Sherri is amazing. Her guest post deserves an intro that shows how amazing she is. However, I’m so under the weather, I’m off to bed once this is posted. Her brand of autism is very unique in the fact there are twins involved. She will tell you all about the antics of trying to keep up with three little ones and how unique and different they are. Her page, Autism Through A Momma’s Eyes, is refreshing and full of real life ups and downs. I’ll let her tell you all about her brand of Autism and life. Thanks for everything Sherri!
So, I was asked to write a post for the lovely Jennifer over at Em’s Journey about my “brand” of autism…
My brand is indeed very different from everyone else’s in that A.) I have 3 year old twins and only one was diagnosed and B.) I have 3 year old twins and only one was diagnosed. Haha. In all seriousness though, it’s very peculiar how Robert is at times very cliché classic autism except he is somewhat verbal and Ronan is classic OCD. You see, Robert doesn’t line up toys or have to have everything just perfect, he goes with the flow. He does stim and hum and bang his head and at times has some very violent behavior. Ronan on the other hand has to have everything just so. He likes to line stuff up, have everything neat and organized and is mad at the world if the vacuum cleaners and cleaning products aren’t out on public display. We spend a good 10 minutes in the vacuum cleaner aisle at every big box store we enter. Good times, good times… Both boys are really into the Powers Rangers and everything gets ‘activated’. Robert is also very fixated on school buses and stop signs/hexagons. If it’s a hexagon, it’s a stop sign even if it doesn’t say stop. Oh and Robert also taught himself the alphabet at 2 years old. Meaning he could point to any letter and tell you what it is and also knew them all in order. He also taught himself numbers and about 10 states on the map. None of that is typical for a 2 year old. Ronan, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about any of that – completely typical for a 2, 3 or even 4 year old.
Our Journey thus far has been an eye opener. You see, I used to be a direct support person for children with Autism a good 10-15 years (if not longer) before I even had a child on the spectrum. The children I worked with were polar opposites. 16 year old female – classic non-verbal autism. The other, a 3 year old boy diagnosed with Aspergers. I thought I knew all there was to know about Autism and its associated behaviors. Reality, everyone’s brand of autism is different. I once wrote a college paper on Autism (again long before I even had Robert and Ronan) and one of the things I stressed in that paper was – STOP. Before you judge the screaming kid in the grocery store or his/her parents, STOP. You never know someone else’s struggles. Don’t judge. So, here’s my take on Our Journey. One never knows what they can handle and how to raise a child with Autism or whatever their different ability may be until you have a child with Autism, or one who has a different ability. You get what you get and you don’t quit. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, my kids have no bigger advocate than me. Would I change the diagnosis if I could? Absolutely but that diagnosis is not going to stop us from making sure Robert does everything he dreams of. Will he ever be able to hold a conversation with us or initiate one? I honestly don’t know but we will communicate however we have to.
Now that I’ve clogged up Jennifer’s page and didn’t even write half of what I wanted to, stop by our page and say hi.
Jenn, Em and Sherri