on autism, age 7

I don't write often enough about autism. Well, I take that back. I do write, but I do not often publish. Our little guy is amazing and talented and creative. And he also has a form of autism. He is high functioning, which basically means on the spectrum of autism he is on the mild end. 

How does it look for us now? It means a mainstream classroom.  It means some days he comes downstairs completely dressed and other days he needs a lot of support. He loves rewards, visuals, charts. Does well in math and making progress in reading. Does not like to be interrupted when completing a task. Is still a picky eater but has tried a few new foods this year because of school lunch.

Changes in schedule make him anxious. His teacher knows and communicates well with him over that. It means summer and weekends are more difficult when the schedule is different. We often communicate with drawing pictures of the plan for the day. 

And the beautiful things, there are so many. God designed children with autism uniquely, they are a blessing. He is affectionate. He loves to hug and snuggle. He is sweet. I think he always will be in an innocent sort of way. He is thoughtful, he thinks of his sister and considers what makes her happy. I don't think most people think of autism that way. He loves having a job to do. When he is happy, he is so happy. And when he is sad he is clearly sad.  He loves to build, loves process and how things work. He enjoys drawing detailed pictures.

We love him so very much. What I would like to see most in the autism community is an end to the discussion of "fixing" children with autism. The greatest need  is an increased education for parents, teachers, doctors, grandparents and friends.

I will want to delete this post as soon as I publish. Writing about my family is out of my comfort zone and I do not want to over expose our children to the web. And at the same time, there are hurting parents with a new autism diagnosis and they are crippled by fear and questions. A lot of scary books and websites blame vaccinations and bad parenting and offer wacky cures.  This is for you. They are still your children. Love them, seek help from trusted sources, a pediatrician is a good place to start.