My amazing daughter turned four today. It's been difficult not seeing her everyday due to my divorce, and it's also difficult because she was recently diagnosed with autism. After being in education for about 13 years, I don't believe I've ever had a female student that would be considered autistic. [By the way, autism has no connection to vaccinations. End rant.] I've learned a lot about the condition, including the fact that boys are diagnosed four times as often as girls. Some have stated that there are more girls who have it and it's just underdiagnosed. Adelynn exhibits echolalia, consistently repeating what others say instead of putting sentences into the first person. My ex and I recently started trying the Wilbarger Protocol to help Adelynn reduce sensitivity to touch. We haven't seen any changes yet in her, but I'm hopeful that either her occupational or speech therapy will have an impact.
It's hard being a public school teacher and knowing that your daughter isn't like and probably won't be like the "regular kids." I have such a passion for connecting with others and I don't want my daughter to struggle with that. I've sat in on case conferences as an administrator, never truly knowing what parents of students who need special help feel like. As she enters preschool in the fall, this will be my chance to be an advocate on the other side of the table. She's not hesitant to touch people; rather, it's the opposite. She gives random people and especially other children big hugs and has a tough time respecting their personal bubble. I love that she's so caring and trusting of others, yet it's difficult not to feel nervous and concerned for the future. Even so, I know worrying won't solve anything. She's got an amazing smile and she's smart. She'll always be my boop, my mun-cheechee, my little princess, and my Tinkerbell. It's hard to believe that she's four already.
If your child is autistic, it'd be great to connect at my social links below. I still have plenty to learn and like in any other challenging situation I believe that support is critical. Thanks and take care.