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Autism And Your Family

Mom with son and daughter

If you have a child with autism in your family, you’ve probably already heard all the statistics about the exploding rate of autism diagnosis, read the theories about what causes autism, and been reassured that “you are not alone.”

However, in my parenting journey, especially when my autistic son was younger and undiagnosed, I felt extremely isolated, worn out, and lonely, and feared that my son’s “quirks” were due to my bad parenting.

Perhaps you’ve had experiences similar to some of mine, that made you wonder if your child was on the autism spectrum, even if “not actually AUTISTIC” (not my boy!).

These are some behaviors Blake exhibited when he was 2 or 3:

  • We went to a friend’s house to pick up some of their used clothes/toys and Blake had a major tantrum due to the break in routine
  • We went to a child’s birthday party and watched all the other kiddos doing the craft and hitting the piñata, but I felt as though Blake didn’t really “get it” and was off in his own world.
  • My in-laws came to visit from out of state when our daughter was born and my son was 2 1/2, Blake wouldn’t play with Mimi (his grandma from out of state, tantrumed at odd times, went to the mall and was OCD-obsessed with looking into all of the garbage cans, and our other outings involved things like standing around outside at a construction site for hours.  At the end of their trip, my father-in-law asked “is he always like this?”  I didn’t know what to say…
  • When he was 2, I couldn’t leave Blake alone in child care situations to go to Mom’s Group meetings like “MOPS” or the gym.  He would tantrum for an hour before going to 24-Hour Fitness’s Kid’s Klub, even though we went there nearly every day, and he was 3 years old.
  • He would be so intent on going somewhere (usually to look into a new garbage can) that he would crash into people’s legs as he was bee-lining around.
  • At the library story time, he wouldn’t sit with the other kids, and always wanted to be in my lap while the librarian was reading a story.  During the second half of the library play group, he would want to play only with me, and not the other kids.
  • He didn’t like Play-Doh or drawing at all, it was really hard to get him to do anything related to art.
  • When he started talking (on the late side) around two, it was in memorized phrases, rather than spontaneous speech.  I remember his memorizing a scripted description I told him of a puppet show we had seen together.
  • He had 3-5 tantrums per day lasting 15 minutes or more.
  • He liked to put his toy cars out on display, but didn’t do a lot of interactive play.  A lot of his games were the same every time.

 

 

When Did The Autism Appear?

In my opinion, Blake was born very loving and normal. He was a little bit of a late talker, but so was my husband… He seemed a bit “quirky” at 2, and had strong/obsessive interests in trucks (but don’t all small boys?), he didn’t really fit in with the other kids, but the doctor said not to worry about it.

Blake Playing With Trucks At 2 Years Old

Here is Blake shortly after he turned 2.  To me, this seems like pretty normal imginative play and interaction at this age.

Here is a Video Of Blake Around Age 2 1/2 – What Do You Think – Is He Exhibiting Signs of Autism At This Stage?

We are in the doctor’s waiting room.  You can tell how distracted he is by the other kids (which is probably pretty normal.)  He can answer questions in conversation, but offers little spontaneous conversation.  I have to keep the conversation going.  A lot of his speech is said facing away from me (trouble with eye contact) and it’s just a little off, or a little scripted, like we’ve had this conversation before… (which we have).  However, this is all pretty subtle and not totally beyond the scope for a “normal” two year old.

 

What’s “Quirky” At 2 Years Old, Is Worrisome at 3 Years Old…

While Blake made me wonder a bit when he was two, I was new to this parenting thing, and didn’t have any other kids in the family as a point of reference.  A lot of my friends kids were girls who were older than Blake (“so of course they were more advanced…”) and I didn’t really know what to look for.

Blake didn’t really have a sharp decline after a vaccination or anything, he just seemed to not be developing as fast as others, and in ways that he should.

A few key things that happened when Blake was 3 that clued me in that this was something more serious:

  • The doctor said he should be able to easily make friends when he was 3. That never happened.
  • His Sunday School teacher at church said she thought he might have some sensory issues (sensitive to fan noise, sensitivity to light) and focus issues, and we started going to Occupational Therapy (at the Rosemary White Clinic in Shoreline) at her suggestion.  They never diagnosed him, but they thought they could help.
  • Blake was in the Control Group for a long-term child development study at our local Children’s Hospital.  He tested within normal limits at 6 months, and 18 months, but not at 36 months.  He scored 8th percentile for gross motor skills at 3 years old, partly due, I think to lack of cooperation with the tester, due to tantrums/non-compliance.  They asked me if this behavior was typical, and I said, “YES!”
  • Someone in the library suggested Blake had Aspberger’s (how rude!)
  • We got kicked out of the library for the tantrum we couldn’t make stop…
  • My parents said I wasn’t disciplining him well enough, or he wouldn’t act out.

 

Videos:


Here Blake Talks About A Berenstein Bear Book He Liked To Read

Blake liked to read the same books over and over (and over!) again.  In addition to being familiar with the pattern of the story, he would memorize all my jokes and side comments, and repeat them (verbatim) every time we read the book.  It was like having a scripted conversation.

What We Cover On This Site

We research and publish information about natural health topics, especially those of interest to parents of special-needs and autistic children.

I have found that the collection of symptoms known as AUTISM are shared by many other related disorders.  The body of research out there is tremendous when it comes to treating autism and many other similar-functioning auto-immune type disorders.

Although this site will focus on autism recovery, specifically, please note that many of the therapies recommended here may be seen as helpful in assisting the recovery from many similar conditions.

Also note, I am not a doctor or any kind of “professional” – I am a stay-at-home full-time autism mom!  These remarks have not been evaluated by the FDA or anyone else official.  They are my personal opinions and experiences, and should not be construed as medical advice.

What Is ASDs / Autism/ Asperger’s Syndrome

 

Related Disorders

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • PANS/PANDAS
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

Autism Diets for Optimal Gut Health and Mental Health

  • GAPS diet
  • Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Sugar-Free, Soy-Free (GFCFSFSF) Diet
  • SCD Diet
  • Weston A. Price Foundation Diet
  • Body Ecology Diet

Developmental Therapy

Naturopathic, Holistic Doctors and Treatments

Alternative Treatments

Reduction in Toxicity

More Autism Recovery Articles

 

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