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    Posted April 3, 2013 by
    Hughesville, Maryland
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living with autism: Out in public

    More from Ryn

    A Spoiled Rotten Kid?


    Isaac is my eleven year old grandson. He is on the Autism spectrum with PDD NOS  with Asperger Tendencies.  PDD NOS is Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Other Specified With Asperger Tendencies.

    If our paths were to cross in a public place such as grocery store or a favorite restaurant and it appeared as if we were having  not such a good day, these are some things I wish you knew. First please don't judge us. We are trying to work through the situation the best we have been trained.

    Often the child will have a very far away look on their face. They appear to be oblivious to their surroundings. Suddenly noise, loud conversation, music, dogs barking,, smell, bright lights, textures or touch can send a child on the spectrum into a full fledged panic melt down.  Please know my main goal is to calm this child down and get him out of the situation and out of the building as calmly and quietly as possible.This is for the sake of the child and your sanity as well. Children on the spectrum can range from very high functioning, intelligent kids with social  dysfunction and sensory problems to totally non verbal, unresponsive and anywhere in between.

    Isaac will be mainstreamed into a public middle school next year. He is an honor role student with social anxiety issues. This is a turbulent time for most children on the spectrum or not. He is quirky and a stickler for routine. He has his own space and no one enters it. I would not be honest if I said we were not concerned with this new change in his life. We are worried.

    In 2004 when Isaac was two years old he was expelled from a Montessori Pre School for disrupting class, anti social behavior  and not following instructions. Later in 2007 he was registered in a private Christian Kindergarten. Once again we were told he was disruptive,uncooperative, explosive and determined to escape through any door that he could get through. Isaac's teacher was very concerned and did everything she could to be patient and kind. She simply could not chase Isaac and manage her class. The administration said he had to go. He was a liability and they were not equipped to handle a child like Isaac.

    We were at long last connected to Kennedy Krieger, with John Hopkins in Baltimore. They specialize with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum. They have been a true blessing. Isaac visits regularly and they also work with the public school.  He is not on any medications. We use behavior modification techniques, family counseling, careful planning and acceptance that there are just something's we can not do with him .

    Family and friends love and accept Isaac's quirkiness. Our worry is how the world, out side our umbrella of protection, will treat him. In middle school he will change classes and teachers, even different kids in his classes. It has been heart breaking to watch this little guy play alone, eat alone (his own choice for the most part ) and never to be invited to birthday parties or play dates. We are fortunate that he is on the high end of the spectrum. Most of the time one would not know there was even an issue. Other times people wonder why this kid is licking the freezer door at the grocery store or twirling his Mom's pony tail over and over, just a couple of his odd behaviors. I will add that he has out grown the need to lick everything. Thank goodness!

    We are learning more about the mystery of the Autism Spectrum but not quickly enough. Why a 50% increase in the 6 years this child has been diagnosed? At the time of his diagnosis it was said to be one in one hundred children. Today it is one in every fifty children. Why? What is the cause?  We need an answer. This is an epidemic and is a growing concern for the school systems both public and private. We have to demand more research into the issues of having a child on the spectrum, the cause, the prevention, education and awareness. We need support and insurance that will cover early diagnosis by proper Doctors, Neurologists,  Psychiatrists and Psychologists and not by primary care doctors alone. We need insurance that will cover therapy, treatment and if need be medication.

    The key is Awareness Education Prevention and Cure!

    These are our children and our future

    A very concerned and proud Grandma in Maryland

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