After the big 10th birthday party the other day I started to think back. Things I thought were never going to happen when he was first diagnosed with Autism have come & gone while other things that I was sure would get better are sometimes worse. I have a lot of new readers & while I try to respond to every message I get some I’m sure slip through the cracks. So I wanted to post a short article I found that I wrote a couple of years ago. This is just an excerpt, I will post several parts of it throughout the week sprinkled in with some new posts! Also please check out the article about Autism being portrayed in the media that includes an interview I did with the Canadian Press. I was honored to be included & always surprised that you all care what I think! {I mean really, whats all that aboot!?! bad Canadian joke, sorry!} It’s a bit about everything from Parenthood to Big Bang Theory. Fun stuff! Check out the story here.
     Before my oldest son was diagnosed with Autism we played to his ‘quarks’ in order to get anything done. After the realization that yes there is something going on and yes we need to figure it out so we can try to help him more than we are already doing we found out two things:
1. He has a form of Autism.
2. Ass-Burgers, funny enough, has nothing to do with hamburgers made from donkeys!
     That’s about all we learned at the time of diagnosis. Reading the twenty page report given to us by the doctor did about the same as reading VCR instructions, that’s right I just dated myself with a VCR reference! Other than those two major developments no one gave us any ‘Okay, he has autism, now do this’ book so we just went to our local book store and started buying. If the doctor’s report read like VCR instructions then the books by the experts in the field of autism were like giving an eight year old a copy of ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ to read. Yeah and I’m not talking about the smart Asperger’s syndrome eight year old either, I’m talking about me when I was eight years old. Half witted, glue eating, kiss your basset hound on the mouth eight year old.
     When I could find something helpful it was layered in with so much ‘my son is awesome & a blessing’ it was hard to wade though it all. Let’s be really honest and put it all out there:
My son Jayden is now 10 years old. He eats chicken nuggets, french fries, mac  & cheese, peanut butter, sweet potatoes & that’s about it. His test scores put him several grades above where he should be at yet most mornings he puts his cloths on backwards or inside out. making a split second decision is almost impossible yet he is good at action filled quick reflex video games. He is difficult, stubborn, and at times he makes me want to jump off a bridge but at the same time he is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever known, when we wants to be. When he is stuck on a subject that he wants to talk about the conversation, no matter what it’s about, WILL come back to his subject. Lastly to be 100% upfront & honest while there are times when I want to smack the crap out of him & just say ‘Catch On Already’ {Not really! Put the phone down, stop calling DHS!} I still am happy about everything I have just said because it makes him who he is & while most parents are watching icarly or something mind numbing like that, my sons favorite movie is Ghost busters. My son Jayden is 10 years old & he has High Functioning Autism.
     With Autism there are not a lot of 100%’s you can find. If you read somewhere that this one thing WILL help you child with autism, you are probably about to be sold something! You just have to try & find what helps your child. The key word here is help! Not correct, not fix, not cure, just help. I learned very quickly that all the ‘cure for autism’ or ‘what causes autism’ debate will do nothing to help you with your child when you are in the check out line at the dollar store! Ways to deescalate a meltdown or introduce new foods into the diet, now those are things that help! Two of the best tips you can get are pick your battles & find what works for your child.