Adventures With Autism and Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

So, basically, what I’m gathering from various “experts” I’ve come in contact with, is that I’m not supposed to play with Emily.

I am never to enter her world, but rather, she must be dragged, kicking and screaming, into “our world.”

Everything is a “behavior” that needs to be corrected, addressed with some type of therapy and eliminated.

Really?

Why is everything my kid does related to Autism? Why is every moment of every day supposed to be spent changing things… changing… her. Don’t most kids in her age group play? Aren’t most parents allowed to play along?

For example, just yesterday, I was once again reprimanded for “playing along” with Emily’s scripts (or delayed echolalia, if you wish).

Yes, I’m fully aware of the irony/hypocrisy of listing echolalia as the behavior to target, then complaining when it’s targeted. Just… go with it.

She uses many of her memorized phrases in context, which means she is figuring out the “proper” use of some words, right? Don’t all children begin speaking by repeating things? Well, my kid expands her vocabulary by first repeating phrases, then figuring out what they mean (sometimes with help from her parents). Granted, NT kids stop this by about age two or something and mine didn’t.

Why is something you make her say over and over and over and memorize in Discrete Trial ABA any different than something she hears over and over and memorizes? I don’t get how one form of learning is right and one is wrong. It’s learned. Get over yourselves.

For instance, her saying, “Ollie, sit down!” when she wanted me to sit and play with her on the floor. This was a memorized script from Wonder Pets, from an episode where Ollie the bunny was told to sit down in the moving Flyboat. Emily knew that this most closely resembled what she wanted to say, so she used it. After a while, I started to sort of shape it. I told her, jokingly, “my name isn’t Ollie, silly.” Once, I got as far as “if you call me Mommy, I’ll sit.” She just sort of stared at me. I didn’t think it was getting through.

Sure enough, about a week later, she started asking, “will you sit down?” and patting the floor. She had been listening. She learned. From her mommy, not a therapist. Wow. How about that??

Do I correct her when random phrases that have nothing to do with anything (to me) escape her lips? Sometimes. Usually only if it is causing some kind of problem, such as getting in the way of an important conversation (such as explaining why she shouldn’t cut her own hair!).

There are also things I correct because I think about what the social repercussions would be for her. Basically, I look at a behavior and ask myself, “would she be bullied over that?” If the answer is “yes,” then I step in. Otherwise, there are some things I put in the “she does that for fun” category. She is four-years-old, after all. Still a small child.

She has the right to have fun, to be silly, to sing and recite with her loved ones if she so desires!

I realize I am seeking help/services from people, so I’m asking for criticism to an extent. However, I don’t wish to change everything about my daughter. I’m not coming to them saying “I hate my kid, can you give me a new one?” No. I’m saying “help my kid have less meltdowns,” or “help her understand things don’t always go as planned.”

I LOVE my daughter. I LOVE her quirky side. I just want her to be happy in this life. I don’t see how turning her favorite playmates (Mommy and Daddy) into Drill Sergeants accomplishes that.

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Comments on: "It’s her party and I’ll join if I want to!!" (1)

  1. You do not have to bring her into “our” world. You can change “our” world into one that is good for her. I have a son with autism which was a huge problem when he was 3. I couldn’t take the behaviors where, if he was overstimulated, he would bang his head until he had bruises. So we understimulated our house and, yes, our life. We have a strict scheduled that he learned to depend on. We do not overdo on the holidays. We do not take him out to eat or out to any overstimulating communities. We do go to the zoo because where he gravitates to the petting zoo where he will spend hours petting the animals there. We take him to the fair where he zeroes in on the big egg with the hatching chickens. Blocking out all else, he will sit and watch the baby chickens hatch out of the eggs for hours. When I would take him to the grocery store, I would sit him in the cart with him holding his 2 favorite toys in each hand, with his hood pulled down so he would not be overstimulated by everything going on around him.
    Today he is a young adult who can pick and choose what he wants to do. He is not a behavior problem, and our life with him has been calm for the most part. Being a parent is stressful enough without creating stressful situations. It may not have been approved by the professionals, but they do not have to live their lives with a child with autism.

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