To see as those with autism

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 19, 2017

Parents by nature want to always fix whatever may be wrong with their child, from something as little as a bump or scrape to a major disease.

Even in instances when your child is diagnosed with an irreversible condition, you do everything in your power to help ensure that your child thrives and excels to become the best person he or she can be.

Having two kids on the autism spectrum has been a journey and continues to be for me. I am a hands-on proactive mother and will continue to fight for my kids no matter how old they get. People often say that I am a blessing to my kids, but it is really my kids who are a blessing to me.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In October 2010 I found myself sitting on the floor rocking, wringing my hands, humming and silent trying to feel what it felt like to be in my son’s world. I wanted to understand the place that he was in so that I could help him try to get out.

Then almost two years later along came my daughter doing familiar hand flicking and I knew I had another child with autism. I felt a little ahead of the game though from doing my own extensive research online and having therapists that would come to the house for early intervention, but it was still challenging.

Every day was touch and go, learning how to help them and trying to help conquer things that bother them. America’s Funniest Videos, something a lot of us watch on Sundays, was not something that I could put on the television in my home because both of my kids would have a meltdown.

One day I put it on in another room where they could not hear it. As I sat silently with my eyes closed I felt so overwhelmed hearing the noise of the video; people laughing, the host talking.

Everything sounded so intense, like it was blending in, that I felt like I wanted to scream. In that moment I realized how it felt to my kids.

However, upon opening my eyes I was able to filter what I was hearing and could focus on just the video or just the people laughing without taking in everything at once. This is an example of how people with autism cannot filter things and feel overwhelmed. As my kids have gotten older, they are learning how to build up a tolerance to certain things that bother them and are doing well.

Overall the autism journey has been amazing. It has been one of despair, faith, love and hope. Looking back, I am in awe at how far both my kids have come.

As we press on down this pathway, I will never forget those dark days my kids slowly emerged from and will be forever grateful to God every day.

By Dina Simoneaux