I have three wonderful children. The two youngest happen to have an Autism diagnosis. I have spoken many times before about our journey and the reason I continue to is to help others through our experiences. It wasn't always easy and sometimes it is still a very bumpy road but as a parent you just have to realize that you are your child's voice, their number one advocate!
Autism is a spectrum of disorders. There is a whole umbrella of diagnoses that fall under the Autism spectrum. My middle son Isaac, was diagnosed very young with Autism, after receiving a full round of testing from various facilities ruling out other possibilities. He has what is now being defined as the classic characteristics, such as; the loss of eye contact and speech. He had learned a few words and seemed to progress normally early on but then regressed. He didn't speak until he was four and a half and that was with intensive therapy and a mommy who wouldn't give up and wouldn't stop researching. Isaac is now 14 and a freshman in high school. He still has his ups and downs and has a lot to battle. He doesn't do well with loud noises and he can be triggered by situations he isn't prepared for but he has come so far and we expect so much more from him. He just recently took his practice Act in science and received a 32. He can figure out most science and computer things in his head and has the most amazing memory for facts. He can rattle off facts like he's reading you a textbook. It's pretty amazing!
My youngest child, Elie, was diagnosed later. She was seven when she received a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome. Early on, some of Isaac's therapists tested her but they said she was too borderline to tell for sure, to wait until she was older. Now, she manages her school without an IEP and you wouldn't even notice that there was an issue unless you spend time with her one on one, even then it's mild. She will have small meltdowns. She is social but has trouble with understanding social Q's. For the most part she does really well. She also had some therapy early on, speech and occasional.
Often Autism diagnosis's comes with other diagnosis's as well. Isaac has ADD and epilepsy, the latter is a fairly new diagnosis however it may have been an under lining condition all along and covered up due to off label medical treatments. Elie's has ADHD. There is a huge difference between ADD and ADHD, many people don't realize that. Isaac is very mellow and just needs help focusing, Elie on the other hand is bouncing all over the place and has the energy of ten people all the time. If we could bottle it, we could be rich. Of course, it interferes with her ability to get her school work done or concentrate. Somehow she is still an A student though, so we don't worry too much. We give all our children as much attention as possible! And both the younger kids have an awesome big brother to help the out! All three are very bright and wonderful! We are blessed to have them in our lives!
The point of all of this is, you don't have to feel alone. There are some many people out there going through the same thing you are, or who have been there and have seen hope and a brighter future. There are so many places you can reach out to for help and people who can answers your questions. Many people are diagnosed with Autism and the numbers seem to continue to grow, we need to bring awareness and acceptance for these children and adults living on the Autism Spectrum.
Here are a few links of place that have great helpful information: