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Garibay Soup: Autism... I think it's touching our family

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Autism... I think it's touching our family

I don't talk too often about Jayden and the fact that I believe he is autistic. It isn't something that is so extreme that I feel the need to search for a support group, but it is something that is there. He's a social boy, he's sweet, loving and very smart.

Today while picking Jayden up from school his teacher approached me and mentioned to me that she notices that Jayden has a hard time..... and I cut her off with, "Focusing?" Yup, nailed it right on the nose. I get this. I get that Jayden is also different and do I expect special treatment? Absolutely not, but I expect extra understanding. Thankfully, Jayden got with what I think is going to be an amazing teacher! She has been teaching for 24 years, which means she has loads of experience and hopefully patience.

I finally decided to bring up the big "A" word. I explained that we think Jayden has a mild form of Autism, and she had this look of relief all over her face. It is the exact thing she was thinking, but didn't want to be the first to come out and say it. I'm relieved that she thinks this! I'm relieved, because I have been told over and over again that Jayden is normal.... well, first off there is no normal, and second off I'm 110% that Jayden is Autistic. He has no extreme case here, in fact some people would never get it, but we get it.

I think I'm getting to the point where I need to read up, find a support group and find out what I as a parent can do to help him out. We have always treated Jayden differently and understood certain behaviors. My husband and I have ALWAYS been on board with each other on understanding why Jayden seems to be a bit different. Jayden's "different" has always been Jayden. We have loved every bit of him and thanked God for his sweet, sweet soul.

The fact that Jayden might have a spectrum of autism really is making me think long and hard tonight.  It's something I always have known is a possiblity, but it's never been "confirmed".  We had a referral to see a specialist in Eugene, OR, but something held me back.  A lady at school analyzed Jayden and said, there's no way he's autistic, because he's too social.  Okay, I know he's social, and I know he's not this full blown autistic child, but there is something going on here.  This something, which I believe is autistic, is definitely something about Jayden that I love.  He is a soul that I love and everbody who comes in contact with him loves.

I love how my son is sweet to the core, how he thinks of others, how he is talented, how he is him.  Is it part of his autism?  I don't believe so, but a part of me feels like he will never be tainted by the evil world I see around us.

Perfect example is he clings to good things.   He clings to good morals, and I cannot explain how wonderful that is to me.  Today he had a friend over and they were playing video games and I heard the boy say "God." of course it was in a way that most humans say it, in a way they don't realize that they are using it.  Jayden immediately picked up on it and corrected him.  That to me just shows what a sweet, moral, loving, precious soul he is.... and I don't believe that has anything to do with autism.

I can't put my finger on why it is that Jayden is different, and I just am thankful that he is who he is.  I think I am ready to put one foot in front of the other as I attempt to accept what it is that Jayden is, learn what I can do as a parent to help him grow, and be thankful that God blessed me with him, because he is wonderful.

If you are a parent of an autistic kid, please chime in and help to understand where I begin.  I know where to begin with Jayden, but I need support.. I need to know what I need to know, and if you are a parent of an autistic child you may be able to help me.  Jayden is extremely high functioning... a person probably would never be able to even tell, unless they really knew him.




Blogger Jenni Saake (a.k.a. InfertilityMom) said...

I don't personally have experience with autism, but I thought you might be interested to know that it is being studied by the same research group that's studying my illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, because they can both be classified as Neuro-Immune conditions. You might want to take a look at Whittemore Peterson Institute - I've blogged a lot about them on my InfertilityMom.blogspot.com :)

September 18, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Stefany said...

I have worked with several autistic children on various levels. I used to do work with Judevine Center for Autism (you might want to google them for good info). I will tell you that the vast majority of autistic kids are really lacking in the social skills. If he has them, that is wonderful and a blessing.

I would very much recommend you get him to see a specialist and get a firm diagnosis. With a diagnosis, Jayden can get help in the school system, at home or otherwise. It is really good for him and you to get that.

September 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous PrincessJenn said...

I don't know Jayden's symptom's, but if it's trouble focusing, have you explored Sensory Processing Disorder? It's quite often grouped in with mild autism because so many symptoms are the same, but kids with it don't have the social concerns that many with autism have.

My daughter has SPD and it manifests in strange ways. Sleep issues, OCD hand washing, balance problems, and a difficulty focusing to name a few.
A great book on this is The Out-of-Sync child.

September 18, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Sarah R said...

There are many different forms of autism in the whole spectrum. My sister worked at a home for autistic children (so obviously these cases were pretty severe, as the kids didn't live at home with their families) but she is just amazed at all the things they CAN do, and again; these are more extreme cases, so I'm sure she would be very immpressed with Jayden.

I find that there are certain things that make ALL kids unique. Relish, celebrate, and embrace that part of Jayden (as it sounds like you are). He is a beautiful and caring, sweet boy from everything I have read.

September 19, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Mommy Reporter said...

What makes you think your son is autistic? Don't all kids have trouble focusing from time to time? I don't have any experience with autism, but I hope you figure out what is wrong if there is a problem. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

September 19, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger The Favorite Doshier's said...

hi Amanda,
I know this comment is late but Im just getting back to reading all of your posts from the last couple of weeks.
I love your son so very much, and agree that he is such an amazing spirit. I am glad that someone is paying attention and trying to help him gain his most potential.
I have some great books for you

September 24, 2009 at 7:07 AM  

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