The A-Z of Autism

a to z of autism
When my first child was diagnosed with autism 13 years ago the first thing I did was searched the internet for answers. I wanted to know what kind of life he would have, how autism would affect him, would he be happy, the internet is a varied place and I found little of use. Way back when I wrote over on my old blog I wrote a series called The A-Z Of Autism, each month was a letter of the alphabet and a list of words associated with that letter, for example, A is for Anxiety, I then gave a brief description of how that word meant to us as an autism family. 

It was 5 years ago when I wrote the last so I am sure there will be plenty of new words! There is a new letter each fortnight, so the entire alphabet will take a year to complete. I hope it will become a useful resource for newly diagnosed looking for answers, parents who have been diagnosed for a while and looking for familiarity, a resource for all. 

So before we begin lets starts with what is autism? If you google it will tell you: Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that appears during childhood. It impacts social skills, communication skills and emotional skills. 

Children with autism often present with restricted, rigid and even obsessive behaviours. These can be surrounding their activities or interests. You may find they have an obsessive attachment to a specific object, these can be unusual also, such as a teaspoon as one of my 3 became attached too. They may also have repetitive body movements such as hand flapping, rocking or kicking. The important thing to remember is this list is not exhaustive, and if you have met one person with autism, you have met just one person with autism, as they are all so wonderfully different. In our house, we have 1 adult and 3 children on the spectrum and they all have their own unique quirks!

For us we noticed early on with L that he was different, he hated to be tickled, was a serious child yet also wise beyond his years! He started nursery at 18 months and it became obvious he was different, the diagnosis process was started and he got his diagnosis aged 3. Our 2nd to be diagnosed was Pops, she was developing well and was way ahead of her milestones. Just after her 1st birthday, it appeared someone shut a switch off and she went backwards overnight, she stopped speaking, walking and sleeping! I recognised some traits similar to her brother and informed my health visitor. She brushed me off and told me I was being neurotic and looking for something that wasn't there. She refused to refer us as she was only 2. I ended up taking Pops along to one of L's CAHM's appointments, L's Doctor immediately saw what I did and Pops was diagnosed within 5 months. For Dj he struggled all the way through primary, my advice is to get the help aligned while they are young if you can. Both L and Pops were diagnosed before school, once in school, it all comes about money and paperwork. Dj never settled in school, found friendships difficult, had little attention span and ended up being presumed to have ADHD. We went through the CAHM's process and he was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 9.

I suppose my above ramble is a little off-piste in regards to the A-Z of autism, but it helps a little with our story. I suppose what I want to say is you know YOUR child and if you think something is wrong go with it.

Every 2nd Monday I will post an A-Z of Autism post and hopefully it will help you understand a little about the wonderful world of autism.
Thanks For Reading

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