Author: Lynn Vigo, MSW, LICSW

Autism and Medical Hospitalization

The third part of our series on “things we’d all rather not think about” is medical hospitalization of a child with autism. To get an insider’s perspective, we turned to Julie Eigsti who wears two hats: health care professional and mom.

theautismblog: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.

Julie Eigsti: My name is Julie, and I have been a Registered Nurse (RN) for 19 years. I had the privilege of spending 18 of those years working on the medical unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since my son was diagnosed on the mild end of the autism spectrum, I have worked with three children on the spectrum. Before that, I am sad to say, I am not really sure. I have been married for 21 years and have two beautiful children, Elle who is eleven years old and Joel who is six years old. Read full post »

Dads and Autism

Do dads experience autism differently than moms?

That’s the question I set out to answer when I met with some of the dads who participate in our parent support group. I also invited those on our email group to send in their responses. The children represented varied in age from 3 to 14 and it had been anywhere from a year to more than a dozen years since our dads had gotten the diagnosis. Read full post »

Autism and Acceptance

Will I Ever Find It? One Mom’s Story of Autism and Acceptance

I’m often asked by other parents, when and how I found acceptance of my daughter’s autism diagnosis. It has been twelve years so I have had to think back. I can’t pinpoint a day nor can I offer up a clear plan for how I got there. I do vividly recall in those early days feeling as if acceptance would never arrive.

The first challenge with accepting an autism diagnosis is that it’s hard to know just what you are accepting. I asked Dr. Cowan if she’d ever talk, if she’d be in a regular classroom, if she’d be able to live independently one day? She was just two at the time and he, in all his wisdom, couldn’t give me the answers I so desperately wanted. Read full post »

Describing Behavior and Autism

Words Used to Describe Behavior: Autism’s Own Language

If you live with autism, you know that it almost has its own culture, its own language. Think of the many terms we – and others – use to describe our kids and their behavior.  For example, if your child has a school-to-home communication notebook, you may find that sometimes it comes home with a report using descriptors that you feel don’t match those you use for your child. Even for children who are verbal, it’s important for parents to communicate effectively with the numerous people who interact with our kids on a daily basis. Read full post »

Back to School and Autism

The Sun Returns.

Wednesday.

It’s late August and there’s a buzz in the air that’s almost palpable. Parents all over town are humming with anticipation of what, for many of us is the most wonderful time of the year. That first day back to school!

In my own family, we just made it through another long summer of not-enough-to-keep-settled, a kid who craves structure and routine. We do our best but school is the sun in her universe and without it, she’s a planet wobbling off course.  Read full post »