Let me fill you in a bit on Em and our family.
First there is our star: Emelie. Em has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficeit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). She falls on the high functioning end of the Autism Spectrum and often is perceived as being a sweet girl with behavioral issues. Em will not hesitate to tell someone: “I have Autism.” Or “I’m Autistic” to enlighten them. She also isn’t allowed to use it as an excuse. She is allowed however to educate those around her and explain. She knows there are consequences to her actions and even if the explanation to a meltdown is sensory issues or autism, she’ll have some recourse for bad behavior, of some sort.
There’s Amazing Super Dad (Matt). He’s learning as we go. He works hard and has made great progress since we got Em’s diagnosis straightened out last fall. They have come so far together that what once would have turned into a screaming match all around is now a balance of figuring out who needs what to regroup so we can deal with it.
We also have Wonder Brother (Christian). He’s 15. He’s also been given the name Wonder Cousin by one of Matt’s cousins for how he interacts with kids in general. Christian has ADHD as well and we are tweaking his meds now. He’s Em’s champion when we can’t be and while he may have a more typical relationship with her now more than ever, he is also the first one to step in if he notices something we may have missed (a trigger) or when she needs someone to advocate for her.
I’m Jenn, just mom. I probably will post more than anyone else. I’m working for a bank as a teller soon, and that works within our available hours and I keep meds/supplements/appts/schedules/meetings all straight. Some days I think I’ve lost my mind. I wrote a book about Em finding her voice about the sensory side of life and she did the artwork. We get excited about that stuff right now.
The rules are simple. We ask for respect. That’s all. This is our journey with Em and her version of life. Each person with Autism has a different journey. It may be similar but at the end of the day, they all experience life uniquely just like anyone else. There is no box for kids on the spectrum. Welcome to our crazy life! We want to share our lives and experiences with you in hopes that we can foster a dialog of acceptance and understanding.