Educate yourself, get support, you can do this!
I was 16 when I had my son who was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and also escaped an abusive relationship with his father. As an earlier commenter said, early intervention is key. Living in an urban district with autism programming is also essential as smaller districts tend to send out of districts into more restrictive settings due to not having the right supports. You will have to find a balance between pushing for your son beyond what people expect from him but also not more than he can handle. If I had listened to people who insisted he was different and I shouldn’t push him so hard, he would likely have not graduated with his high school diploma which would’ve limited his post school prospects. We live in a world that will try to push him to conform to specific expectations. He needs to be prepared for that but also have an outlet where he can just be himself. People with autism have higher rates of suicide in adulthood due to pressure to conform.
Most importantly, find your own supports. Parenting isn’t easy under any conditions. Being an autism mom heightens the joys but can also heightens the stressors. You need an outlet for yourself and time for yourself. Easier said than done, I know.
Most importantly, you can do this. You are capable and your son is too. More and more kids are diagnosed each year and parents and folks on the spectrum must band together to fight for inclusion and acceptance of neurodiversity.
And remember, many prominent historical figures were on the autism spectrum. A contemporary figure is Temple Grandin. She’s written a lot about what life is like on the spectrum and she even has a doctorate. The motto in the movie that was based off if her life is ‘Different, not less’. Very important to remember.
Follow the page finding cooper’s voice she is amazing and so real! good luck mama
My little guy is 4 now and was diagnosed at 1 and a 1/2.early intervention is key and as pt… He had a few words then regressed. my little guy started school last year with no speech at all and now says many words…thing is autism affect them all in different ways none of them are the same.What can tell you is treat them like any other kid though. You do have to work extra hard for them milstones… this year has been big for my son not only did I hear the words I love you. He now addresses my husband and i as dad and mom <3 He definently autism he has corks and he does different things that you just know he is… but honestly I wouldnt change him if I even could
There are so many opportunities here in AZ. There aRE program’s out there like AZIP which has an option where the specialist comes to your home! The school districts all have Sp.Ed. preschool with specialty teachers and assistants, that is paid for by the State!
You’re his mumma and your gut instinct speaks to you very loudly.Early intervention is the very best thing for him.Our dr told me they can’t diagnose til 6,I’m so glad I took no advice for my granddaughter then her brother 3 years later.Therapy and ot,speech or any other things are the key.My thoughts are they are who they are,as long as they’re happy you’re doing a good job but it isn’t easy.
Education on autism is key…the more you know! Google google google and ask as many questions as come to mind! Every child is different. Take him to a psychologist to be tested. They will then give you recommendations to help your child succeed! Some days can be hard…super hard. But the love makes up for it. And always remember you aren’t alone! Fellow autism mom here
Research, it’s not the end of the world . And a psychologist I believe is the one that actually diagnoses, the pediatrician says whether or not they should go and get tested … but it’s not the end of the world. My 8.5 yr old has autism, diagnosed at 3 , smartest kid ever , verbal , just social side is a little difficult sometimes
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There is so much help out there hold your head up pray about this but you will be a great mother and make the right decisions u did when u took him away of a very bad situation I wish u the best
Big hugs for you, it must have felt scary when you were told this, I hope you have supportive friends and family that can help you as you find out more xxx:heart: as others have said the earlier you can get help and support the better as incorporating small changes and responses can make a big difference later one with things like communication and fine and gross motor skills. Your beautiful boy will be unique, his path may seem tough in this moment but it is best to take one day at a time as knows what strengths he will have or what support he will need in the future, it all changes so quickly!
If you can, find a local support group, it is always wonderful to be able to share experiences and joys with others…
I have a daughter with autism - early intervention was really key in getting her to hit her milestones! When your son gets older to go to school, make sure you are in a district that has good special education programs and therapists to support him as well. I was scared to death when I heard my daughter had autism, but 11 years later she is thriving and getting mostly A’s in school. Our kids can still thrive with the right amount of love and support
I have 2 with autism possibly 3 and I just raise them like I would be other 3. They don’t get treated any diffrent then any other kid and I just make sure they get extra help in school to make sure they are learning proper and they see a therapist once a week to help with any issues they may have. Having autism is not a horrible thing to be diagnosed with especially with the right teachings and therapy.
Autism Inclusivity is a great group. Hearing from autistic adults has been such a huge help for me with my 2 year old autistic son. I’ve learned so much that I would have never known about the autistic community. My little boy is thriving since I’ve been following their advice.
Neighbor’s son with Aspergers and slight schizophrenia was shy, wouldn’t look you in the eye, some quirks as a kid like being standoffish, pulling out his hair, easily overwhelmed. He now is still somewhat shy, but socializes, has had girls chase him, is working on a third college degree (agonizes over his studying, can be dramatic, but then gets the highest scores in the class), has held a job where he was a beloved and valued employee and kept clients happy (the owner came to think of him as a son and heir).
Fighting for support during school is key. In the lower grades he had assigned companions to carry his backpack and take notes, was able to get teachers to give him recordings of classes for reinforcement. Also lots of therapy. Interestingly enough, one little girl became his protector and would intimidate anyone who tried to make fun of him in elementary school!
His mom also is on the spectrum. She is a certified genius, has graduate degrees, a job that pays over 6 figures. In addition to her demanding work and raising her two sons, she has multiple side businesses (10,000 original designs on Spoonflower site, her own jewelry line, catering, web design, etc.). Plus she sews amazing things, has done her own landscaping (including a fish pond w fountain), grows her own herbs and is a master gardener, does be design, building and remodeling on her homes, reads medical texts for fun, her undergrad degree was biophysics. She rarely attended college classes but would ace all the tests. Ballet jazz dancer at one point too.
She is an outspoken introvert. Will come over and talk your ear off nonstop, then you won’t see her for weeks. She makes a conscious effort to be thoughtful but hates to be touched, hates to travel. Blue belt in karate, former ROTC (she quit though), had a pet wolf growing up (), gets along with animals better than people. Married & had boyfriends after her divorce, but seems to find accomplished men who use her, so in that aspect she is not successful. But that’s true of many women, not just those on the spectrum!
As is typical, both mom & son can be very literal, naive, and have trouble deciphering facial and verbal cues & body language. So be extra vigilant for your child in person and online.
Housemate who may never have been diagnosed, pretty clear Aspergers though. Quirky, but was in the Army for years, worked for the airlines & was beloved for his “Minnesota nice.” Routine was insanely important to him. Ate the same thing almost every meal, watched DVDs of favorite TV shows over & over (Perry Mason, Murder, She Wrote, etc). Learned the right phrases to say to be in customer service, went on the same trips every year at the same time, but was adventurous and made all arrangements himself: visited more national parks than Ken Burns, would travel on his own, rent a car, and set his own itinerary. Visited his mom same time twice a year, spent every New Year’s in NYC, Thanksgiving at the Officers Club every year. Any deviation from routine would upset and agitate him. Managed his own meds & insulin for diabetes until he had a stroke in his 50s.
Had a very few friends, but almost never went out unless it was a work lunch or dinner, but was not unhappy being alone much of the time. Would happily talk on the phone, read messages on Facebook, receive cards and letters, but never initiated calls or responded. Before I knew him he worked out at the local rec center too. Did have to be encouraged to bathe and change his clothes, could not sort things from largest to smallest, some other seemingly simple tasks baffled him. Also could talk your ear off without a break, then leave abruptly and wouldn’t have another talking jag for weeks. But could spout information from memory about almost anything in history or about cities.
So what I’m saying is with your support your child can achieve great educational milestones, hold a great job, contribute to society, have a spouse and children, achieve great things and have a great life. There will be bumps on the road, and you will have to fight as all parents of children with differences, but there are also many rewards.
Speaking from experience, first step should be a pediatric neurology exam. They can give you more insight. It certainly isn’t easy to hear there’s something wrong with your child but your love for your child will know no bounds. You are strong. You already did the hardest thing you could do by leaving your husband. Take a deep breath get him seen by a pediatric neurologist and go from there. Most school districts are responsible for education of children at 3 years old if they have a diagnosed disability. Please don’t waste any time getting him help. It has worked wonders for my son.
My advice is to follow Diary of a Mom because Jess and her family are fabulous. Click over to her blog and read “Welcome to the Club” then go from there. Follow and listen to autistic adults, as they are the experts in children with autism, what they feel and need.
My nephew has autism. I think the best thing you can do is do autism research in your area and you will find there are learning centers and therapist that specialize with helping autistic children. The most need I have noticed with my nephew is needing a therapist to learn how to handle emotions. So definitely find a good therapist. Don’t get frustrated with his slow learning. I noticed that school made a huge difference for my nephew and he just goes to a public school right now. You see the thing is I don’t know what those austism schools cost or if covered by insurance or what. You can find out though. It would likely cost different where you are living anyway.
Megan Pathic any advice for this momma?
With my son Jayden I knew before he was 1. The doctor kept brushing it off till finally I had enough and made an appointment when he was 4. They should send a referral through to a specialist and hunny. It’s a very long, emotionally exhausting, process. You will cry a lot. You will be angry, what set me off is not only was he diagnosed with autism so was his twin brother. There is a lot of help out there, look into the free diapers program through your insurance. There is so much help out there you just have to try really hard. Good luck with everything. Get ready for a lot of paperwork