CNN PRODUCER NOTE ombience, of Conway, Arkansas, says, 'My favorite thing about autism is the innocence that these children carry in their hearts. Even though they may not act the best, their hearts are very pure.' Her daughter, 7-year-old A'jayln, loves Justin Bieber and creating riddles. 'The hardest part is accepting it,' ombience says. 'When you are in the process of searching for answers, it can drain you. Once you are able to accept that your child thinks differently, it makes it much easier.'
- ssesha, CNN iReport producer
A'jalyn had a late diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder. Last year we went to over 250 appointments! She has high functioning autism with some mental illnesses like OCD with it. From what I hear, this is very common. She was in a mental hospital the week before her 7th birthday for self harm. She started injuring herself last year. It started with tearing toilet paper, then blankets, then picking scabs, then tearing off toenails, and then she started knocking her teeth out. She is a hoarder. She will not throw anything away. She still has the wrapping paper from her birthday presents. She has a superior IQ, but is unable to use it in daily life. She still requires help doing most things. We have devoted our lives to her. For that, our other children have had to learn to adapt. We have drained every resource just to make her comfortable. We are currently facing the fact that we could be homeless. We have been trying to get disability for over a year. Even if we get max in our state, it is only a little over $700 a month; which will help. The real benefit would be better medical care. At this moment we have been giving the option of wrap around care or inpatient due to resources with therapy being exhausted. There are not many resources in Arkansas for autism. A'jalyn can speak, but she mixes her words up. She has no friends. She doesn't talk to other children. We didn't notice any problems with A'jalyn that stuck out until she was almost 4 years old. For a long time, we thought that if we did the right things she would be able to live a normal life. We have had to face the truth that she just doesn't think like us. I used to dream of all the things she would be. Now my every hope or thought goes to whether she will hurt herself too bad, or if she will even live to that point and if she does if it will be in a hospital. She is such a beautiful girl who loves to be funny. Everything in our lives revolves around this girl. I applaud everyone who has an autistic person in their lives for the strength that they have. I also applaud the autistic people who wake up every day to be told that they are just wrong. .that has to deal with the fears and craziness of this world without understanding why.
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