So when I started with the idea of Friday Guest Posts I asked page administrators and gave them a day. Even when I stepped back from several of them to regroup, they still had this wonderful opportunity. Not one of them has come back to me and said, they didn’t want to do this. Judith and her daughters share their journey and its unique perspective. Here’s her story. Check out her page: https://www.facebook.com/jordansaspiejourney.
My name is Judith & I am a single, stay at mom of two girls. Jordan, who is my inspiration for my page & 9 years old. Then there is Jennifer who is 15 n NT other than mild ADHD. We always knew she was different from the time she was very young. For several yrs her difficulties went misdiagnosed under things such as Bipolar disorder, Anxiety, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Adhd, OCd etc. It has been a long, difficult road but last year I Finally found a Dr who specialized in Autism & was willing to look at at everything with a new set of eyes. This was amazing since everyone in the past had gone from previous diagnosis, reports, evals, and not really looked at her independently. After years of dr’s, diagnosises, numerous therapists & different therapies, fighting with/ for services, I thought for sure the day I received the official Autism Diagnosis would be no different. In reality, it hit hard and fast. Even though I thought I was prepared to hear it, being in that moment felt like sinking into a black hole. The main thing I did was give myself time to let it sink in, feel whatever came to the surface & remember this does not change the girl I had raised for 9 yrs already. Jordan’s brand of Autism is unique to her in my opinion.
She doesn’t fall squarely under any set of typical Autism characteristics but rather some in a couple. Communication was difficult for her when she was between 2 and 5 yrs old. It was only after more than 2 yrs of intensive speech therapy that this improved to where everyday people she came in contact with her could hold conversations with her & both understand what was being said. Jordan, we now know is an extremely literal thinker. Idioms & jokes are very difficult for her to understand. Social skills and understanding things like social cues, taking turns, maintaining friendships, inappropriate behavior vs appropriate behavior, & working as a team with peers are all extremely difficult for her. Then you have the sensory issues we are still figuring out. Since we are relatively new to the official Autism Diagnosis (October 2013) we have just recently gotten an IEP in place at school for her & have great deal of work to do. With everything she has been thru in her short 9 yrs, my girl on any given day keeps a smile on her face & always looks for the good in everyone she meets. She has the biggest heart and always longs to be a social butterfly. That, is great in its own way but so hard because she doesn’t yet understand why the majority of her peers don’t understand her therefore leaving her out of common activities.
She has come a long way though from where she was even a year ago and I know she can grow so much more with some hard work & teaching her things like how to self-regulate, social skills, how to manage her sensory issues and so on. I focus on the good days, the calm moments, and take one day at a time in the sometimes crazy Autism life of ours. Some days are definitely worse than others; I will admit that in a heartbeat. The days where she is having a very hard time, we have numerous meltdowns, and sometimes even wandering/ bolting events like we had very recently. At the end of the night I take a deep breath, find something to be thankful for & hope for a better day tomorrow.
When I started Jordan’s page, it was with the purpose to connect with other Autism parents, maybe even find a few who had female Aspies around her age. I wanted to share her story, our story, I wanted others to get to know the beautiful girl I know & love. I have found all of that and more in the months since creating the page. Our followers have been absolutely amazing, supporting us on the good days along with the bad. I have found people who get it and understand Jordan’s brand of Autism & that to me is priceless! If I can help spread some awareness in the process then I would consider my goal reached and I am perfectly happy with that.
Jenn and Em (and Judith)