World Autism Day

what do you think of when you hear Autism?
Do you think of a sweet child eager to learn but has difficulty staying focused?
what do you see when you think of Autism?
does this look like Autism to you?

these two girls are so amazing. 
They are actually the same age. 
well, two months apart. 
They are the sweetest little girls i know. 
both eager to learn new things, both with hearts full of love, both with totally different personalities, 
both with Autism. 

Crazy huh?
The oldest was diagnosed i believe a year before the youngest. 
I used to get to see these crazy girls everyday, now i see them a few times a week. 
nothing has really changed around their house since being diagnosed, except that they attend an AMAZING school built and structured around ABA therapy.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

E was diagnosed in preschool. K was diagnosed in Kindergarten. Our town has an amazing school just for children on the Autism Spectrum. When E started going there she was one of 6 kids. Now in almost a year they have doubled their enrollment. I honestly had no idea there were so many families in our community with Autistic children. 
Before i had any clue about the spectrum i would have just assumed a child acting up in the market or a restaurant was just throwing a fit and not thought any more about it. or the quiet kid at the park playing by himself was antisocial. But now, after learning about Autism, learning about the many 'branches' i suppose you call them, i may have been wrong. 

E is a little more sensitive than K i think. She LOVES role playing. Loves her babies, and pretending she is caring for them. She is super  into princesses, getting her hair done, wearing makeup, dressing up and looking beautiful.Have you ever read Fancy Nancy? Remind me of E every time. She is High Functioning Autism. She will let you know what she thinks. If your feet are stinky, she will tell you. If she is curious about something, no matter what it is, she will ask. If her baby sitter (myself) accidentally  wears a low cut shirt to work and then bends over, shell ask why you have bumbs on your tummy. yeah, that was embarrassing. Miss E has a heightened sense of smell. She can be downstairs playing or whatever and all of a sudden shell tell us her brother needs his diaper changed. And sure enough, all the way across the room, or even upstairs, is a little boy filling a diaper. But she is such a precious girl. you immediately fall in love with how she calls all the girls princesses, except mom, who is the queen. myself? i am the Cupcake Princess of course. and all the boys are princes' and knights. she has a huge imagination. 

Their Mom and i would read through checklists we had to do for E and would joke about how that certain thing sounded just like K. or wow, these few questions sound like K. But i dont think either of us ever actually thought, Yes, We think K is Autistic. 
At least i didnt. She is shy, very introverted, LOVES to read to herself and play on the computer, on the phone or with her leapster. 
But seriously, she is in a family of 4 kids, one of them is bound to be the shy kid right? I mean thats what i thought. Im told it was her teacher, actually, that brought it up to her mom. so she was tested and it turned out she has PDD-NOS. but shes still the same Miss K. the only thing that changed was her school. 
which is the best thing to happen for both of those girls! 

When i first moved out here to help my family with the girls we didnt know they were both autistic. we didnt even know E was. They both had S.P.D. but that was no problem really. They just seemed like toddlers to me. And now, after 5 years of growing with the family, seeing the girls change from toddlers to preschoolers, to kindergartners, to princesses, they still seem like kids to me. 
it gets hard some days when E has meltdowns, when she is crying and angry and i have no idea what to do. but then i just think, its just a meltdown. instead of keeping her feelings inside, like us adults do, shes just venting. I have a blog to vent to, some people go to therapy or journal or kickboxing. Miss E is just having emotions. It used to break my heart when i would see her cry because she had no idea how to deal with a situation. but ive been researching, reading books, and scouring the internets. im slowly learning how to control the situation and how to react. 

i know when we take the kids to the store and they 'act up' people think mean things. or they stare when miss e has a meltdown. its frustrating that they dont understand. and people will continue to stare and judge if they arent educated about Autism. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls).
{taken from Austism Speaks

To learn about Autism visit
To take the pledge visit Light It Up Blue 
What does Autism look like to you?
This is what it looks like to me. 

15% of all Aleks Handmade today will go to Autism Speaks. 


1 comment:

  1. You are amazing! SO loving and giving! These sweet girls are lucky to have you around! :)


Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.