Autism Truths: What Makes Them So Different Makes Them Just The Same

Most people like to think they are different and unique. Snowflakes. The truth is we are all very much the same, at least in our cells. Yes, snowflakes look different but they are still made of two things: water and oxygen. When I see kids with autistic traits like toe walking and getting so excited by watching cars move, in my heart I feel like there is one thing that links these kids together in these behaviors. Maybe one child can’t talk but is great at riding a bike, while another can talk but walks on his toes and doesn’t know how to play with other children. So there must be one thing, that one thing, that can remove the cause of the behaviors completely and “rewire” the child.

There is a saying, the phrase that drives me crazy, which is: If you’ve met one kid with autism, you’ve met one kid with autism. I don’t think they are all so different. They each share something that is causing their development to stall in a few fragments or many. When I look at my son who is almost five, he does flapping still and has some social awkwardness at times, but I don’t call that autism. What I do call autism is what has happened to my almost three year old. He still cannot talk, he toe walks, he cannot go down steps by himself, has problems regulating his body, and does not point. While his mood is always improving, and sleep is becoming more predictable, these big development issues still remain. We are trying to chip away at them everyday, through talking to him, through his diet and through the endless researching. Where is the golden rule book on autism? Why have I had to trudge through all of this since he was 18 months old? He has had early intervention, he has had occupational therapy. But still his big light, the light of communication and being more aware of himself in space, has not clicked yet. What is the “thing” going to be that will work? Is it a multivitamin formula that I haven’t discovered? Is it the fact he needs to eat a scrambled egg at night? How about speech therapy on Tuesdays and Fridays, and occupational therpay on? I don’t think any of this  makes sense anymore. I think it’s something inside – on a cellular level, that has to be changed, to get him out of this and into our world. Part of why I started writing again on this site is to help myself to think outloud and get my thoughts and research sorted together. And I pray I figure something out so that I can help another parent. Even just one child.

F*** Autism

I don’t view autism as a blessing or a gift. I look at it as something to fight. When you read the title of this blog post, you might find it offensive or shocking if you haven’t experienced autism in your own family. As a mom going through the process of trying to unlock my youngest son from this developmental problem, I am sometimes reduced to the most basic and raw expression of how I feel about autism. And that just reduces down to the f-word we all know and usually hope to avoid.

I registered this domain name, AskMoms, when I did not have kids and so many things about babies and raising children were so unknown to me. Especially as an only child, I did not have any experience watching little ones for any amount of time and when I had my first child I jumped into a new world. Every burp, spit, spot and scrape was under my fresh scrutiny. With my first son, there were things I noticed about him that didn’t seem exactly normal and that I researched of course. He flapped his arms a lot when he was excited, but when he started talking shortly after he turned two, any behaviors that were more on the physical side were easy to wait on. This beautiful son of mine – he was unlike any other child (that I had ever met so far) but everything was just fine.

When we had my second son, I was prepared for the possibility of some of the same behaviors. Maybe a little flapping, being slightly slower to talk or even walk, but I knew from experience that everything comes in time. But some things were coming, and leaving, and coming… and leaving. Eye contact was good, then bad for weeks. Babbling was fast and in a frenzy, then gone again.

Favorite Quotes and Inspiration for Moms

I am grateful for:

early wake ups because I have children to love,

a house to clean because I have a safe place to live,

laundry because I have nice clothes to wear,

dirty dishes because I have food to eat,

crumbs under the table because I have family meals together,

shopping to do because I have money to use,

toilets to clean because I have indoor plumbing,

lots of noise because the kids are having fun,

endless questions because my kids are learning,

getting into bed sore and tired because I’m still alive.

We are born in one day, we can die in one day, we can change in one day, we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day – Gayle Evans

Children will not remember you for the material things you provided, but for the feeling that you cherished them. – Richard l Evans

Empowered women empower women.

We’re all stories in the end. Make it a good one.

Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soil. Max Ehrmann

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

“When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning.” Bertrand Russell

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

Secret to life: Eat half. Walk double. Laugh triple. Love without measure.

You can’t never let anything happen to him,then nothing would ever happen to him. – Dory

The days are long, but the years are short.

Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.

And she loved a little boy (girl).

Your voice is my favorite sound.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone keeping gives you courage.

Home is where your honey is.

You bet your buns.