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finding out your child has Autism

Updated on May 27, 2014

When we decided to have our daughter evaluated for Autism...

My daughter is now seven, and has had her Autism diagnosis since the age of three. It was a long process to get her final diagnosis; but, was well worth the effort in learning how to handle her outbursts and all the phobias and apparent issues she had.

My husband, Mark, and I weren't sure at first if she might truly be Autistic; but, when we would watch her play, sit and watch the television, or exhibit odd behaviors when we public, we felt that there was more to her than just a child who was lacking (or not) some form of discipline.

The first step for us was to talk to her pediatrician and voice our concerns. Some of those being she seemed to throw temper tantrums at an alarming rate per week (at home and in public), she had a noise aversion (hates loud noises), she had a textile aversion (cannot stand to have clothing on, especially long sleeved shirts), she would stare off into "space" when we would talk to her and it seemed like it took an awful lot of time to get her attention back to where it should have been, she twirled everywhere she went...the list could probably go for the proverbial "mile long".

Her pediatrician referred out to a local facility that specializes in childhood disabilities such as Autism, ADHD, ADD and many others. We were there literally all day. There was an initial interview process with our daughter along with me and Mark. This was mostly to get a pregnancy history, medical history (of Alana [our daughter], Mark and myself, other family members), several intelligence and psychological tests administered to Alana, a follow up interview with Mark and me to go through any further information needed, and, finally, a time to give the report and diagnosis.

I can't say that it was a complete shock to know that the final diagnosis was Autism, because Mark and I had already figured as much; the shock came because it was confirmed for us. Part of us felt like our worst fears realized would become the basis for Alana's world, part of us felt relieved because we now truly knew the root of the issues that Alana was facing and could find Alana help accordingly. We both knew there would be a long road to travel with Alana, even though Alana has no real understanding of what happens to her on a daily basis.

And everyday is truly a challenge for Alana; for us, as her parents as well. As of today, Alana has a myriad of issues, some that cause great distress for her and some that cause great distress for us. Some of her major issues include "meltdowns" that can be described as Chernobyl meets Three Mile Island, crying for no apparent reason, noise sensitivity (she hates the radio being on in the car), textile sensitivity (she hates wearing clothing, though she knows she has to, so she will only wear what she absolutely has to), OCD (the number three is a constant distraction for her, ADHD (we are homeschooling her and this sometimes because the battleground for any given day), she lives on the thrill of anything dangerous (up to and including climbing trees), she often hides to calm herself down, she is a night wetter (must wear pull-ups to bed, no amount of medical intervention has helped).

Through all the challenges, she is one of the most loving little girls in all the world. She would give you both her shoes is you needed them and "could fit them". She has a hilarious side to her; I think she gets that from her father. Although she hates getting hugs and kisses, you can be sure that she has a hug or a kiss for me and her dad at the weirdest of times, and each hug and kiss is more precious than the one previous because it takes so much for her to reach out to us like that.

an Autism experience

This video was posted on my news feed on my Facebook page. It simulates what it would be like to be Autistic and go shopping with your parent(s), etc. Please note that watching this clip made me a little dizzy; but, you just have to go with it. Remember, you are watching a simulation of what Autistic children encounter and endure. Also, be sure your volume is turned up on your computer (no cheating by turning the volume down or off).


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