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Every story about Autism is different, this is ours.

Posted by Elizabeth Van Slyke on

Written By Windy Galan @intheeyesofautism

Everything has a start, ours began when our twin Boys David and Alex passed the 18th month mark, the little differences in behavior just trickled in and became more noticeable as the days went on. My Husband and I had no clue and truthfully the number of resources at hand were rare to none.

Lesson one and perhaps the most important, is it is not your fault - don’t blame yourself. Take one small step at a time and keep pushing forward by providing love and support. There will be many long nights of sleep deprivation because the brain is overthinking on the what if question, my suggestion is to substitute with what’s next?

Our most dreaded question is, “what is like to have a child with Autism?” We always respond with a question back: What is it like to have a child? A child will play, be silly, loving, cry, tantrum, eat. Both Alex and David although on the spectrum, are very different. Alex has difficulties dealing with high noises such as machinery or even loud vehicles, and also has Sensory Processing disorder that affects him on a daily basis, while David’s kryptonite lies in motion and sensory specifically the feeling of falling or a sudden drop. As parents we stay more engaged in their activities and watch for those triggers that can make them more uncomfortable.

From the start we were deprived of communication, neither Alex nor David talked, just made sounds and noises but not a words, it was almost at the age of 6 when they both began doing small words, identifying and communicating on what most parents take for granted; hungry, water, milk, apple, candy - those are words that we began hearing. Today our car rides can be quite noisy with the 3 kiddos singing, talking, and arguing in the back seats; but they are so much better than the ones full of crying and angry sounds because of the inability to communicate, to ask for something or the desire to share and not being able to.

For us, homework is the long-term key to success, there needs to be consistency at home with the same plan and structure as in therapy services and school. The three entities must work as one on the same activities or goals at the same time, if we work on separate goals we can and will overwhelm them. An autistic child is gifted, we honestly just don’t understand the brain's high connections and exactly how it works. We have learned through discipline not to feel sorry for our Alex and David because things might involve a different approach or delivery method but they can accomplish anything.

Last thing: parents know best so follow that gut feeling, there is no one better than you to help your child fulfill his or her dreams. There are no limits, only the ones they put on themselves. And as parents,  that is what we are here for, because there’s no one better than us to help them overcome all of these challenges.

If you ever feel lost, please feel free to contact us, we are always looking for parents that have similar struggles and that are in need of encouragement and support.

-Windy Galan


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