How well do you know about Autism ? Is it a disease ? Is it contagious ? What’s the cause and how to cure it ?
It’s in human nature characteristic, when we hear a label like Autism that makes our mind wander all of those typical questions. I am not here to judge those people or any others so don’t get me wrong right away. Indeed, I used to be and had those very same questions and much more actually.
This is all about sharing experiences and personal stories with a simple hope,…………………..to create a sense of Acceptance from others and Awareness toward others as well.
My son been diagnosed ( develop some characteristics ) Autism in the mild spectrum since he was around 18-19 months old.
At first, me and my wife concerned due to delay of speech in his age so we decided to bring him to our regular pediatrician. During that time in the room, our pediatrician noticed something about our son being actively moving and it seems find it hard staying calm or sitting down properly with no eye contact directly. She strongly suggested us to bring him for just an observation to a specialist.
In short, we booked an appointment to a specialist for observation. At first, this specialist known for such a long waiting lists etc but somehow we managed to get it in short period of time, the next week actually we went there to see him.
The exact second, he told us that our son do have some characteristics heading toward the Autism Spectrum in mild category ……………. probably me and my wife kinda shut down for a moment, at least I am for sure because I kinda did a very skimming-brief research about speech delay, hyperactive and Autism couple days before the appointment. Then, those questions above spilled from our mouth asking the specialist,…..what, how, why and steps necessary immediately taken care of etc.
I just have to be bluntly honest here that for a short period of moment after the appointment finished, I looked at my son somehow a bit different from what I usually did previously. Don’t get me wrong, the heart full of love with feelings and emotions toward him never change a bit or diminish from me and my wife. Maybe it was more about me personally feeling “How could this happened ? Did I or we did something wrong during pregnancy ? Did we miss something unchecked ?”
Heck, I even felt at that moment by the end of the day, is this what you called Karma that we needed to struggle, endure and learn from it all in the road ahead ? Does me or my wife carry some sort of genes or chromosomes causing it ? Statistically speaking based on my own research, the Father genes and chromosomes etc keep popped up in the headlines on most articles I read.
We as a parent just like all of you guys out there, always strive for the best toward our children.
When we faced problems in the early stage after the birth such as fever and other illness etc, there is always some sort of assurance of a cure or medicines to overcome with. Even, we experienced a stage where our son had colic. Put it simply, it is a reflux gassy problems due to maybe issue within his intestines or digestive system. Colic itself is unknown cause per se but it is pretty much about gastrointestinal pain. One thing for sure that we endure moments such as our son would crying without any uncertain cause for an hour or so in the evening mostly. Crying seems to be the only way expressing his sort of “frustration” due to uneasy feeling within. Trust me, at that time did bring frustration stage because we tried to think what might be the cause in order to prevent it next time. In fact, when my mother in law stayed one night at our house, she did witnessed in front of her eyes during our son colic in the evening. My mother in law actually did pray Hail Mary in our prayer room while my son non stop crying on the next room. Me and my wife took turn from time to time in holding and hugging him close to our body.
Colic was one of those stage that we had to experience it all. We actually bought a book about Colic and read it while did some research the cause and how to handle or ease the pain for him. Simply, we bought a natural kinda like gripe water, from US by online purchase called ColicCalm ( natural charcoal based ). It did actually help a lot for our son to ease the discomfort gassy pain during every colic period happened.
Back to the Autism,….. so anyway, fortunately me and my wife did make great teamwork put both our minds together for all the essential steps needed to be taken immediately in handling our son condition. Bottom line, we did manual intervention therapies such as S.I ( Sensory Motor Integration ) – O.T ( Occupational Therapy ), and A.B.A ( Applied Behavior Analysis ).
Brief explanation about the therapies we applied to our son,
First was S.I which stands for Sensory Integration that aims to help him with sensory processing issues or disorder by techniques to expose our son by OT ( Occupational Therapist ) with many sensory stimulation in a well structured and repetitive way. The level of S.I activities gradually more challenging and complex. Why does it need to be repetitive way ? Just so our son will respond to those stimulus ( noise, tactile, taste and visual ) in a more “structured / organized” way to feel those sensations and movements.
Next one would be A.B.A, Applied Behavior Analysis. It is basically a form of intervention with learning theories to improve his positive change in social behaviors. This particular one was quite a hard struggle for our son to deal with because the method more traditional one on one in a setting of a room by sitting down properly in such manner.
Pretty obvious that it was gonna be hard as hell for him to cope with. Almost every single time, our son finished S.I and walked up to the 2nd level for A.B.A always involved crying out loud, screaming even heading toward occasional meltdown and tantrum. Please note the difference when you see another child in public places or dealing with your own child, in short, tantrum mostly has a purpose meaning your child has his/her own wants. On the other hand, meltdown usually something that beyond your own child’s control based on his reaction toward something dislike/discomfort. Both of it involves screaming, crying out loud, kicking, shouting, biting and any other aggressive form that they can express it all. The key to handle it both are by staying calm from yourself toward the child while observing the surrounding probability harm or danger to avoid instantly. Again, easier said than done, Yes ! Because I did many times by over reacting and some actual in a harsh way needed or instantly expressed out of me.
Just do your best with keep in mind, stay calm.
To be continue,….