My daughter, Alexis has Autism. She was born in 2002. Getting an official diagnosis for Alexis was a struggle for us. My mother has been involved with special needs children my whole life- she suspected earlier than the doctors, that Alexis had developmental problems. At the age of 6 months we noticed that Alexis was not developing normally. Keith (my husband) and I brought Alexis to several different doctors for neurology testing, allergy & hearing tests… however, we got nothing as far as any ‘diagnosis’ is concerned… most doctors- we felt, had no idea how to explain Autism to a parent, maybe they didn’t know much about it themselves. One doctor even had the nerve to tell us that essentially, Alexis was ‘just a brat’ and that if she wanted food or drink that she should verbally ask us before giving it to her. I can’t even express with words the disappointment and anger I feel towards this doctor.
We decided that the Mayo clinic in Rochester was the best option for us if we wanted a real diagnosis and we got that in 2006, Alexis was 3 years old at that time. She was diagnosed with Autism -due to the fact that she showed developmental delays “across the board” according to one of her doctors. It was also at this time that we learned the term Apraxia, something that the doctor thought may be a diagnosis for Alexis. Apraxia is hard to explain and Apraxia with Autism is something I have yet to thoroughly research, they are two distinct conditions that share some similarities. Apraxia is a condition that interferes with an individual’s ability to develop, execute, and sequence motor movements that create speech. We recently had this diagnosis ruled out.
Alexis is often covering her ears, flapping her hands, has obsessive ‘routines’, a photographic-like memory, and an indescribable creativity. Keith and I try our best to deal with her meltdowns, sometimes it is quite difficult. We have tried many different sensory stimulating approaches that sometimes work, other times not-so-much. We’ve tried deep pressure massaging, joint compressions, tactile brushing, anything visual or auditory that we think will help, we have also tried audio support tools such as Vital Sounds. Simply changing her environment can help- mostly it requires masterful logic and reason at the exact time and place to help her out of a meltdown. Sometimes simply giving into her shenanigans-whatever they may be can help too, this often means being creative. These techniques can either result in a feeling of discouragement or a feeling of relief as the chaos can last for hours at a time if not handled correctly.
This disorder will possibly make her dependent on us for the rest of our lives. My hope for her is continued progress. I can admit that in the early years all I wanted was for her to be a typical child and to have a normal childhood, I understand now that this was just for my own selfish reasons- I love Alexis just the way she is and her Autism makes all of our lives a more colorful place.
I believe in love, I believe in dreams, I believe in the unknown, I believe in happiness that is care-free, genuine and serene… Discovering a new me, Everyday… Every moment… I am just that- I am Me!
Making something a part of your life and to make something so much a part of you and your being- that is being zealous. To have that passion, love, having the push to make something out of who you are. The courage to pursue something you believed in. The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. This A- Z blogging challenge was not easy, I wasn’t sure I could do it BUT it actually inspired me to move forth– just to say that I could complete it. I cured my writers block, did things I may not normally take the time to do- I was able to learn a lot about myself with this challenge. As flawed as I feel I might be, as unattractive as I sometimes feel, as incomplete I think I am sometimes, I have allowed others to love me despite all of this and that is an amazing part of life, I am an adult who is still learning how to love myself, I will never stop being zealous in my attempt to discover true happiness.
We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. Be absolutely certain that the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right, don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Texts, emails, voicemail zooming in like machine gun bullets, planner jammed to the brim with obligations. A super busy schedule may sometimes give an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion.
I don’t have to be that dog chasing its tail! Life is much too short to not be doing things that I love and being with the important people that make life positive! In my opinions, being happy is the most important thing in life to learn how to do!!! If you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.
I will leave you with a trailer for one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen- ENJOY!!
“AND THAT’S ALL FOLKS” It is midnight – just in time! Ready to catch some Zzz‘s #a-zchallenge
Subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days–one day for each letter of the alphabet. Start beginning Tuesday April First 2014 with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com