I read such a great little article about autism today. I posted it to my Facebook wall, for those who are connected to me on that social media. The gist of the article was accepting autism (“Your son has classic autism. ” the Child Psychiatrist said. “There’s no cure. Anyone who tells you they ‘cured’ their child of autism didn’t have a child with autism. It’s that plain.” And instead of sadness, I felt relief.)
Roger, too, was diagnosed with classic autism. Since he speaks and seems intelligent/manipulative, most people would not understand that why he would receive that diagnosis. It is evident not only in the flapping hands/constant spinning/pummeling his full body into the wall or couch or me, but also nuanced behavior with his diversion of looking at you when he is actually speaking, him slightly moving his body in such a way as to direct his back towards you, tensing his hands when trying to hold his hand without giving proper notice, the discomfort in his face when he puts food in his mouth, etc.
The issues that have arisen have been what is the autism and what are behaviors that need to be changed for all of our sakes? I admit that I have given Roger more leeway based on the fact that he has always had to work so much harder than other children, had a 20 hour therapy/work week starting at 18 months old. When he began finally using his words via signing or speaking, we used positive reinforcement in allowing him to receive anything he would request. This is backfiring now. We started co-sleeping with Roger around the 13 month mark and it helped him to bond with us more even when he was starting to withdraw. This is backfiring for me now, since he thinks his bedroom is our bedroom and daddy’s bedroom is the master bedroom. I am starting to need my own space. And Rob and I need our space together.
His occupational therapist asked if we were seeing a psychologist or behaviorist to help with his behavior issues. I had not told her about the above issues — she questioned based solely on the behaviors she observed during therapy. I have gone to a psychologist and had visits with a parent trainer. Both had opposing views of how to deal with everything which added more inner conflict. I was not impressed with either, so I should expand my search for a private behaviorist (not through LISD) and/or another psychologist.
So many things I want to do to help us all, I just don’t know where or how to begin and where I would find the time! I know I will find the time…I always do.