Friday, April 14, 2006

Reality Strikes

Firstly a little background, we have had knowledge of autism in our family for almost 3 yrs now... life before knowledge and life after are very different.

At the time of the realization... we were married almost 10 yrs, had 2 beautiful boys, 2yrs old and 4 yrs ... and our 5 month old girl. Our 2 yr old we had been questioning his behaviour for some time... he seemed to not hear very well - so we went through a battery of hearing tests, with all clear being the results every time.

We had also been to speech therapists, and a variety of other experts with no answers... he just seemed a little delayed in speech and in learning. He also had little capacity for social skills, and didn't look us in the eye much, didn't desire to talk, couldn't point at things to express his interest or desire, he was very happy... just off in his own world.

Finally a peadatrition suggested we attend a university project workshop which was addressing children with delays in learning and social skills. The first day of the workshop didn't mean a great deal for our family... just information about what it means to communicate, and how we go about doing it.

Day 2 of the workshop started the same as the last day... not much that I felt was really relevant for us. Then we saw some videos of Autistic Children and how they interacted and played. The shock was immense - we saw our son in these videos... this is what we had in our family.

We did lots of research into different hings in those early days and months - to the point of oversaturation. One thing I definitely hold to and will for all his life is food... gluten and dairy make a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference for his capacity to learn, socialise, and understand, but I'll go into that more later.

I think we went really well for about 3 months... then fell over, and now we are 3 yrs down the track... and finally coming to terms with what we are really facing, what needs, desires, expectations, and abilities our child has... from speech, to social interaction, to crowds, to events, to schooling.. its an on-going adventure... but I think I am finally ready for the next step.

We have just celebrated our 13yr Anniversary and our kids are now 7, 5 and 3 years old.

I've never written a blog before, and I have no idea how often I will update this, but I'm writing this blog... for 2 reasons.
1 is for me - to have an outlet, and a chance to get some of these thoughts I'm dealing with out of my head.
2 is for you - the other families who have autism in them somewhere.. and just want to know you are not alone, esp on those days where you feel it the worst.

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