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    Posted June 17, 2014 by
    Sunnyside, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Raising a special needs child

    My child has Autism

    Nicolas, is our 3rd child out of 5, he was diagnosed at age 3yrs old with Autism. My sister was a para-educator and worked with children with Autism and would tell me to get him tested. He didn't crawl, hold his sippy cup, walk, or really cry he just kind of sat there. We would have to guess at what he wanted and his older brothers did the same thing, they would even hold his sippy cup for him and knew what he wanted by certain gestures. We finally started the process at his 18mos Well-Child Checkup, because he never met his milestones crawling, walking, talking, and didn't respond to his name never pointed at anything and had this hand twirling thing. Didn't play with the toys or other kids, he would line cars, cards, & toys up, and just look at them. Would get upset if they we're moved out of his order. We started speech therapy after he was 2yrs old thinking this was probably the problem that he didn't get a chance to do things on his own because he couldn't talk and his older brothers did or brought everything to him. He started learning words but also made up his own jibbersh after a while, we had to teach him to nod or shake his head for yes or no, even showed him some sign language. When he finally diagnosed with Autism I thought great what in the world is this and what did I do wrong in my pregnancy. I had no clue on how to help him, I cried every time any one would mention his name or ask about him I didn't know what the future would hold for him and how would other people or kids would treat him. I became very protective of him, I was always on the defensive side, because I didn't like how people would stare when he would throw a tantrum, do his jibbersh or twirl his hands. Family members thought oh just put him in timeout or spank him he will learn his lesson. I finally realized that I had to take one day or challenge at a time. He is now 9yrs old who is very smart loves Angry Birds& Pac-man, has a pphotogenic memory when it comes to things he likes and can draw it from memory. We still have our challenges especially now that he is in school try to get the principal and teachers to understand him and do what's best for him. Everyday I need to run down a list with him about appropriate behavior, keeping hands to himself, & not throw food on the floor if he doesn't like it. And especially trying to remember to think before he says stuff about people's ordors or the way they look and try to understand other people's feelings. He was diagnosed 2yrs this September with Childhood Absence Epilepsy, for awhile this was hard to deal with people thought he was twirling or rolling his eyes on purpose or saying what when he came to from his seizure. I thought oh my God, why am I going through this? But I love Nicolas, he and I have a special bond and usually I am the only one who can talk him out of his tantrum or to try things new. He is always happy to see me and once in a great while he tells me, "ok, can I hug you, ok that's enough". And then lets go. I've always told him he can go to college, and now he says when we go to college. I hope for so much for Nicolas, and maybe that he will find that someone special. I pray that I can help him be independent, because I know I won't be around forever. But I want him to be safe and loved.
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