Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Mother's Thoughts On Her Son With Autism

I have agreed to help my daughter do this site to help keep people informed on Autism, or what I know of it. I am certainly no expert on the subject, yet, in many ways, perhaps I am. Well I am on one particular boy's autism or form of autism, and that is my son Taylor.

I have three GREAT, and AMAZING kiddos! My oldest, Amanda, (this is her project) is 20. She is my creative one. She is my one that thinks outside the box. She is my one that is always determined when she puts her mind to it, and, since I am her mother and can say this, I would also say that she is our stubborn one. She at times has this rock outside as she is afraid of hurt, (like the rest of us) and this soft gooey center and a heart of gold. She is a leader, but she used to be a follower, she has grown. She is the one that makes me laugh until it hurts, and my biggest supporter most of the time. She is artsy and thoughtful and strong, and just a neat young lady.

My second child, Taylor, is my son with Autism. He is more reserved than some, but he really does want to fit in, in his own way. He is my computer whiz. He is my video game expert. He is my son that wants to do the right thing but lives on impulses, so often the things he does are inappropriate, and it starts a vicious cycle. He then gets mad at himself, then that gets him depressed. He does not know how to communicate feelings other than anger. The anger is from being hurt and teased and being many horrible names. (If you are reading this, and you use the word retard all the time, you are one of the people hurting my son, so please choose your words wisely. If you want to use the word, that is your choice, I just wanted you to know that it is hurting someone, somewhere!!!) He was my biggest fan for many years when I was a single parent. Then my husband became his new Idol, and in fairness, he also became a huge fan of Taylor. Taylor loves to camp and go crabbing. He loves to ride his bike and ride his rip tide. He really tries to make new friends, but sadly enough, the only kids that befriend him are friends with no supervision in their lives, or their parents care of their future. They are kids that tell him they will protect him from kids that tease him. Taylor is not a leader, he is a follower. He won't provoke a situation but he won't stop it either. Again, this has to do with his Asperger's and his inability to communicate effectively and lives by compulsivity. He has been diagnosed with Aspertger's, ADHD, and ODD. These in combination are all so difficult for him to handle, and switching his meds are tough as it might start to do things to the other disorders. He has a disability. I love him just as much, and he is just as perfect in my eyes as my girls.

Our daughter Carlie is three. She is funny and she keeps us amused. She is learning so much and is always so full of questions. She loves playing with her friends at daycare. She is nuts about her dad. She is talkative and sometimes too much so. (that is definitely from my side of the family). She loves to watch the hula dancers and she loves being doted on. She loves her Mimi and Bubby (as she refers to the older kids). She loves to color and sing, use sidewalk chalk and blow bubbles. She loves hop scotch, playing on her toys outside and holding worms.... yes you heard me... holding worms!

I have told Amanda that I will help her keep this site up to date with things that I learn about autism and things we already know.

As our family goes through this hardship in our life, I want to thank the people that are helping us make it through. I have faith God will watch our family and be there for Taylor during this transition. Our family is strong and we have overcome many obstacles in life, and we won't give up, now, not ever.

Special thanks going out to some special people that have given my daughter much encouragement at work!
Kelly Wilson, your thoughtfulness and caring heart go beyond words my friend! You are one classy lady! You really didn't have to, and my heart swells with gratitude.
Jerry Wood, I appreciate that you think of my well being and my son's well being. I appreciate you so much!
Brian (not sure how to spell your last name sir)... You are the meaning of living Aloha ! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Patty O for the thoughtfulness in giving.
ChristyO, for being there spreading the word and supporting our family
Sheila Webb for always being so thoughtful and such a giving heart.
Sandra for sending tamales home for my family. What a sweet gesture.
Jon, Crystal and Cory, thanks for understanding I need to get myself together. Thanks for believing in me when I don't, and thanks for supporting my family.
Karen Felix for all the encouragement and getting Amanda information on tournaments she can sell things at.
Chelsea for helping Amanda with ideas on raising money in other ways, and loving rhubarb so much to order a full cake.
Jollene for buying a bulk order of lemon bars from Amanda.
All of the friends helping Amanda bake and keeping track of what is needed and keeping her strong.
Rich: You are a kind man. Your words meant a lot to Amanda and I appreciate that.
Tinkerbell; the name is unknown, but someone has left $1 coins on Amanda's desk but will not fess up to it.... I understand, sometimes the best gifts are unknown gifts, but know that you are appreciated!!!
Sandie Fix: Loving the pickle surprise baby!!!

Last but not least (and I know this list will grow and grow)
Spencer, not only helping spread the word, but also helping sell, and keeping Amanda's idea strong and encouraging her.

I appreciate the prayers and support. You know, this reminds me of a poem that I love, when it was translated. It goes like this:
When the Nazis came for the communists
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

This is definitely not the same situation, but it can have yet another translation. We are all going to need help from one time or another. A death in the family, a sickness in the home, a disease that is newly discovered, the break up of a relationship or marriage. We are here on earth to help each other. We never expect to be in need of help or support, but plain and simple it happens. That is why it has always been big for my family to help the homeless with sack lunches, help those in need during the holidays, helping someone because they have no money until payday, and they might need food, gas, or help paying their electric bill. What happens is it also teaches others to give of themselves. It makes the world a better place. Most of the time we are on the giving end, and I promise you it is so much nicer on that giving side, yet with the stories Amanda tells me, my heart grows so touched by people helping our son. I will try to post daily thoughts on autism. Right now, I have been on the computer for over 20 minutes and I need time to gather my thoughts, and I think I have just started a gull bladder attack and it is too painful to write. Sorry!!!

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