Autism Awareness Month

PackersGirl

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April is Autism Awareness month. When our son was diagnosed in 2005 with Asperger Syndrome the prevalence rate was 1:210 (if I remember correctly). I just looked it up again this morning and it shocked me. 1:54 as of 2020! As parents of a son on the spectrum we have had so many moments of "I don't know what to do" but also some "I can't believe he just did that" funny moments. It's a wave of emotions for sure!

What are some signs of Austism:
  • Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Persistent preference for solitude
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
  • Delayed language development
  • Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
  • Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Restricted interests
  • Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
  • Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors
Our son is high functioning and is now 21 years old, lives with his wife and has a job. Quite honestly we never thought any of those things would happen for him. To the parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles out there that have a family member on the spectrum, you're not alone. To anyone else that might not know someone on the Spectrum, AutismSpeaks.org is a great place to find out more information. Or, just Google Temple Grandin, she has a brilliant mind and breaks it down quite well how Autistic kids think 😊
 

Steve2100

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I've always thought there is a special place in heaven for parents with children with disabilities. I have a nephew with an autistic son and another nephew with a daughter with Downs Syndrome. The love and patience one must have is off the charts!
 

adwillingham

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Our oldest son (soon to be 13) is on the high functioning end of the spectrum as well and shows many of the characteristics above. Never a dull moment for sure, and definitely some shake your head what were you thinking moments, but a great kid with a loving heart.
 

MattyD-MPLS

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Thank you for posting this!
 

PackersGirl

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Our oldest son (soon to be 13) is on the high functioning end of the spectrum as well and shows many of the characteristics above. Never a dull moment for sure, and definitely some shake your head what were you thinking moments, but a great kid with a loving heart.
You're absolutely right, never a dull moment. My son and I always talked about writing a book with all the stories we had.
 

McLovin

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our oldest struggled mightily beginning around age 2. his pediatrician thought it was autism (he has a son with autism), so he got tested and it was sensory processing disorder. so many of the behaviors are explained in the op. after therapy, he is doing amazingly well. aversion to taste/smell/sound is still pretty intense for him, but most everything else resolved with the therapy. we are very grateful, and my heart goes out to all parents whose children struggle.
 

MWard

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I've always thought there is a special place in heaven for parents with children with disabilities. I have a nephew with an autistic son and another nephew with a daughter with Downs Syndrome. The love and patience one must have is off the charts!
Came in to literally say this. Kids are hard enough, I can't imagine the extra stress when you have some additional challenges thrown in there. Some of the sweetest kids though when they become more comfortable around you.
 

PackersGirl

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our oldest struggled mightily beginning around age 2. his pediatrician thought it was autism (he has a son with autism), so he got tested and it was sensory processing disorder. so many of the behaviors are explained in the op. after therapy, he is doing amazingly well. aversion to taste/smell/sound is still pretty intense for him, but most everything else resolved with the therapy. we are very grateful, and my heart goes out to all parents whose children struggle.
That is wonderful that therapy resolved most of his struggles.
 

Gman79

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Wife worked with childen on the spectrum for quite some time. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Thank you for posting your story and making everyone aware @PackersGirl
 

JB

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Those that know me well know that disabilities and especially children with them have a very special place in my life. I grew up with a mother that was a behavior specialist for severely challenged and special needs children and spent most of my youth helping.

Till the day I leave, my heart goes out to the challenges, and my smile to the joys that this brings.
 

ToddJ027b

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April is Autism Awareness month. When our son was diagnosed in 2005 with Asperger Syndrome the prevalence rate was 1:210 (if I remember correctly). I just looked it up again this morning and it shocked me. 1:54 as of 2020! As parents of a son on the spectrum we have had so many moments of "I don't know what to do" but also some "I can't believe he just did that" funny moments. It's a wave of emotions for sure!

What are some signs of Austism:
  • Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Persistent preference for solitude
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
  • Delayed language development
  • Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
  • Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Restricted interests
  • Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
  • Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors
Our son is high functioning and is now 21 years old, lives with his wife and has a job. Quite honestly we never thought any of those things would happen for him. To the parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles out there that have a family member on the spectrum, you're not alone. To anyone else that might not know someone on the Spectrum, AutismSpeaks.org is a great place to find out more information. Or, just Google Temple Grandin, she has a brilliant mind and breaks it down quite well how Autistic kids think 😊
Thank you for posting this. It gives me hope. My son also has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He is higher functioning, does have a job, and is 25yrs old and still lives at home with us. I hope one day he too will finally find a wife who will understand and be a good partner for him.
 

PackersGirl

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Wife worked with childen on the spectrum for quite some time. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Thank you for posting your story and making everyone aware @PackersGirl
Those that know me well know that disabilities and especially children with them have a very special place in my life. I grew up with a mother that was a behavior specialist for severely challenged and special needs children and spent most of my youth helping.

Till the day I leave, my heart goes out to the challenges, and my smile to the joys that this brings.
We have had some amazing behavioral therapist and people that worked with our son. Those people are the unsung heros. What a selfless job. Thank you so much to your wife, @Gman79! Thank you to you and your Mom, @JB! I can't tell you how much it means to us and our family that other people are willing to go through struggles and trying times right along side of us. ❤❤❤
 
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Davidhibler

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Thank you for posting this. It gives me hope. My son also has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He is higher functioning, does have a job, and is 25yrs old and still lives at home with us. I hope one day he too will finally find a wife who will understand and be a good partner for him.
I'm 100% confident this will happen for him.
Our son's wife is on the spectrum as well (not as high functioningas he is), so they support and understand each other very well.

I have Asperger's myself and have a great partner in @PackersGirl.

Relationships - both personal and professional - can be tough for people like us, but they are not impossible.

We will never be "normal", but it really does get easier with age and more experience in social situations. :)
 

greekelite

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As much as it is about the childrens' resilience to push and develop themselves, it's also the parents to foster that internal desire.

I've worked with kids on the spectrum where the parents would just be like "here, fix my kid". You take that kid and place in a more nurturing and even positive challenging environment and they will thrive.


My wife works with lower functioning special needs kids and the stories she comes home with daily are our unwinding and laughing over dinner

Thanks for the post and the reminder of the month, I think it's also important to look at some strengths and positivity during this whole craziness.
 

PackersGirl

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As much as it is about the childrens' resilience to push and develop themselves, it's also the parents to foster that internal desire.

I've worked with kids on the spectrum where the parents would just be like "here, fix my kid". You take that kid and place in a more nurturing and even positive challenging environment and they will thrive.


My wife works with lower functioning special needs kids and the stories she comes home with daily are our unwinding and laughing over dinner

Thanks for the post and the reminder of the month, I think it's also important to look at some strengths and positivity during this whole craziness.
We had the opposite problem. We had such a hard time finding people that didnt just want to dope him up on medication but instead, help us and him navigate through his struggles. We tried everything possible and have spent thousands of dollars trying to help our son. Finally, once we found the right doctors who were willing to listen to us, that's when we were hopeful and saw a little breakthrough. Even then, the school system and so many people worked against us. It wasn't always easy, and many times we struggled to find the positive. Education and knowledge is key.
 

greekelite

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We had the opposite problem. We had such a hard time finding people that didnt just want to dope him up on medication but instead, help us and him navigate through his struggles. We tried everything possible and have spent thousands of dollars trying to help our son. Finally, once we found the right doctors who were willing to listen to us, that's when we were hopeful and saw a little breakthrough. Even then, the school system and so many people worked against us. It wasn't always easy, and many times we struggled to find the positive. Education and knowledge is key.
Well I commend you for being involved in your sons care, thats more than I can say for many families I worked with. Granted I'm just a therapist, not a doctor, and I would emphasize the entire family putting in the work but the parents were largely resistant and think its just their kids' behavior that needs adjusting.

Unfortunately all/most areas lack resources it sounds. And especially with this whole covid time, social supports and engagements are just not happening leaving a lot of people feeling really isolated. I'm glad to hear your son found someone and is able to be independent. I wish that were more the norm than the exception, at least from stories that are told
 

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So many good points in here. My wife worked with many kids on the spectrum during her career. The parents she worked with ranged from , “Here, fix my kid” to bringing their attorney to every parent-teacher conference. Lots of good kids, and lots of good stories.
 

McLovin

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I'm 100% confident this will happen for him.
Our son's wife is on the spectrum as well (not as high functioningas he is), so they support and understand each other very well.

I have Asperger's myself and have a great partner in @PackersGirl.

Relationships - both personal and professional - can be tough for people like us, but they are not impossible.

We will never be "normal", but it really does get easier with age and more experience in social situations. :)
i didn't know i had issues until i saw my son struggle, and i 100% understood what he was going through. his diagnosis and therapies helped my wife understand me better.
 

dhartmann34

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I do financial planning for families with special needs children. Some are high functioning and some are not. And while taking care of a child with a disability can be one of the toughest things a parent could face, these children are often some of the most loving, giving, caring and amazing kids that give more joy and love to their parents lives than one could ever imagine.

Thankfully many are living much fuller lives than they were even 15 years ago and I'm hoping to see even greater growth and successes in that realm in the next 15. Much love and respect to all of you that care for, support, or love a child or family member with a disability.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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