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Autism Awareness Month Stories- Patty’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Patty Pacelli. 

Teaching My Autistic Son to Ride a Bike

I’m sure some children with autism learn to ride a bicycle just as well as any other child, but my son Trevor had a hard time with it, and more significantly, had practically zero interest in learning. According to HowtoLearn.com, bicycle riding is usually more difficult for children with autism. 

His older sister started learning to ride a bike at about 5 years old, being pushed from behind on a tiny bicycle with training wheels. She had a tricycle before that. Trevor rode the tricycle a little bit, but just wasn’t interested in even trying a two-wheeler. He was too entranced by other things. He would play outside, but spent a lot of time squatting down on the ground, playing with blades of grass or dropping leaves into the storm drains on our cul-de-sac. He seemed happy and content to walk around and Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Sara’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Sara Bathum.

The Letters

It’s the letters. Particularly a set of capital letters about six inches high, an eighth of an inch thick, and made of balsa wood. It just so happens they match exactly the font on a series of alphabet videos he loves to watch on YouTube – one quirky, upbeat, 90-second song for each letter. He painted his letters to match. A is blue. A is always blue. B is red. B is always red. C is yellow. C is always yellow. And so it goes all the way to Z.

Happiness for my son is getting all the way to Z.

To say he has a fondness for letters would be a tremendous understatement. Something akin to saying California is a little thirsty these days or I wish I was more helpful to my boy. I wish I knew and understood more. Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Emma’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Emma.

My son just turned five. When he was born he was a pretty typical baby, though some things were obviously slow to develop – walking, talking, even teeth coming in, all seemed to lag. The baby books, the sleep books, the parenting books that I so firmly believed in philosophically seemed to have little impact on this headstrong little guy. I wondered why parenting felt so hard, as I rocked my infant in my sling. Was it just extended postpartum depression? Was it that I truly wasn’t cut out for motherhood? Why did I feel so bitter? It was different, more difficult, and since I’m a pretty strong person I knew I wasn’t just wimping out. 

By the time he was two we started to talk more explicitly about his delays, and we were comfortable with him being different. I did some research and started to feel scared about autism. At the time Read full post »

Parental Self-Care and Autism

Ah life. Just when I think I’ve learned enough to graduate summa cum laude from the school of hard knocks, it reminds me that I am not done yet. There is always something new for me to learn.

Case in point: I took the day off from work to wrap up some matters related to my child’s “transition to adulthood”. By the way, at age 18, she is now officially known as “my adult” rather than “my child”. Sorry, but (unofficially) she will always be my child. Just as I am still my 81 year old mother’s child.

But back to that fateful day . . . I was feeling pretty good about crossing several things off my continuous-loop To Do List when I decided to text my husband and ask him to pick up a few things on the way home. (Tick tock. First decision)

On second thought, why bother him? I had the day off and that child, I mean adult of mine, would love to Read full post »

Life After Out-of-Home Placement: Interviews with Parents (Part 2)

Dillon is a happy thirteen year old young man with significant behavioral challenges who recently moved to a group home. His mom Sara shares their story with us today.

Lynn: What led to your decision to seek out of home placement?

Sara: I felt that out of home placement was something that would happen around age 18, but for us it came five years earlier than I had expected. My son Dillon is non-verbal, and a joy all the time, except for when he was screaming and biting himself, and later screaming and biting himself while attacking me. It was hard to determine the precise point at which my own lack of sleep and lack of ability to care for him got to be so profound as to be dangerous for him, for me, for our mother-son relationship, for my other kids. When ordinary life is hard, and it continually gets more difficult in small increments, it is impossible to remember that there might be a line, let alone know when you have crossed it. And when other people tell you that you can’t handle this, it is easy to defend all your choices, defend Read full post »