My Amazing Autistic Son!

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Autism is a spectrum condition. This means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, the condition affects them differently.

One of the reasons I agreed to be part of Rj’s Autism Blog Hop was because my youngest child (shown above) is autistic. It is a condition that affects people in different ways. My youngest child at eight is a happy child with a sly sense of humor and an endless curiosity. He is what most specialists call highly-functioning autistic. Understanding the intricacies of personal relations is his biggest struggle. Everyday he fights to decipher instructions and social cues that would come easily for most people. Finding the right words to express his thoughts can sometimes become an entire obstacle in itself. Despite his struggles he is a cheery child who loves to meet people and is well-liked by just about everyone he meets. My hope for him is become an independent soul who finds love and a career he enjoys.

I am giving away $25.00 Amazon Gift Cards to four lucky people. To enter, share a story of either a struggle you have to overcome or if you know someone with autism. I personally struggle with dealing with social cues and shyness myself so I understand the issues my son has but on a smaller level.

Happy April 1st. Here is the link to Rj’s blog hop

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PS:

I will be doing a FB chat with Carol Lynne & TA Chase April 1st (today) discussing out latest releases at 5pm Pacific.

Here is the link

139 thoughts on “My Amazing Autistic Son!

  1. Your youngest is sure a cutie. I struggle with knee pain every second of the day. Some days it’s hard to stand let alone walk, nut I know if I don’t I will eventually weigh 600lbs lol. Life is a struggle for all of us how we choose to deal witjh life’s little struggles makes us stronger at the end of eavh day.

  2. Hi this is one of the first times I’ve commented though I’m a huge fan. My oldest so who will be 11 on April 14th is Autistic he can be a huge amount of work especially when he’s worked up but an incredibly loving child. Because he’s always received hugs from a very young age he has no problem hugging even though many autistic children don’t like close contact. Peter has a loving personality his main difficulty is his speech which has progressed well enough that he was a narrator in the last Christmas play (I could barely understand what he was saying but the fact he was speaking into a microphone was wonderful. He tends to keep to himself but he will play alongside his younger brother occasionally. His frustration at everything that is around him is evident but he still tries his best in what he does. He has an almost photographic memory and writes everything he sees up to and including car number plates

    1. Maria – it sounds like your son has some of the same issues as mine. Like yours, my son is a big hugger also and a sweet soul. I wish good things for both of our boys int he future. It sounds like your son is making great strides 🙂

  3. Hi,

    My oldest daughter is autistic too, but she was diagnosed very late, only last year when she was nearly 20 years old. So far the medical “entourage” only thought that she was particularly shy and had difficulties in school. But after trying to integrate her in “protected” working places and failling, they had her meeting a psychiatrist who realized that they missed her bigger problem and didn’t detect her autism until then. To say that autism is poorly detected in France is being very kind.
    She’s a realatively functional autist, she can do many things, but place her in front of a new situation and she completely panic. The new situation could be meeting somebody new, stoping on her bus line at a different bus stop than what she is used to, or asking her to go someplace she hasn’t been to before with me and it’s a catastrophe for her.
    It’s not always easy, but we found a place to live and occupy her now that she’s an adult and while we’re working. We had to think that we won’t be with her forever and had to find this kind of place for when we won’t be here anymore.
    She’s beginning to adapt to this new place (since last november) and begins to accept this new life.

    With an earlier detection of the autism of your son and thus set up of ways to help him much earlier than my daughter, you have more chance that he will be able to find his place in this world.

    1. Sylvie – I’m sorry to hear of your daughter’s late diagnosis. Our son was diagnoses when he was four. Even then I was told he should’ve been diagnosed when he was two. Considering no one would listen to me when he was that young you can imagine how I took that news. Sounds like your daughter is in a good place. I also wonder if mine will be able to function on his own when he grows up. I have a lot of hope but at 8 it’s hard to tell. I hope your daughter comes to like her new place. Good luck and hugs.

  4. He is very cute. I struggle with anxiety attacks things like being alone with just my kids to often can trigger one or large crowds and can’t work certain jobs because of it, i think if my legal guardians had let me have a more normal childhood, getting out more with friends, or not lefted alone alot to babysit etc my anxiety wouldn’t be so bad today. Everyone struggles with something but how they deal with it can make or break a person.

    1. Anxiety can be difficult. I have a good friend who suffers from those, she’s been struggling with them for years. She finally got a proper diagnosis and is doing better. I wish you the best. *hugs*

  5. Amber,
    I know the struggle well myself.
    8 years ago I was diagnosed with high functioning Autism, having spent the previous 20 years oblivious and a ‘social hand grenade’.
    At first I was shocked and didn’t understand but thanks to reading and an amazing lady called Ruth from an organisation in Guildford (uk) I chose to fight it.
    I am still fighting but every year I manage to at least make a basic understanding of something others find so easy or conquer some trait or another.
    I admit there are still days I find it so frustrating when people around me seem to just ‘get’ something that took me 2 or even 3 years to grasp but I dig deep and look behind me at the progress I’ve made and I keep fighting. It does feel like a Hydra sometimes! But with luck (and help from my amazing and understanding family) I hope to one day be able to socialise without fear.
    I still may never ‘get’ rhetorical questions though.
    I hope my story helps you or others.
    Laura

    1. Thank you for sharing Laura. My youngest is very bright but can be easily confused. I think of it as when I have a day where I can’t concentrate. That’s his every day. It sounds like you are learning to deal with your autism and I’m sure it was a bit of a relief to finally be diagnosed even if that isn’t a magic cure. I know when my son was finally diagnosed I had a bit of relief that finally someone had listened. I’m pleased to hear you have a good support system. *hugs*

  6. I am very shy and don’t like talking in front of a group of people. When I know I have to talk in front of people. My heart beat increases and my hands start shaking or my body but not that noticeable. When I’m talking I can hear myself choke in the middle of talking. It easier if theres someone up there with you for some support. I now just don’t really look at people when I’m talking and it help.

    1. Suzanna – talking in front of people can easily trigger anxiety. I have a bit of that myself. Not to the extent that you do but enough that I’m extremely uncomfortable talking in front of groups. *hugs*

  7. Your son is so cute. My son is grown and good now but when he was young we had a two prong challenge. He had a processing deficit that made it impossible for him to remember a 3 part instruction which according to his kindergarten teacher made him dumb. This is the same teacher that had to tell me that my son had the highest score in the class identifying shapes, colors, etc. Added to this was that because he was so thin he had a kink in one of this drainage tubes that lead to his bladder. This made his bladder immature and difficult to control. Same teacher felt this meant he should not be in kindergarten. It affected his outgoing personality and changed him into a more shy person. (Pull ups came out about 5 years after he grew out of the problem.) I am proud of how much he has accomplished at 22.

    1. Chris – I’m sorry to hear your son had such a horrible teacher. I’m happy to hear that he has become an accomplished young man. 🙂

  8. Thank you for taking part AK… you know I love your youngest, and he gives the best hugs…

    I was going to say I have a daily hardship being friends with you, but this is serious time! ROFL…

    I struggle every day with thoughts I wish I didn’t have to think. Such as, Matt’s future, his understanding, other people’s understanding…

    Today is his birthday, and he is TERRIFIED that people will wish him happy birthday, he hates being the centre of attention (bit like me really he he)

    HUGS YOU and Little Kell… XXXXXXXX

  9. I babysit an 11 year old autistic boy. He is one of the smartest kids in my life, and is always talking about nature and animals. He can also name all the different types of dinosaurs, what they look like, and their diets. He also always has a cheery disposition, which of course is contagious (^ν^)

    1. My son also has a happy disposition. I cling to the hope that others won’t crush it out of him as he gets older. The autistic mind can be a fascinating place to learn from. My youngest child notices the tiniest of details sometimes.

  10. I have a nephew who has trouble socially he is not autistic, but it still is difficult. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say to my sister. Good luck!

    1. Kathy – it can be difficult to know what to say. The best thing is to just be supportive. That means a lot more than you can possibly know.

  11. Your son is adorable. I struggle with troubles with expressing true emotions and not just emotions that i think people want to see. But i am getting better i am taking anti-depressants and am going to therapy to help with it. But i still have trouble with expressing emotions but yelling or people getting mad still set me off to were i try to hold it all in and then i break down. but it is inspiring that your boy is always cheery and i think it will help me with my trouble and try to be cheery like he always is.

    1. My son is always cheery. I do see him sometimes try to model emotions also. To convey what he thinks it is you are asking him to feel. Like laughing when he thinks something should be funny but not necessarily feeling the emotion. I hope that therapy will help you with your emotional issues it sounds like you are taking good steps.

  12. I am not dealing with autism but severe depression in my youngest son. He is very book smart he has trouble with people hid age. His doctor has him on meds that they give soldiers for PTSD . I am hopeful his suicide thoughts will lessen or stop.

    1. Good luck. Depression is a difficult problem to overcome. I’m glad to see you are at least trying to find a way to help him and not just sweeping it under the rug hoping it will go away. I know some people who’ve done that with disastrous results. I wish you and your son the best.

  13. I take care of a special young man who has a disorder called Lowe Syndrome. It is very rare and one of the symptoms is autism. I have taken care of him for 15 years now and I have to tell you I love the little guy more every day.

    1. I have to confess I’ve never heard of Lowe Syndrome. I’m sure the young man you take care appreciates the care you give him. If only more people were open to helping people with difficulties. Great job.

  14. Hi Amber

    My son is autistic too. He is a lovely boy who has to work very hard each day His biggest struggle will be speech and eating. He did not speaks until he was 2 year old and still have lots of difficulty to find the words to tell but he does it and I am very proud of him.

    1. HI Zeneida, my youngest didn’t really say much until he was three which was one of the signs I tried to get people to notice. It is hard to watch them struggle isn’t it? One of the hardest lessons the speech people told me was to let him struggle. Once I stopped trying to finish his sentences to make life easier for him he began speaking. Apparently the biggest issue was me 🙂

      Good luck with your son. I hope he continues to improve.

  15. As my name states, I am bipolar. My bipolar diagnosis will be graduating from high school in another year (17 years old currently). I am one of the lucky ones and was diagnosed early and correctly within 6 months of the initial dx.

    Although my dx has never changed, my symptoms have changed in type and severity over time. Due to my ability to work, many think “You’re not really/that sick”. I have even gotten this reaction from hospital staff when I have voluntarily admitted myself in the past. I’m sure you have dealt with similar issues.

    I also have issues with social cues. I have a few great friends, but work relationships are very hard. I sometimes wonder if our brains just haven’t gotten the memo about the importance of reading social cues. It definitely seems to be one of the first things to go when our brains have any other focus, be it intelligence, mental illness, autism, creativity, etc.

    I wish you and your son all the luck and happiness you can handle and just enough difficulties to make you appreciate it all. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kinds words. I’m happy to hear you got help early. I find it sad that you received that sort of reception from staff. Youngest also has huge issues with social cues and even though they are working with him on that at school I often wonder how well he will progress. Good luck in continuing to manage your symptoms. *hugs*

  16. I have a nephew (on my father’s side) that’s high functioning autistic and he just seems a little hyper, although I don’t get to spend much time with him as he lives far away. I have a niece (on my mother’s side) who shows very clear signs of autism. She has days when she won’t talk and won’t let you touch her. I know it’s hard on her, it’s just sad that such beautiful children (everyones) have to go through this.

  17. My cousin has sevre autism. He doesnt talk , cant look people in the eye and is easilt agitated when it comes to people messing with his routine. I was baby sitting him one day and he couldn’t calm down I noticed his hands were shaking but they were doing a pattern so i gave him a wire coat hanger and he sat there playing with it for hours it’s the only thing that calms him down now. He wasnt diagnosed until he was 4 and it was really hard on the family. I also have another cousin that has azburgers and he can’t have people touching him he says it feels like it hurts when they do, he avoids people he doesnt like meeting new people and he is akward when it comes to having a conversation with them, he loves drawing and is great at it. He will be 18 in september and wants to go to school for art but we are trying to see how he will deal with it first. Once you can open him up though its amazing, he is very smart and has a wicked sense of humor I just wished people would take the time to see him like his family does. He was diagnosed when he was in elementry school. We just thought he was really shy and had OCD on some things.

    1. Tiffany,
      I’m sorry to hear about the severity of your cousin’s autism. It can be a tricky and difficult condition. I agree that more people need to look pas the autism and at the wonderful people behind their unusual behavior. My son often gets the comment that people don’t know he’s autistic which I think sometimes makes it harder when he doesn’t act like they would expect. I hope your cousin can work out a way to go to art school. 🙂

  18. when he was alive my dad had aspergers and it took him to the age of 50 to find out he had it. my dad did grieve he didn’t know sooner because he spent many years thinking he was stupid when he really wasn’t and he saw me and my brother get help for learning disablilites he wished he had that kind of help when he was a younger person

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your father. It can be tough to not know what might be different about their thinking. Your father was probably like my son highly intelligent with processing issues. (hugs)

      1. it is hard. he grew up in an era when the meaning of autism did not exist and despite being brilliant with numbers and becoming an accountant he often felt stupid and was called that because it did SEEM like he was. i was under the care of a child therapist at the time when my dad started talking to his wife. and it was she upon hearing about me and my brother and looking at my dad put two and two together and wondered if there was like a legit reason why my dad had so many issues seeing as learning difficulties are hereditary. it did take a while but when she did come up with the diagnosis of autism we all went OHHHHHHHHHHHH and a light switched on with the whole family in terms of it explaining why my dad did what he did over the years. a number of us including me did make an effort to understand aspbergers b/c we wanted to KNOW what my dad was going thru and understand what he was up against. and to be honest my before he passed on my dad was glad to know he wasn’t stupid and there was a real reason he had troubles in certain areas. it also helped him make sense of where my learning problems as well as my brothers came from

  19. My hunny has a friend from work who has a son with autism. When we moved into our new home we had a new house picnic party. We had about 60 people over and his friend brought his son. I didn’t know anything about his son before that day, and I came inside and found him sitting on the floor in my laundry room. So I went up to him and asked him if he wanted to come out and join the rest of the kids, at that point I realized he wasn’t quite interested. So I asked him if he would do me a very big favor and be the photographer of the picnic, since I had to socialize with a lot of people I hardly knew. When I handed him my 35mm he said he didn’t think he could.
    But I showed him how easy it was, and told him that it would help me out a whole
    lot . Then his dad came and we told him we were good to go! He took the camera and for the next 4 hours he was in heaven. Everyone was shocked and said I was a miracle worker. I really thought nothing of it. All in all everyone had a great time and I got a lot of great pictures.(a lot of his dad) I was asked if I should have given him my good camera, and my answer was, it’s just a camera and look what we received in return. I’ll never forget the look on that kids face while taking those pictures.

    1. Meg, it sounds like you were a superstar in how you dealt with the situation. Good for you!

  20. Thank you Amber and your beautiful boy for continuing to shine a light on Autism.I see it every day in the school system.I work with and have learned a lot being with children and families with autism.Thank you to you , the other authors and your readers for shining that light.

  21. Raphael, I wonder how he is doing today. I really loved that child. I would pick up children for Sunday School. Raph was autistic add to that the fact that he was nearly four foot at five years old and there was a challenge there. Mom was in jail drugs and prostitution. Dad was also in prison or was deported? Raph was precious and living with his Grandmother. I didn’t want people to be frightened of this very large child and in my ignorance I made the remark “I know he’s not quite normal but he is very sweet,” when I introduced him to a new class. The woman who also had an autistic child looked me dead in the eye and asked, “What is normal?” I felt ashamed that I had used such phrasing I also seemed to understand the world a whole lot better after a single question I couldn’t answer. Raph could become stressed and the teachers would come and get me and it always amazed and made me feel special that just my presence and voice could calm him down and make the rest of his stay in Sunday school go smoothly. The family moved and I haven’t seen Raph in a while. We had seven wonderful years almost every Sunday. At 12 years old he was over six foot and still the sweetest child I ever knew. I hope with all my heart he’s happy. OK gotta go get some tissues.

  22. “My hope for him is become an independent soul who finds love and a career he enjoys.” Said every mother with a child on the spectrum ever.
    Thanks for the great post!

    1. You’re welcome and when I talk to other moms with autistic children they often say the same thing. They just want their children to have a happy life.

  23. A friend that I grew up with has disabled brother, he doesn’t walk very well he also can’t talk very well. The hospital wanted to put him in a handicaped home when he was a baby and told the family he wouldn’t live past his 2nd birthday.
    He stayed with his family and is still going strong at 48 years old. Yes he is disabled but he is happy and is loved.

  24. Your son is adorable Amber. I personally am not autistic nor do I personally know anyone who is. I however was born physically disabled. It’s a condition called Arthrogryposis. It affects joints and height. It causes multtiple birth defects. Such as cleft pallet, clubbed feet, etc. Although I’ve had many surgeries to correct different things that were wrong. I continously struggle with day to day things as I live by myself and am only 4′ 4″. I am in constant pain from arthritis due to the surgeries I’ve had earlier in my life. But, I’ve led a full life and am happy. I don’t really like talking about myself as it makes me very uncomfortable. Have a wonderful day.

    1. I’m glad that you’ve lived a full life and are happy that is all we can hope for another person no matter what their lot in life is. Sounds like you’ve had to go through a lot of struggles but have overcome a great deal. Thanks for sharing. *hugs*

  25. I have a cousin that is a high functioning Autistic. My mother told and told my aunt and uncle and they finally listened that he may be. He always had a thing with silverware. He is a sweetheart though. You just need to keep him from crowds, that’s too much for him. He LOVES bugs.

    I personally struggle with chronic pain, associated with Fibromyalgia and other conditions. I’ve had signs since I was 18 of this condition. I was diagnosed in 2003 at 31. Now at 42 I have got a bit of a handle on it. There are bad days but they are less than they use to be and I am off all heavy pain med! That was my big goal.

    1. I’m glad your aunt and uncle finally listened. Diagnosis is the important first step in helping deal with, not cure, autism. By watching my husband struggle with his rheumatoid arthritis issues I can empathize over your fibromyalgia. *hugs*

  26. Thank you for raising autism awareness! Your son is a cutie!

    We autism mothers could rule the world if we all banded together! My girl is almost 12 and I wouldn’t change her for the world. Other than the preteen surliness. 🙂 Though I am so glad that she no longer has two-hour meltdowns. She’s come so far since she was diagnosed at 2.

    1. Louise,
      I’m so glad your daughter is doing well. Yeah, the surly thing is definitely a teen thing 🙂

      Good luck with the teen!

  27. I have Dyslexia which makes it hard to read and spell. I struggle on a daily bases because in my job I have to document just about everything I do. I also have a big problem with change and am very shy . Its hard for me to open up and interact with new places and people because of them both. Most people just meeting me think I am withdrawn and unsocial when the truth is I am just shy and never know what to say and how to act. Its been like this since I was little.

    I work in home health care. I some times work with a Man who has autistic and is non-verbal on top of it. He is high functioning, intelligent 30 something and is sweet as can be. He loves helping with house work showing you pics of his family. They are very involved in his life. But because of him being non-verbal he can sometimes get very upset and lash out by either throwing things or pushing the person he is upset with when he cant get his point across or he is having a bad day. He knows almost as soon as he lashes out that he has done wrong and is always so very sorry about it, but because of this the company I work for has a bit of a problem finding him care workers. I have no such problem. I love working with him. He is the nicest guy and I can understand some of the things he has to deal with.

    It is my hope that they continual to learn about autism so that the ones who struggle with it can get the help they need.

    1. Colleen,

      My hubby has struggled with his dyslexia all of his life. It can be difficult for him some days to process text because he’s says the words swirl around. I’m glad there are caring people like you in home health care. One thing I am happy about is that my child is verbal. I know we would have a much harder time if he couldn’t communicate.

      You are doing a good thing by helping this man out 🙂

  28. My oldest daughter was not autistic, although she had many health and developmental problems. She was blind from birth and suffered from a rare genetic disorder called juvenile malignant osteopetrosis. She had her first surgery to remove her spleen before her first birthday and had her first bone marrow transplant shortly after that. Through all her trials, she stayed such a happy child. Don’t get me wrong, she could pitch a major hissy fit when she didn’t get her way or if the nurses tried to take her vitals out of HER approved order. We lost her shortly after her 5th birthday back in 2002. Even though I still miss her every day, I am thankful for the time we had and the many lessons I learned through her and the many special people who came into our lives because of her.

    1. Lisa –

      I’m so sorry you lost your little girl. It sounds like you have some great memories though. *hugs*

  29. I don’t know how a lot of people find the courage to face the day – let alone be a happy person and treat everyone around them the way we should all treat everone. My cousins son is not autistic, but he has several severe medical problems. There was an issue with the oxygen to his brain during birth. He struggles daily to dress, talk, walk, eat – you name it, it is a challenge. He is also one of the most joyfull persons I know, he has recently reached his teens and loves most social media applications, he knew more about facebook then I did. I see the struggle, via pictures and posts mostly, daily and yet when we visit he is the first with a hug, kiss and smile that would light up the room. I can only say that I am grateful to have him in my life. Those of us with normal health issues and struggles really should be able to relate to those whose daily life is an uphill battle and constent struggle. I am sorry to say, I have seen – way to often – how ‘different’ people are treated and really hope that will ease someday. All I can do is support those who need it. I am a special olympics ‘Hugger’, which is just one way I support. If you havent been to the special olympics – I would highly recommend that EVERYONE go to see the joy on all the kids faces!!

    1. Bless you for being a “Hugger”. It must be a blissful feeling, better than any gold. My niece has participated in the Special Olympics for Georgia for several years, this year it was bauchi ball, she and her mother came in 4th. I think Whitney was more into the hugs than anything else. Thank you for all the hugs you do! Deborah C.

    2. Cindy,
      kudos to you for being a “hugger”. It amazes me every day how my youngest wakes up humming and always has a smile for me. Some days I could learn a lot from his attitude.

  30. Amber, you have a beautiful child and my favorite Lego kid. My son is ADHD, which means I couldn’t tell him to go get his shoes and socks on. It meant I had to tell him go get your shoes, go get your socks, clean ones please, put your socks on, put your shoes on, tie your shoes. He also has a learning disability. He has a visual perception problem, what you and I see and read goes into his brain and gets scrambled. School was a nightmare. But he is now 27, working full-time and is a productive member of society. He play hockey and in a band. I am so proud of how far he’s come.

    1. Laurie – it sounds like your son is doing awesome. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the support he received from you. Good job!

  31. As a teacher I have had kids with autism. One in particular stands out as he helped me with robotics and while he did melt down on occasion I went with him all the way.

  32. I struggled with Gillian Barre Syndrome. It is a disease similar to MS, but it is a treatable disease. I was paralyzed from the neck down and had to relearn how walk and other skills. I still have some issues with nerve reactions but I thank God everyday for the strength of will to keep working on it and the help I got from my family. My family was my rock.

    1. Jackie – wow! Good for you. I’m super impressed that you’ve overcome so much. *hugs*

  33. I struggle with saying NO to family and friends. I worry about people being mad or upset with me that I dont say no when I should. I end up doing everything everyone asks of me and ended up sick because I am running doing errands for all of them. I know this isnt a “condition” but this is my issue I deal with on a daily basis.

    1. Tina – it can be stressful to say no. It might not be a condition but it can cause anxiety if you are a ‘pleaser’ personality. I’ve had to work on that myself a bit so I can empathize with your issue. Good luck and maybe you can get a friend of yours to be the person who backs you up or reminds you it is better if you say no. Just one supportive friend could make the difference. 🙂

  34. Awww, so cute! I struggle with depression daily. I’ve had people tell me that it’s a load of crock, that loads of people struggle every day with it, so I should just get over it, it’s no big deal. But I flunked out of my freshman year of college due to my struggles with depression, and I nearly killed myself just so I could stop feeling so miserable every day. I’m better and happier now and I still struggle, but I overcome.

    1. The people who told you depression is not a big deal are obviously idiots. Depression can be one of the hardest things to diagnose and also crippling. I hope you have a good doctor who can help get you with a treatment whether it is counseling, medicine or an exercise regime to help you cope. Best of luck *hugs*

  35. My oldest is also high functioning but struggles with social cues and making friends. Add to that, I suffer from depression, finding a balance in our family is always a struggle. Thank you so much for your post. It’s nice to know we are not alone!

    1. Teresa – *hugs* I completely understand. I don’t suffer from depression but I do get anxiety over my son worrying about how he’ll do in the world and if he’s in a new situation I usually become more anxious than him. LOL! Best of luck.

  36. I am privileged to work with special needs children, several who have autism. One of my favorite just moved up to Junior High. He loves trains!!!! He has a very vast knowledge of anything dealing with trains. One day he was sharing with me. The conversation went like this. He: “Two cars stacked on each other is called a double stack.”. Me: Wow! I didn’t know that.” His reply…”well then you need to get on the computer more often.” Every day is an adventure!

    1. LOL! My child is often telling me information. He always knows the latest toy in the McDonald’s happy meal and what Lego set just came out. 🙂

  37. Hi everyone, my name is Deborah, I have the most amazing niece, Whitney, age 18, she is autistic. She was born into the most remarkable family who cherish her every breath. She can ride a bike, a horse, and play botchi ball with her mom. She has participated in the Special Olympics on numerous occasions.

    One of the best things in her life right now is her new dog, a sweet little “chug”, her daddy gave her. She was told this was her guard dog and she got to name it. According to my sister, it was like a lightbulb going off. My niece turned to her father and told him her new pet will be Tarantisauris Rex. (I know the spelling is most likely wrong. Chalk it up to creative thinking, there were several others before this one.)
    Anyway, she calls him Rex.

    1. That’s awesome. Having a great family support is so very important for people with autism. Sounds like she’s thriving. Good for her and for all of you.

  38. Our friends have an autistic son. He’s a bright, smiling child. I’m always amazed at how happy he seems even when he clearly is uncomfortable with different situations and people. I can sympathize as a severe introvert, but it’s not any where near the same things that he struggles with.

    1. @Jen – I often am surprised that my youngest is always happy to meet new people. He can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to say hello to him. He’s more extroverted than me. LOL!

  39. Wow he is such a cutie! My brother Michael now 19 is autistic! When he was a baby I was always around for him! Being such a huge age difference of 14 years I treated him more like my son than my brother! He had to go to a special school and take physical, speech, and occupational therapy 3 times a week. I watch how hard it was on him and even to this day he still can’t fully function as an adult! He still lives at home with my parents and is very smart especially with numbers! He is very happy and content with his life. Having him in my life opened up so much for me! Nothing or no one is perfect the best anyone can do is enjoy what were given and never take anything for granted .

    1. I’m glad that your brother is happy with his life. Sometimes that is the most important thing.

  40. Growing up and as an adult, I learned to deal with a small language and learning impediment as to sounds, speech, crossed brain wires. Your son’s sunny disposition shines out so much in the photo. He looks so sweet and adorable.

    1. He really is a sweet-natured child. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. I hope you are doing better now. *hugs*

  41. I work with Autistic children everyday, they span the spectrum of the diorder. I can say they never cease to amaze me. You have to learn their boundaries just as with other people because a lot of times they can not articulate them. I have one little boy that if I change the room in any way I have to give him time to adjust. I have learned to get his help in making the change and then it does not stress him out as much.

    1. Karen – it’s awesome that you work with autistic children. My youngest has transition issues. We’ve learned at the end of the day if I come get him he takes it much easier. I pick him up from school five minutes before the bell so we can leave before the rush of students comes out. He hasn’t had one meltdown in the year and half I’ve been doing that. The downside is if my husband comes and picks him up my son’s classmates interrogate him over where I am and why is he there ? LOL

  42. My youngest son, one of 4, is autistic. He was diagnosed when he was 5 years old. He was speaking and interacting until he was 2 years old then everything changed. He used to have problems with transitions but through a lot of work and patience he has learned methods to help him with change. He drives, he is an emt working for a private ambulance company- he wants to be a firefighter. His favorite movie is superman because when the young superman had a meltdown in a closet from all the input- he says that is what being autistic is like. He learned to talk to people by looking at their foreheads rather than their eyes. I spent hours showing him emotion and explaining it to him. He was the very first diagnosed child to go through the school in regular class. Yes he had some help yes I was on speed dial for the schfool. Yes he became a third degree black belt. As he says life is a challenge and he will meet it. He has friends who go to anime conventions with him. He still has days where he just wants to know what it is like to be normal. Yes, it is hard but very very worth it. He still lives at home because he while 22 years old is not quite able to afford living on his own. I am proud of him. It is definitely a journey.

    1. It sounds like you and your son have worked very hard to get him to that point. Congrats to both of you.

  43. I have worked with special needs kids for the last six years. I have dealt with autism children from extreme cases to those like your son. You definitely learn patients when interacting with children with autism. I had one student last year who would one moment be smiles and loving and the next punch you. I miss her to this day; we made a connection and I was one of the few who could deal with her bad days. You are a wonderful mother in how you support and love your son, not every child is lucky like that. I cannot wait to work with children again once I am done with my Master’s. You never know how much you miss something until you don’t have it.

    1. Janalyn – autism has so many forms. I’m glad that you are one of those wonderful people who helps special needs kids. Good luck with your Masters

  44. That’s awesome. With some help, I’m sure he’ll be a wonderful adult.

    I sincerely relate to your situation. My youngest brother – Bob – has autism, Asperger’s, and asthma. He unfortunately has some back issues, and is legally blind in one portion of his left eye. Despite this, he’s a pretty bright kid. I’m three years older than him, and we have a brother between us, a year younger than me. My two younger brothers have never really gotten along, though.

    When we were younger, Bob and I were really close. Nobody really paid much attention to him out of all of our other siblings. And that’s something, since there are eight kids in my family – including myself. We would play and make believe in the yard by ourselves. Pretending to be Pokemon or Pokemon trainers. It was pretty epic. Then as we got older, we got more creative and began inventing our own stories.

    There were so many summers where I would “babysit” him, but I never took it as a responsibility, despite our age gap. We had fun, and my mom thought that was really awesome.

    He would draw up some pretty awesome inventions, too. He loved to read textbooks and scientific articles. He would read at a college level when he was in third or fourth grade. (Somewhere around there.)

    My mom babies him horridly, saying he’s got so much wrong with him. And he did at the time. There was a time when he was in his middle elementary years when he was in the special education room with a handful of other kids and one or two teachers. He got violent for some reason that I don’t recall. The principal had to pin him to the ground – and left bruises.

    There was another similar instance where they couldn’t calm him down. I was in my middle school classroom at the time, and they called me out of my class. They brought me down to the room to calm my brother down. And I did just that.

    As he grew older, he came to fourth or fifth grade, but the school didn’t want to deal with him anymore. And my mom didn’t want them to be around him anymore. So he was sent to a children’s home two hours away. He stayed there for several years – where he improved immensely. Every Sunday, we would go see him. He still had his days, but he really did improve.

    I remember a specific incident where we were playing on the side of a hill, and he found a whole group of four leaf clovers. I mean, what a lucky goofball. Ahaha.

    He’s now seventeen. He’s still really smart. He’s been drawing a lot, and he’s grown into loving all sorts of video games. He’s teaching himself some programming languages, how to make games, and he’s even learning Norwegian. Which is beyond awesome – especially since one of our grandmothers is pureblood Norwegian.

    I went and bugged him one day, and he was Skyping with some of his friends. I started talking with them as well, and they freaked out. They said, “OH GOD, THERE’S TWO OF THEM!” Bob and I laughed so hard over that.

    Unfortunately, he’s kind of struggling in school still. He’s smart, but can’t stay focused or put forth the effort to complete his schoolwork. He says he’d rather drop out and get his GED. We’ve had several of our older brothers do the same, and they wish they hadn’t dropped out. But his situation is a bit different. My parents could get in trouble because of the recent laws passed.

    Some of my siblings have recently found out within the past couple years that he’s a fun kid to be around. Which just makes me smile. ‘Cause they don’t know the half of it. 🙂

    1. Sounds like your brother is an awesome person and lucky to have a sibling like you. Good luck to your family 🙂

  45. What a beautiful son. I am sure with continued encouragement he will be able to find his way in the world.

    I deal with depression that has kept me from finding a job for the past 6 months. It is a struggle to do something as simple as look for jobs on the internet, but even worse is having to network because I am highly introverted and have difficulty handling social situations.

    1. Denitra,

      I hope you are getting the help you need and seeing a professional to assist you through your rough time. I know depression can be debilitating, although I don’t suffer from it as a medical condition, i have had lesser bouts and can’t even imagine what you are going through. Good luck and thank you for sharing.

      *hugs*

  46. Hi Amber,
    Many said it before, but none-the-less, I will also say, your son is a cutie.

    In my senior year of high school I only had two classes so I worked full time at a home for children with mental disabilities. The children lived there during the week and most went home on the weekends. The children needed dedicated, full time care. We had a couple of children who were severely autistic and needed to wear helmets because they banged their heads and hit themselves.

    Unfortunately, we had a few children whose families failed them. For instance, the children were supposed to be picked up by their families early Saturday morning. One little boy would not be picked up until Saturday evening and returned VERY first thing Sunday morning. Another little boy came back to us from a family visit with badly bruised fingers. Another child had been turned over to the state, so she had to stay with us full time.

    But one little girl, her mother would pick her up some times on Friday. Or Saturday morning, we barely had the kids up and Heidi’s Mom was there. She would be the very last kid to come back on Sunday evenings. Her mother had to drive a couple of hours to get to us but she had Heidi with her as often, and as long as possible. To see her with Heidi was a lovely thing.

    Blessed be every parent whose heart is open to their child.

    1. Sounds like a tough situation for the children. I’m always sad to hear when parents are unable to deal with their children’s problems. I know sometimes when my youngest is having a bad day I despair of his future but luckily the other ninety percent of the time give me hope. 🙂

  47. Amber, my struggle began back when I was in my 20’s. My back an leg would hurt, because I was over weight doctors didn’t listen to me at first. Finally, they found I had no disc in between L4-L5. I had a bone fusion with rods and screws put in by back. Then in 2001 a SUV hit us on my side front of our car. My husband suffered only a mild concussion and our son no injuries. I had to have the Fibula bone cut in half and screwed backed together. This was so they could release and move my knee cap. I had this surgery two times to move it. I also had another disc problem in my C5-C6 it burst before they got me for surgery. Bone Fusion they used bone from my hip since you reject this just like anything else. Had to have Spinal Injection in my lower back to control all the swelling an pain. All this is important for what comes next. I was getting sick all the time complained to my doctor for years about all the different problems. When Joe was transferred to Ohio I was able to see a good doctor at Cleveland Clinic. They found I have Lupus SLE, Fibromyalgia, Raynaurds, Sjogrens, Chronic Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, The thing about Lupus you are born with it. In most cases a trigger will cause the disease to go active. A car accident, divorce, death of a loved one. It changes your entire life. Last year I had to have 5 emergency surgeries. The found I have rear blood clotting disorder and through a blood clot anytime. I did in surgery straight to my lung. That’s how they found the disorder I had a great doctor. He saved my life more than once. I suffer anxiety and depression I know hard to believe. Books have been a life saver for me. I have bad days, oh hell no days, and I’m just going to cry I hurt to much days. But I pick up a book and it’s a little better.

    1. Sounds like you’ve had a hard time of it Susie! I’m glad to hear you have a good doctor now. *hugs*

  48. I have worked with several atautistic kids over the years and I also have 2 friends that have kids on the spectrum. One has a girl and boy the other a boy and it is a day by day struggle for them but at the same time it is a blessing every day. I have Crohn’s disease myself so on my bad days I only have to look at the kids and it puts my disease into prospective.

    1. I know how you feel Susan. Whenever I have a bad day I look at how my son struggles and the pain my husband’s arthritis puts him through and I shrug it off.

  49. My younger sister just found out her 6 year old son has autism. You wouldnt change them for the world, but it would be nice if life was a little easier for them.

  50. Thank you for sharing your story and sharing the type of situations your son has to deal with daily.

    I, myself am really shy and have issues with social cues. Needless to say I also have this overwhelming fear that I may say something that will deeply anger someone or make me look incompetent. I also struggle with depression but have never seek help. Sometimes it extremely bad where I want to cause myself harm or don’t want to get out of bed and sometimes it just me feeling pity for myself and secretly crying.

    1. I’d like to encourage you to go talk to a professional. Depression is a difficult condition to struggle through on your own. *hugs*

  51. I’m 24 and was diagnosed young with aspergers and ADHD I can definitely relate to what I’ve read so far about being a social grenade. Social situations and non verbal communication is something I struggle with a lot usually to the point esp at work I won’t talk unless I absolutely have to. Relationships at work are kinda tough because of not being able to really tell where that “line” is and up where I live any form of autism immediately gets you stuck with the permanent “retard” label so no one outside my family knows. Intimate relationships are hard too not being able to read any but the most basic emotional cues means my relationships have been few and far between. Another problem is dealing with big changes in my routines at work and in everyday life. Minor disruptions I’ve learned to handle but the bigger ones esp at work are really tough. I’m glad I usually work alone so I can usually have time to at least outwardly get a grip on my reactions even if inside I’m falling apart. I wish every day I could have been born “normal” I’m so glad for every time I see one of your books out it gives me a chance to escape the reality of my life and at least for a while not have to deal with the chaos that is life.

    1. I’m glad that my books are helping you have some escapism. When I write a book if I get a person to laugh at least once I feel I’ve done my job. We have a nephew with Aspergers so I’m a bit familiar with it but seeing someone struggle and being that person is worlds apart. I wish you the best. *hugs*

  52. What a lovely little boy you have autistic children are so wonderful and special. I am disabled myself with back problems and Crohn’s disease. Reading always takes me way from my problems and into a different world.

    1. thank you for your kind words. I empathize with back pains. I’ve thrown my back out a few times and was completely a wimp. Best wishes.

  53. I work at a DTA and some of the clients are autistic. Each one of them are a joy to work with.

  54. Personally I’ve struggled with shyness and social anxiety from a very young age. Although I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, partially with the help of medication, it’s never easy. I have a class presentation coming up, and I’m already a wreck about it!

    1. I hope your presentation goes well. I also struggle with social situations so I can empathize. *hugs*

  55. The hardest thing I had to get through was after having my son I had postpartum depression & I got help from my hubby but some days were harder then others but the hardest days was the day after I would feel so guilty for not wanting to hold or touch my son.

    1. Deborah – I’m glad you got through it. I think postpartum depression is a difficult one because of all the guilt involved afterwards. Once my son was diagnosed as autistic I have to admit I initially blamed myself and went through a period of grief over not having a regular child. Luckily I’ve gotten past it but I did have some rough days myself.

  56. Your son is darling! I have a young cousin who I don’t know well who’s on the autism spectrum…I believe he’s about 11 now. He has his ups and downs, but is gifted in math and seems to have a good support network.

    1. I think a good support network is the number one factor for a child to thrive. I’m pleased at the support youngest has at school and how they coordinate so well with us.

  57. I suppose the biggest hurdle I’ve overcome was a conversion disorder- where your brain improperly interprets signals especially stress and creates a physical response in the body-, which took about 6 doctors and 10 years to diagnose. (I typically twitched in the arms, legs and head) I was only diagnosed after one doctor misdiagnosed me and gave me a medication which led to panic attacks and episodes of ‘hysterical blindness’ and issues with muscle control. It took three years and a careful mix of medication and therapy but ultimately I’m able to live both unmedicated and symptom free.

  58. I have two amazing little boys who are both diagnosed with Autism. It has definitely been a challenge and we continue to fight every day for them.

    1. Good luck Jennifer. I think the fact you called them amazing little boys proves that you are up for the challenge. *hugs*

  59. My youngest son sounds much like yours, though he just turned 21. He also has limited social skills and it is difficult for him to socialize. He is brilliant with computers and very intelligent. Alex was unable to finish regular school due to his social difficulties. We only figured out about his autism due to the fact he was and is very sensitive to different materials. He cannot abide to touch cotton balls, it almost makes his ill. LOL. Poor kid. I love him to pieces. He has always loved his mama and his hugs are misses as he now lives in CA and I in OR.

    1. Poor thing. I’m sorry to hear about his sensitivity. My child has always had problems with too much noise. When things get too loud he becomes overwhelmed. He’s improved a bit in the past year but it is an ongoing struggle. *hugs*

  60. Your son sounds like a wonderful boy. My oldest brother has high functioning asperbergers. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was an adult. But once he was he joined a support group that really helped him.

    1. I’m sure it was a relief when he was finally diagnosed. I think the scariest thing is knowing something is going on but not knowing what it is.

  61. My brother and I both had some bone development issues that had to be corrected with surgery through the years while we were growing up. Being different and struggling to do everything that we wanted to was part of what made us stronger adults. I work in a small town public library with a wide variety of young patrons—including children who struggle with dyslexia and autism. My brother works in a group home with mentally challenged people. I think struggles are hard, but to see a little from this side…to know that I wouldn’t be the me I am now if I hadn’t gone through those struggles…

    1. Sometimes our struggles make us stronger. It sounds like that is the case with you. *hugs*

  62. I have worked with many special needs children and they have much to teach us. They see the world differently than many of us and it is fascinating to see things as they do

    1. I often look at things through my son’s experience and marvel at the beauty he finds in little things.

  63. I have two friends with sons who have Aspergers. One has more problems than the other. At least these days, educators are more aware of the difficulties faced by autistic children but there is still a mountain to climb. Greater public awareness is a step in the right direction.

    1. I agree. The more people who are aware of the symptoms, the more understanding people will be. With the high percentage of people diagnosed with autism these days there should be more public awareness.

  64. My nephew is autistic. He is “fortunate” in that he is verbal, he relates and knows his family and friends and is very, very smart—and sly, funny, musical, loving, caring and strong. He is also BIG, strong, manipulative, hurt, angry, frustrated, confused and knows he’s different. It was easier when he was “little”, as in under 10: he fit in better with the school kids. He could be held and cuddled. Or safely held when his frustrations led to utter meltdowns that destroyed whole rooms. It was easier to get the entire neighborhood to help when he wandered off because he wanted a Big Mac, right now, at 11PM at night and snuck out of the house–again. Now, he is 16. He is 6’4, 250 lbs (the medications have added on the pounds). He no longer “fits” in with the school kids. The cute elementary kids who were proud and happy to have him in class are now selfish teenagers who don’t want to hang with him because he makes noises, doesn’t “get” the latest music, play on a sports team or thinks girls are cute. And…when he gets angry–well, now it means that police need to come because he can destroy the house; it is safer for his mother to lock herself in a safe room, and if his father tries to “contain” him, it is perceived as assault. The family is now at the point where the future is a scarier place. There will be no college. There will be no proud service to his country in the military. There will be a group home, where he learns a trade. Again–because he is fortunate in that he is verbal, can read and do math (as in college level math problems in his head..), he is an excellent candidate for job placement. But, please don’t think that we are not extremely happy to have him in our lives. He gives the BEST HUGS EVER! He taught his younger sister to sing and reads her a story every night. He loves to spend time with his grandparents and he loves to ride the train with his dad. Public awareness and a dedicated month in which people wear blue is all well and good. But–here’s what you can do: next time you are in a public place and you see that parent with an autistic child who is melting down because the ketchup was the wrong ketchup. Don’t stare. Don’t whisper. Don’t comment “they shouldn’t be allowed to stay here”. Instead, take a deep breath. Walk over and nicely and calmly say, ” Hi, my name is ….., how can I help?” Don’t share your “autism story” (that just tends to make things worse). Chances are, that parent won’t take you up on your offer. (Pride and fear that you are just naive will come into play). But—for that one time, when the parent will accept it, it could be something as simple as getting more napkins. Simply smile, get the napkins and return to your day. Believe it or not? that simple thing–would’ve made all the difference.

  65. When my daughter was 2 1/2 she was diagnosed with autism, and my son waa diagnosed roughly 9 months later too at 2 1/2. I have 10 half months age gap between my children who are now 4 & 5 years old. Since their diagnosis things have been a huge struggle, and lots of things still are. My daughter has high functioning autism, she is veey bright, at 5 years old she has a reading age of 9, and at school is doing spelling tests for 6/7 year olds. But she haa trouble with socialising, and understanding things. My son attends a special needs nursery and is getting on very well, knows all his colours, letters and numbers, but has a lot of sensory issues with noise and crowds, which means we don’t get to go out much with him.

    I understand the struggle and hardship families with autism go through, but I also get the wonderful side, 2 very happy children who love me and their dad, their family and friends a great deal.

    My kids are my world xx

    1. It can be difficult to see your child struggle. My youngest was the same. He knew his numbers and colors and could put together 100 piece puzzles by himself at 4 years old but having a conversation with someone was a huge struggle. *hugs* I wish you and your children the best.

  66. My cousin’s daughter (so my second cousin) is autistic…but she’s amazing…the brightest kid I know. They struggle with social cues–she has outbursts in public that are hard to handle sometimes. Honestly, they are so well-versed in Kennadi that it’s not so much a problem they struggle with as the people around them. Loud noises, singing in public (we were at a restaurant once and the staff sang Happy Birthday, they had to cover her ears), those type of things set her off…but man the kid is amazing. She’s a genius and most days shes so polite. She has the “pull my finger” thing going on right now…cracks me up. She’s hilarious!

    So yeah, there are bad days, but maybe they make the good days that much better, because it’s the good times I remember with Kennadi…and it’s the strength and stability I stand in awe of when I see Chris and Stacy.

    1. I wish the best for your second cousin. It can be difficult when they are easily overwhelmed. She sounds like an awesome girl. 🙂

  67. I struggled with Anxiety and depression, I am also a cutter. I was diagnosed around 2003 but it wasn’t the correct diagnosis and did get a proper one unroll late last year. They finally figured out I am Border Line Personality Disorder. They are still working to get my meds right. It’s a struggle when you have a 3 almost 4 year old and help only one day a week. Bad days and good days….. more good then bad lately.
    M8231m@aol.com

    1. Good luck getting your meds right. At least you finally have a proper diagnosis. I wish you and you child the best. *hugs*

  68. I struggle with anxiety issues and have for years. It is hard because it can rule your life and isolates you from people because they just can’t understand why you can’t function like everyone else.

    1. People without issues often have difficulty understanding people with social issues they think we can just get over it. I hope you are getting some help for your condition. *hugs*

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