Autism : Who Can Relate?

Lina Mutua

Lina Mutua is a Consultant and a Special Education Advocate.

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As a parent who has an autistic child, can you relate when?

1.When your child’s disability is ‘invisible’.

She looks like a ‘normal’ little girl but won’t make eye contact or talk to people or freaks out when there are too many people around. She mostly doesn’t understand what people have said to her and when random people e.g. shop assistants speak to her and she doesn’t respond, they mutter ‘how’.

2. When sometimes your child simply doesn’t know how to process the facial expressions or emotions coming at her and so she retreats into herself to escape or figure it out. But you know, she cares deeply and loves bigger than anyone you have ever met.

 

3. When you try to explain again to your child that she is neither stupid nor the “bad angel,” or when she repeatedly wants to be dead or worse yet says, “I don’t have”

4. When you had to deal with your child’s school again today because she told the teacher to shut up again or made a fist to hit the teaching assistant or when you get that note from the teacher, again, that says, “We need to talk” about A, B or C and you cried because you can’t get people to understand it’s his frustration and inability to communicate that leads to these behaviors.

 

back-to-school

 

5. When the baby won’t stop crying or climbing on things or escaping your makeshift barricade and the school is calling again.

 

6. When you cannot touch your child’s head and shampooing is akin to torture in her mind or when it is very difficult with routines such as dressing and eating.

 

Mother combing girls long hair

 

7. When you can’t give a solid RSVP to a birthday party invite or are forced to leave abruptly or simply forget because you are too tired to return phone calls.

 

happy mother and daughter shopping for fruits

 

8. When you have to prepare in advance for things like a trip to the dentist, the doctor, or even an outing to the store knowing that you might have to grab your bags and leave in a moment’s notice depending on the tantrums.

 

9. When your child breaks out in hives for the 72nd time and you still can’t figure out what is causing it, but it’s getting worse and worse and close to anaphylaxis. You are desperate to figure it out before it gets to that point or before she dies. You panic. You get sick over the worry. Insomnia takes over.

 

prenatal depression

 

10. When you sit on the phone fighting with your insurance company or drive to and from therapies and spend your evenings emailing doctors, making new appointments and researching new ways to help your children grow, learn, and develop.

 

You are not alone…

You may also like: I Need you to Know

 

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  1. Is there a specific cause or prevention?

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