Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Why Blog? Autism and My Son!

Yellow Gemstone Anglican Rosary (Protestant Prayer Beads)
kristanscross.etsy.com
The whole concept of blogging is still very new to me.  Let me get this straight...I write something on my little computer in my little corner of Ohio, publish it on a blog, and people all over the world might possibly read it.  Or...no one will read it.  I hope people do read it.  Because of my son, I have a mission and a purpose in life.

So...what is my mission?  I need to share all I have learned in the crazy journey that began in the winter of 2001 when my two year old son was referred to Early Intervention.  It actually began when Gabriel was born but I didn't realize then that his differences meant anything other than he was not his older brother.  Each child is unique.  When do those differences indicate a disability?

A quick snapshot of Gabe during early intervention and preschool:

  • Gabe was non-verbal.
  • Highly sensitive to touch and sound
  • Easily overstimulated
  • Did not respond to cartoons or most toys.
  • Did not eat much.
  • Had trouble eating.
  • Could not hold a pencil and make a mark.
  • According to his teachers, he did not know his colors, letters or numbers could not find his own coat and would not let them know when he needed to go to the bathroom.
  • Could not tell me why he came home from school with a bloody lip. (Fell off his chair)
  • And he fell off his chair a lot.
Fast Forward to 9th grade (14 years old):
  • Fully integrated in the local high school and following the regular curriculum.
  • Can communicate effectively and appropriately.
  • Independently gets up and ready for school.
  • Does his homework as soon as he gets home and brings it to me to check.
  • Plays Football 
  • AND....WRESTLES.  Yes, my son with sensory issues who does not like to be touched wrestles.
The road from preschool to high school was very difficult,  It still can be.  But Gabe is well on his way of becoming an independent fully functioning member of society.  We didn't do it alone and we didn't spend any money on private therapies like ABA.  We didn't have any money and I disagree with some of the principles.