Monday, September 29, 2008

The Different Faces of Autism

One mom, who calls herself an autism advocate, mentioned that she feels lucky even though she has a daughter with (mild) autism. She counts her blessings everyday because she has two wonderful, beautiful kids. Her autistic daughter does have challenges but she is verbal and can speak and articulate her feelings, and meltdowns are few and far between. She attends a typical classroom and is doing just fine, at least at the moment. This mom believes that her life with autism is tough, but she is standing tougher in her fight against autism and will not allow autism to define her daughter. This mom fights to educate and advocate for her child so that there is acceptance in the classroom and in society. She is considered a conqueror; a positive thinker; a survivor; and is highly regarded by her peers. The golden key here is that she knows that her daughter could have success, and she prays for it everyday. She does feel lucky and will stand up strong to autism.

This mom is also very outgoing and has lots of friends because autism doesn’t hold them back. Again, autism doesn’t have to define their family, at least most of the time.

This mom goes to birthday parties; goes on vacations, but notes that her daughter doesn’t always play well or even played with by her peers, and it breaks this mom’s heart.

Life would be perfect if only her daughter could better her life.

There is another mom who also calls herself an autism advocate. Her beautiful daughter has (severe) autism and is non-verbal and cannot articulate her feelings, therefore, attends a restricted classroom that includes a time-out room for behavioral meltdowns. Her daughter is prone to having meltdowns and being restrained. She is not capable of going out with her daughter without a behavioral plan in place. For her daughter, the school bus cannot transport her to school without the safety of a bus monitor. Going out in the community is stressful and, in most cases, not successful, but she tries. She, too, is considered a conqueror; a positive thinker; a survivor; and is highly regarded by her peers. She does not want her daughter to be defined by her autism, but it can’t be helped no matter how much she tries. The very least of her daughter’s problems is having her make friends; instead, she would just like to get through the day with a lesson learned and a smiling face, and prays for it everyday. She does not feel so lucky and feels guilty because of it. She tries hard everyday to stand up to autism, but gets defeated most of the time—autism for her is just too tough.

This mom also has an outgoing personality but doesn’t make friends very easily, autism defines her daughter just that much that it becomes hard to make and keep friends.

This mom does not go to birthday parties, because she is not invited; would go on vacation but it's very stressful rather than relaxing, so it's avoided at all cost. Her daughter can’t play well with other kids, ever, and this fact is a long running heartbreak, among other things.

Life would be perfect if only her daughter could have a life.

1 comment:

autismfamily said...

Great post. My HFA son Nick was very outgoing in school and at summer camp, one of then highest functioning there, yet at the end of the six weeks we get a directory for those that want to be listed with name,address, ph#,email and birthday. He got a call last nite from the one who got him interested in Mario Brothers. First he asked if he could come over here on Tue and then said his bday is Thur. My son was very confused and interrupted his show. He does not handle phone well.