Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Very First Post; A Lot Has Changed but Much Has Stayed the Same

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Dealing with Autism

Griffin was diagnosed when he was 18 months however, I had noticed at around 15 months that something was not right when he wouldn't respond when his name was called. I immediately had him evaluated by the Program for Infants and Children and we started occupational therapy and other early intervention strategies. As a matter of fact, I attribute Griffin's success and growth to that early intervention. I don't believe that he would have come as far as he has had we not started working with him so soon. Griffin is now pretty high functioning and very intelligent. He is doing some things that a typical 6 year old might be doing like reading, counting, he recognizes and names all his shapes, colors and a multitude of animals. Now that Griffin is in preschool and has a regular routine he has been sleeping much better; before school he had to take Melatonin to help him sleep. I think that the routine helps in many ways because his tantrums have nearly stopped completely and he has been eating a greater variety of foods as well. Although Griffin is a big fan of watching videos and probably watches more than his share I believe that they have helped him to develop his vocabulary not to mention watching him dance and sing is quite entertaining. Abby is Griffin's service dog, she helps him with his sensory issues when we go out in public and he interacts with her at home which has helped them to create a bond with one another. I got her because when Griffin was around 2 years old my friend had brought over her dog and we noticed that while the dog was there Griffin had no self-injurious behaviors and ever since he has had no problems out in public or at home with sensory issues. Abby doesn't even do anything actually just her presence has an effect on Griffin. She is a patient and tolerant wonderful gift in our lives and I got her from the animal shelter she's not even professionally trained. In Alaska service dogs are not required to be professionally trained. I have been a pro-active parent and searched out all the resources available to Griffin. So, he is now getting speech therapy and occupational therapy at school as well as with private therapists. Recently Griffin has shown signs of interacting with his peers which I am absolutely thrilled with of course. It is such a thrill to watch him grow each day and become more and more independent. This is what I wish for my beautiful child to become an independent adult who can function in society as well as his non autistic peers. I wish for him that he learns to fear danger and be aware of his surroundings so that he can live safely and not wander off as so many autistic children and adults tend to do. Whatever Griffin is now and whatever he does ultimately become he will always be my perfect little guy. Because, you see, Griffin's autism to me is not a curse nor a problem, I see it as just what has happened, unfortunately, and as much as I try to help him to overcome it I will never believe that my son is "abnormal'. He is simply Griffin and I love him exactly the way he is! I accept the autism as something that may never go away. But, Iam also hopeful that the treatments and therapies that have helped him will continue to help him and there is a distinct possiblilty that he will mainstream by kindergarten and more so with each passing year.


coolkid said...

i feel very similar to you in that i accept autism as just who my child is

I do not research a cure as there is none and never will be in my opinion. I do believe in occupational therapy and speech therapy paving the way for our children.

I dont think i would cure my son if there was one, as then he would not be Luca, my son who i worship, respect and adore. Autism to me is just a different way of life, its just a different culture with a different dialect of my language.

We respect other countries culture, we respect other dialects of our language, we may think their bizarre and on a different plannet at times, but we accept and respect it.

Why not treat autism the same. as simply a different culture and different dialect to our language.

Autism in not the extreme it is printed to be, when you think autism you think 40 years ago and mental institutions, and that could have been so different if the goverment, the doctors, and yes priests (which i have no tolerance for) and institutions had of taken time to understand, educate and train these poor children and adults to live the same as every one else, just with a little more effort.

I thank the lord Luca was born in this era and to a very headstrong and determined parent, and not 40 years ago. I praise the efforts, education, research and treatments that have come from people who realised that this was not a justified answer for those adults and children all those years ago.

leehuck said...

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