So Much More Than Autism

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Writing about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) in reference to my children who experience these disorders, has introduced you to our family.

I try to provide a visual of what my children experience to allow you to glimpse what ASD and HFA may look like.

I hope to spread awareness about these disorders in order for my children and our family to gain understanding and acceptance.

When I talk about autism in terms of my children’s experiences, I am telling you what their differences are from the general population.  I am allowing for you to see their distance from “typical.”

My son, Declan has ASD.  He has little safety awareness, he wanders and can be loud.  He is a sensory seeker, he doesn’t sleep through the night and he is very concrete in his thinking.

My daughter, Catelyn has HFA.  She has numerous sensory issues with her food and clothes.  She has a hard time regulating her emotions, does not give compliments or flattery and can be very inflexible and rude.

So Much More Than Autism

This is what I have told you about the autism they experience, but guess what?  My kids are so much more than the autism they experience.  In order for them to gain acceptance and inclusion let me tell you about the other things they enjoy and experience.

My son Declan would love for you to know that he loves superhero’s.  He loves Spiderman the most.  And he LOVES costumes.  Declan has a great sense of humor.  And he loves to sing songs and listen to music.

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My daughter, Catelyn is very imaginative.  She loves to read and make up stories of her own.  She also has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to laugh.  She enjoys acting on the stage and takes theater classes.  She also loves to play soccer.  She is one heck of a goalie and loves to play offense.  She had a wonderful game this past weekend where she saved a lot of goals as goalie and then scored 2 goals on offense.

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Together, Declan and Catelyn play great.  Catelyn helps Declan find the world of imagination, and has him act out different dramatic plays with her.  And they can be wonderful fans during their older brother’s soccer games.

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Catelyn and Declan are so much more than the autism they experience.  They are little people finding their way with different therapies.  They want to play with other kids.  They want to be understood and accepted, have fun and….

Be happy!

 

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22 thoughts on “So Much More Than Autism

    1. That’s great! My kids do too, although I think my oldest has heard some things about him not being real ;-). I wonder if Declan will ever not believe!

  1. My son is HFA (is that the new wording for Aspergers?). He sounds very, very much like your daughter, but when he was little, he wore costumes all the time, like your son. He still loves to dress up on any occasion he can. Can your daughter learn how to be socially ok with others? The reason I ask is I have spent a lot of time over the years directing my son on socially acceptable actions. It sometimes has taken years to get him to the point he does it naturally on his own.

    1. She can do okay playing with others, but she is inflexible in her playing. It is her way, or no way which costs her friendships. My son is more of the awkward one. He will get too close, or touch too much. He doesn’t know what to say all the time, but I am hoping some of this will get easier as he ages and we coach him.

  2. I think the world has to adapt to the idea that there are bigger differences between people, that having something different or being in some way different has its charms and can be enriching and that the diversity should be seen as an extra value and not as a sort of loading and you help us to see it like this! thank you ?

  3. Think that soccer tends to be a great game for most children. Glad your daughter is a great goalie! Being able to score as a defensive player should bring her koodoes from both her team and coach. Declan has wonderful siblings that include him in their lives.

  4. I love reading about your family Robyn. I know that Tyson, too is much more than his diagnosis. It seems many people forget that. I love ready about Declan and Catelyn and their adventures and latest victories! Thank you for being a guiding light for me and Tyson as we have embarked on this new path of learning to do things differently. Bless you!

    1. That is so nice, Carlene – thank you! When they were first diagnosed I spent a lot of time examining their behavior trying to figure out for myself where the differences from “typical” were. And for Declan – he was so young, like Tyson, that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if it was “terrible two’s” behavior or is something wrong? I want to advocate for my kids, so I need to talk about the differences. I spend so much time telling people about the differences in their behavior to help educate about autism – but I am sure my kids would want me to say something about their qualities that make them really neat and special. Because they are really neat and special kids, just like Tyson I’m sure! Thanks again, Carlene! Bless you, too!

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