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    Posted March 29, 2012 by
    Morgantown, West Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Life with autism: Share your story

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    Bobby's World

    Our 7 year old son, Bobby, was diagnosed a couple of months shy of his 3rd birthday. Bobby is on the moderate to severe end of the spectrum. He is happiest when he is engaging in sensory activities. He loves to jump, swim, ride with Daddy on their Rhino, ride in the car and sit by himself and play in the dirt, sand, beans and other mixtures that Mommy creates just for his amusement. Bobby also loves to create "masterpieces" by lining up his blocks, legos, cars, road signs, and other building set pieces.

    Bobby does not like to be in crowds, go into gymnasiums, get his hair cut, interact with other kids (unless jumping or swimming is involved), sit in a classroom, or wait for anything.

    Bobby goes to school at a regular school, however, he spends all of his school day in the autism classroom on a modified schedule.

    The most difficult aspect of autism in our family is Bobby's inability to communicate effectively. Bobby is caught in between non-verbal and verbal. He can label about 50 things. He can tell us what he wants to drink and eat but cannot tell us if something hurts, why he is upset or happy, where he would like to go, what happened at school today, what he would like to do for his birthday, what he would like Santa to bring him for Christmas or just basic things that we all take for granted. We don't know what Bobby knows. Does he know his colors, numbers, shapes? He isn't testable, but I feel deep down that he knows everything that is going on around him. I also feel that he doesn't love school because he is bored, still working on numbers and colors after all of these years. Will he learn to read, write? Does he already know how? We have so many questions and are trying to find the key that unlocks the answers.

    What is going to happen to Bobby when his father and I are both gone? He is an only child. Who is going to take care of him. These are the questions and fears that keep me, his mother, up at night.

    I have learned so much from Bobby, with the greatest lesson being that material possessions do not make a person happy. Bobby is perfectly happy playing with dirt and water while most of his toys sit in their orginial condition untouched on the shelves in his bedroom. Bobby loves nature unlike any other person that I know. He loves to sit in the woods that surround our home and look up at the trees while he feels the breeze on his face. He doesn't care about what clothes or shoes that he is wearing, in fact, he would prefer not to be wearing any at all! The latest trends and fads have no meaning to Bobby. He still prefers to watch the same few television shows that he likes (Elmo's World and Blue's Clues) over and over, he doesn't know about Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift or any of the other celebs that the other kids his age are idolizing. He does, however, know who Alex Trebex is and he likes to quote, "What is...?", "What is....?", "What is...?"

    It's hard dealing with the medical issues that have come along with Bobby's autism. He has a seizure disorder, intestinal issues and some other minor medical issues that are extremely hard to work on because of his behavioral issues. He can't wait in a waiting room for his medical appointments, he will not allow doctors to examine him, he will not cooperate with medical tests in fact it takes a few people to hold him just to take his temperature.

    It just depends on the day and Bobby's behavior on how well we, his parents, deal with the issues that autism has brought into our lives. Most days I do well, but every once in a while it comes to the point where I just want to crawl under the bed covers and never come out.

    I have heard other parents say that they would not get rid of autism if they could because it is who their child is. Well, I am not one of those parents, I would get rid of the behavioral, communication, and medical issues that Bobby has to deal with, without ever looking back!!!

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