Explosion

 

The word explosion has a two-fold meaning. It undertake the tone of violent or destructive shattering of something. On the other hand, this word can denote a rapid or sudden increase in amount/extent of something. In the case of language, it starts as a spew that leads to a kind of explosion. The development of language is part of the growth of personality, character and reflection of ourselves. Hence, words are the natural means of expressing thoughts, ideas or establishing understanding between people. There are many children like M that started with no language. However, with early intervention along with speech therapy many autistic children can overtime develop language on a large-scale. In this month alone M has developed an explosion of language. In fact M has started using two-word sentences on some occasions versus one word. One day I was in the middle of cleaning the kitchen when M came in and stated “oom com.” In honesty, I at first did not understand what M was saying. However, M was persistent in repeating “oom com.” Finally, M grabbed my hand and lead me to the den. It done on me M was saying “room come” aka ‘come to the room.’ M proceed not only point to the television but stated “t.v. pleaseeeeee.”  Not only that M shocked me by saying “I wa” aka ‘I want’ to express exactly what program to watch. M explosion of language is a special kind of beauty that has taught me there is no limit to M’s learning, which means there is no limit to M’s world.

Simply an autism mom learning

Advertisements

Auditory

It’s a relief to many to hear the rain. It’s the sound of billions of drops equally coming together to fall like a sudden outbreak of crashing glass. Water when it hit the earth instantly can become a puddle, fast-moving stream or a raging flood. Yes, even waterfalls or the outer ocean crashing on land are beautiful elemental sounds able to transport us on a relaxing journey. However, many children like M struggle with perceive sound made by someone of something. True auditory relate to the sense of hearing and hearing the faculty of perceiving sounds, M have difficulties with both side. M suffered countless ear infections which in turn affect the auditory range. However, once M had ear tube placement acute hearing became an issue. We took M to a local car hop eatery. All of a sudden M got extremely agitated and placed fingers in ears. We immediately checked M  for possible irritation or worse a bug bite/sting. Nothing was found, yet M was screaming/crying all the while maintaining fingers in the ears. Then all of a sudden we heard a loud blasting sound. A train was coming. For some the sound of a train can be romantic or nostalgic but for M it was a audio-sensory nightmare. In fact, M apparently heard the train well before we actually seen or heard the loud blast. We never did get to order and till this day M still become agitated when passing near this particular eatery. M taught me that everywhere you go there’s a soundtrack even if you can barely hear it and that our memory store those soundtracks  whether positive or negative.

Simply an autism mom learning

Texture(s)

We come to understand that the essence of all matter may consist of color, density, design, grain, and so forth. Hence, each matter set by their composition combined into intricate molecules assemble of another matter wonderfully bring forth textures. For many children on the autism spectrum, texture(s) go far beyond the feel of something. It can encompass their visual perception. In fact, the broad term of texture(s) highlight appearance or consistency of a matter/substance. Therefore, many children like M often mentally record, categorize and process the texture(s) of a substance/item not for pristine quality/perfection but rather sensation it has on their senses. One day I prepared some mashed potatoes for M. I put forth labor in peeling, boiling and mashing real potatoes. I even added all the trimmings to make the potatoes awesome. Yes, I thought my mashed potatoes looked appealing. M came to the dinner table. M did an examination of the plate and pushed it away. I did all the motherly techniques to get M to eat the potatoes. M turned into a ninja, hand/arms moving fast blocking every attempt I tried to get my awesome potatoes in mouth. After a few minutes, I had to step back from the situation. I needed to understand  M reason for dramatic response to eating my potatoes. After all, M loves mashed potatoes. Then it hit me, M processing of my mashed potatoes texture aka appearance was not connecting with senses. The bits of bacon, cheese, chives and few potato peel were perhaps too much. Looking back M only ate smooth plain mashed potatoes. I removed M plate and replaced it with the usual. Now M was smiling and humming eating simple mashed potatoes. M taught me food taste better when eaten in peace and that texture(s) go beyond touch too visual carrying very real emotions/reactions.

Simply an autism mom learning

 

Motherhood

“In a sane society no woman would be left to struggle on her own with huge transformation that is motherhood, when a single individual finds herself joined by an invisible umbilical cord to another person from whom she will never be separated, even by death” by Germaine Greer. These words are testimony to the state/experience of having or raising a child. In truth nothing can prepare you for a diagnose of your child being autistic even if your gut instinct tell you something is not quite right. As a mother, I experienced heartache over M official medical diagnose. So many questions of why/what if and emotions overcame me. I remember crying into my own mother arms. In her loving wisdom, my mother reminded me M was my blessing  and my loving Creator would not let me struggle on my own. Yes, autism does not mean the end but instead a new outlook of motherhood. Like all mothers you’re overjoyed when your child tell you they love you or call you momma. However, many children like M either start out with language then lose it or start with no language than gain it. In M case there was no language in the beginning. In fact M had early intervention. This helped M gain basic sign language. However, it would be years before M by means of therapy speak. When M first learned the words love you it was random and just words with no emotion/human connection. It was not until one day M took my face into those tiny hands and looked right into my eyes and said “love you.” Tears of joy overcame me. I learned that being M mom take on a different state of experiences in child rearing. Hence, these experiences with M taught me the beauty of courage and strength in motherhood.

Simply an autism mom learning

Serenity

Life in general is full of unknowns or uncertainties. Thus, everyone has a different way of handling the stress/anxiety of life. Many children like M have trouble managing life stresses. In fact such feeling of worry, nervousness or unease can strike at any time. An major event such as going to school or something with an uncertain outcome like going shopping in general can create stress/anxiety. Therefore, creating a daily picture schedule is important. This has helped M in processing daily expectations and reduction of stress level. However, even with the best laid out plan/routine things happen. On one particular day, M had a wonderful morning without any issues. We attended a meeting with M everything was going well. Until all of a sudden M fell onto the floor covering eyes. In that moment my detective mom side was on duty. Yes, some bystanders did not understand what was happening. As I looked around to better understand M sudden mood change, I noticed one of the fluorescent light bulb was flickering in the room. Bingo, M was experiencing sensory stress/anxiety aka meltdown. I quickly hit the switch to cut the lights out. Of course, a bystander tried to switch light back on but I explained my reason. Once the lights were off, I calmly talked to M. After the perceived stress had passed, M started self-regulating habit of humming in order to get to calmness. Moments like this with M taught me the importance of not only staying calm but instilling serenity skills into M.

Simply an autism mom learning