrong" with me. My mom and dad find my "different" beautiful. They both tell me I am amazing and brilliant and when they do, I say "No I'm not, I am Jacob." They tell me I am the most loving, precious child and I say "No I'm not, I am just Jacob." I do not understand when people label other people as "this" or "that". I just am.

I am 7 and I have known my alphabet since I was 2, I also could read and write by 4, and by first grade I was doing multiplication. I just have a hard time interacting with you because I am not sure how to say what it is I am thinking.

I see the world through a lens and so do you. All our lenses are different yet if you really look close enough, we are all the same, The difference is in how our minds process things.

Imagine a very hard puzzle. The pieces look alike and the shapes are similar, and you have to put the puzzle together,,,that is how I feel when you ask me a question or talk to me...I hear you. I know what you said, I just must take those pieces and try to put them together so I can tell you things. This does not mean I am anything less or anything more than you are. I don't want you to feel sorry for me or treat me any different than any one else. All I ask is keep including me even if shy from you. I love that you love me.

Angela
Marquette, MI

adventures in autism volume #7

Adventures in autism vol#7....so when we took Gabriel to have blood drawn (based on aia vol#6 gummy vits) they had order my 6 year old with autism, who is still in diapers to pee in a cup! my first thought was dis belief ...they want him to do what!!! then they informed me i could take the cup home keep his diaper off and follow him till he peed and catch it mid stream! so i decided we were not leaving till he peed in the cup, i took him to the potty only to be told "no potty, all done potty" so i said "ok gabriel pee in the cup" he sat that there looked at me like i was stupid and then tried to pee! after several minutes i sat the cup on the ground and prepared to get up but he looked at me pointed at the cup and said pee. I disbelievingly picked up the cup and gave it to him and he peed in it and said "all done good job gabriel" ! So i have started potty training gabriel in a cup and today he stayed dry for 3 hours (while drinking). he peed in the cup 6 times in that hour! small victory in my fight against autism!

kristina
tampa, FL

Taityms Story

I had my daughter on June 20th, 2008. I remember it like it was yesterday. She was born at 8:18pm and when I looked up at her I was overwhelmed with emotion. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Her name means "cheerful bringer of joy" and that she is.

Taitym is three years old. At two years old she was not responding to her name or making eye contact. I thought that Taitym had a hearing problem and took her to the doctor. I was shocked to learn that my daughter had Autism.

Taitym has temper tantrums, doesn't like wearing clothes or shoes, and has problems communicating. She sees a speech therapist and I have her on natural remedies and homeopathic medications through a Natural doctor as I am told Autism can be reversed.

She may have Autism but it doesn't define her. She is a wonderful, lovable little girl. She loves french fries and mac n cheese, she loves to watch tv and waves and says "Buh-bye" when I turn it off, she loves the park. (slides are her favorite), loves to swim and has recently told me that she loves me which made my heart smile.

When Taitym was born I didn't expect to be on this Journey but what a beautiful journey it has been. I pray every night that there is a cure and refuse to believe any different.

Christa
Hamilton, ON, Canada

employment

just a brief note, my 26 year old autistic son has just been nominated as employee of the year. He works as a store assistant at the Co op. The wonderful staff have looked beyond what difficulties occasionally arise and they embrace what gifts Dominic brings to his employment... Thank you Co op, you have given my son a purpose!

Maureen Herworth
Sheffield, United Kingdom

Autistic Kids of Parents Who Also have Autism & Many Undiagnosed

Am gifted & cursed with Asperger's. Father was too, judging by his behavior. Know he was as face blind. Mother was further along the spectrum than I am. If I tried to get her to cuddle me, she would push me away. If I tried to climb in her lap she would shove me off. She asked one day, "Why are you being such a pest? Why don't you go play by yourself? I used to love to play by myself!" I was not allowed to have any kids come in the house or go to anyone else's house because "then we'll have to reciprocate." Father would not let us have a phone, go to church, PTA meetings or even funerals; nowhere he'd have to recognize folks. Suspect he was trying to hide his face blindness from co-workers because he would take us to restaurants & on trips. Was friendly to strangers he wouldn't have to see again. Have Asthma. Desperately needed clean house but Mother had hoarding OCD. Could throw nothing away, not even spoiled food. My attempts to clean up would cause her to have melt downs & I'd be in trouble for "upsetting your Mother." Stayed severely sleep deprived from breathing problems. Father saw nothing wrong with me having no friends or Mother not wanting me around. Actually glad to be along Spectrum because is where I get my gifts. But is VERY hard to be child of 1! On other hand they took me to zoos, museums & rocket launches. Encouraged my INSATIABLE curiosity! Mother realized I was smart, Kept them from putting me in with dummies. Have Expressive Agnosia which was not diagnosed. Failed classes because cannot follow Teacher's hand movements. But am VORACIOUS reader. Would not have learned anything new in dumb classes!

Elizabeth Hensley
Williston, FL
Hedgehog Love Socks
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