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Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

Autism Awareness Contest Winner is Jennifer


Our Autism Awareness Month Contest 2011 Winner is Jennifer! Jennifer is the mother of a boy with Aspergers. She, like the rest of you, is working day in and day out to help her child be successful and find happiness in the world. Living with autism can be a struggle because you’re wondering every day if you’ve made the right choices and if you’re doing everything you can be doing to help your child. Well, the truth is no one has a definitive answer to that BUT if every day you’re striving to help your child communicate, teaching them to interact socially, and teaching them the skills they need to be successful in their lives then YES you’re doing what you should be doing and you’re doing it the best way you know how. You are all stronger for what you do. You’re amazing parents and we hope that by sharing your stories and reading the other stories that have been shared you’ve found added strength and hope! Congratulations to Jennifer and thank you to all of you who shared your stories with us this month!

My son started with an aggression problem. We took him to his pediatrician for suggestions and was told to do what we were already doing. They had no help and suggested a psychiatrist. We took my five year old to a psychiatrist wondering what the heck was wrong with our baby. Why was he so violent?

The doctor diagnosed him with anxiety and gave us meds. He waivered throughout the summer, but was doing better. Then he started Kindergarten.

The stress of the environment, the demands, the other children were too much for him. He started the vocalizations. He would fidget. He begged us for his own bedroom because his brother is afraid of the dark and likes to sing himself to sleep, all of which agitated him more.

His quirks of world’s policeman, lining up toys end to end, only playing with red legos, insisting on a schedule with no deviations, fidgeting, being literal (we said the Easter Bunny threw up on the table and he ran over and asked where), all got worse.

It was then that he was diagnosed with Aspergers. I had hoped with the diagnosis, we could figure out how to help him, get an IEP set up for him, and things would get better. We have learned which battles not to fight, we prepare and double prepare him for changes in routine, we have an IEP set up for him.

Things have gotten a bit better, but it’s like a moving target. I feel like I’m always chasing behind him trying to catch up… that I’m never going to be the mother he needs. How do I get him back under control when spring break comes, ruins his routine, agitates him, he acts out aggressively, and now he’s suspended from Kindergarten at 6 years old?!!

Add that to the fact he’s five, and growing quickly and metabolizing the medicine he gets quickly and we’re constantly having to up the dosage to keep him at the same level…and it feels like a losing battle. Do you know how many growth spurts children have?? We’ve had to increase his dosage 5 times in a year.

I worry I’m over-medicating him. I worry that the medication we’re giving him isn’t the right thing, I worry that he needs more medication. I worry that I’m medicating a baby. I worry about medicating him to the point he’s no longer the boy I know.

My wish for my son?

For him to learn how to control his aggression. For it not to come by medicating him into a stupor, for him being able to adapt better and make better choices.

My wish is not for his Aspergers to be gone. If it was, he wouldn’t be the little boy I love so much. He wouldn’t be the sweetheart who crawls into my bed because he’s lonely. He wouldn’t be the boy who goes out of his way to make babies and his twin brother happy when they’re sad.

I guess my other wish would be to be a better parent to him. To help him with his anxieties, to understand him better, to help others understand him better.

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