Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1 year

At this time last year I was sitting in the neuropsychologist office with my husband and my sons father getting the results from his testing. So today it has officially been a year that we have had a diagnosis. Did the diagnosis really change anything yes and no. For the most part everything is the same we just have a word for it. I have learned a lot in the past year.
Roger still is the same child as before, that will never change. We may have only had a diagnosis for a year but we have lived with autism for eleven years. What has changed is we know what sort of supports he needs in school. Before he was a frustrated C student, today he is on honor roll. Never let Autism make you forget your child's potential. Autism does not mean "Can't" 
The worst thing we could have done would have been to start treating him differently. He is expected to do chores, homework, and be respectful to others. This is not an excuse to have everyone else do everything for him. He can do it so he will. There is something every child can do even if it is a simple task like helping wipe a table, find what they CAN do rather than CAN'T. A little bit of independence goes a long way to making a person feel worthwhile and needed.
Autism is not going to magically go away on his 18th birthday. Roger will become a adult with autism and just like every child needs to know what is expected of him as an adult. No adult will get away with throwing a tantrum in a store more than likely they will be put in jail. SO what are you to do? You do your best to teach proper behavior and control. It will not happen overnight and it will never be perfect but take them out. The best therapy in the world is not in a office its in the world.
We have had friends come and go. Hey if you don't want to be around because the word autism scares you ok I didn't want you around anyways. There are family members that just don't get it. They think we can beat it out of him. Nope sorry not going to work, besides I don't want to go to jail.
I have meet a lot of people in the past year. Some to me take everything to seriously. When everything offends you your not fun to be around. Not every comment is made to hurt you or your loved ones. Take it with a grain of salt and when the big offenses come along people will listen. There are others who can laugh at themselves I mean really you have too.
I have also learned to make my decisions based on Rogers needs. ABA was pushed at first but when we really looked at it, we needed something else. Don't get me wrong ABA is great and works well for some but as with everything it does not work for all. While I have never gone the biomedical route I don't think it is appropriate for us but I am not going to browbeat someone who has chosen that path.
The most important thing we have learned is to listen to Roger he will show us what he needs.

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