My Sweet Girl

My seven year old daughter has autism. When she was around two years old she was labeled with severe autism, but as she's gotten older and had so much therapy she's improved amazingly. She's very bright and academically outstanding for her age. She just has a lot of focus issues, and it's understandable considering what's bouncing around her head all day. She compulsively asks questions, repeats them all the time, and it drives her sister mad but I'm just happy she can talk. She couldn't form a sentence until she was almost four, but because she looks at everything logically she has surpassed all language goals.

I love that she's had so many wonderful improvements and it's been worth all the efforts of therapies and daily home therapies, fighting for her educational rights, trying to educate the people in our neighborhood about it because the kids can be mighty cruel, but if the parents would just help the kids to understand maybe they'll eventually treat her like their equal. I hope so because she is so social. The problem is, she treats people like dolls and expects them to behave a certain way. She can also be spastic and gets carried away spinning or repeating a word or sound that tickles her.

The most frustrating aspect of all this is the way so many people say, "She doesn't look like there's anything wrong with her!" or bring up their belief that autism is over-diagnosed, or just a label some counselor gives to ...I don't know, maybe meet some secret quota? It's crazy, but I have to understand that if people aren't exposed personally they will never really understand. The last thing I need is people telling me my daughter doesn't have autism just because she's verbal and doesn't flap her hands all day. Part of the reason (PART!) is because I work with her every single day and have since she was diagnosed. I have learned infinite patience and she has surpassed goals because she isn't afraid to work hard and neither am I. I'm proud of her for her accomplishments and it's the one thing I'm proud of about myself. She's changed me, ya know? Some for worse, but mostly for the better. I know one thing. I will never, ever regret having her.
DisorderlyCyn DisorderlyCyn
41-45, F
4 Responses Sep 17, 2012

Awesome. Autism is way on the rise and needs way more awareness and funding than it gets! Cancer gets way more money and barely moves forward, feel like the whole charity of cancer research is a big scam. Would love to see a lot more money going into autism research, feel like there could be a lot more done!

My daughter is on the spectrum and I get the same comments from others as you do. She was assessed and diagnosed at 2 1/2 as high functioning autistic and is currently awaiting another assessment at 8 for a re-classification of Aspergers. It's so weird for me when people ask me if I had the choice would I have her any other way. Hell no! She's my boo. Her quirks are part of what makes her who she is. Don't get me wrong - I struggled hard to emotionally accept it to begin with. I felt like many parents of autistic children initially - that it wasn't fair, that I was somehow pining away inside for the child that boo would never be, kind of like a bereavement. Wow, how I used to cry in those early days about it all. This carried on for a few months until my eldest boy (21 now but 15 at the time) sat me down and said "Mum, you can never change what has happened, but you are able to change how you look on it. Ellie will ALWAYS be Ellie, - she's just Ellie with 'extras' now - no biggie." He was perfectly right of course. I embraced every day learning and working with her after that. She is an eccentric little girl lol, has her areas of 'expertise' that she can happily educate you about all day long if you let her. There's nothing that her primary school teacher doesn't know about the solar system now :) She attends a mainstream school, her peers have always totally adored her and vice versa. She has her meltdown moments, she has a temper on her that she needs help with in channelling constructively.... but the bottom line is, we wouldn't be without them, right! And I truly think that the world would be a much more of a sorry *** place without those unique and wonderful little souls in it.
A ((hug)) to you from one mum to another. Keep smiling and staying strong. Take care.

You can (and I'm sure you are) very proud of how well you and your daughter have done. I wouldn't not have understood anything about autism except that my first girlfriend had mild autism as well. I met her in grade eleven in a class we shared, and I probably wouldn't have got to know her except we sat beside each other and started sharing conversations. Even then, I didn't know she had autism until she told me, and even then didn't really see how it affect her until I'd spent a lot more time with her. She was, she told me, first diagnosed when she was five, and went through some specialized schooling for a few years, where extra attention could be paid to help her. We remained friends for ten years, and even though I moved in '97 we still keep in touch from time to time.

No, you definitely have no reason to regret having a daughter with autism. I appreciate how challenging it's been for you. I hope you are able to find enough support (sometimes there are groups dealing specifically with autism, or at least mental health issues) to help keep you going. It sounds like you've done a remarkable job so far, though. Best of luck to both of you.

Awww that was really sweet!!!You should be proud, there are not enough women/mothers like yourself....