We hear it talked about quite a bit these days. There's quite a bit of Autism awareness going around which is a good thing. It is an often misunderstood disorder. No one knows for sure what causes it. Originally, "refrigerator mothers" were supposed to be the cause. Soon that was ruled out. Recently, there was a big debate over whether or not vaccinations caused Autism. It seems that the researcher responsible for that theory cooked his research a bit so they are probably not the cause either. The current theory is there is a genetic predisposition which is triggered by something environmental. So, really, we are back at square one and don't know what causes it at all.
Autism is a "spectrum disorder" which means that it ranges in severity. There used to be other disorders related to Autism like Asperger's and PDD NOS but the definitions recently changed to bring both of the disorders I mentioned under the Autism umbrella.
So, why am I talking about this?
|Reason #1 and Reason #2|
But I love them anyway.
We knew something wasn't right when our oldest daughter wasn't talking by age 2. In fact, she wasn't responding to anything. So, we had her tested and went through a hearing test and she qualified for speech therapy. At age three, she entered preschool at the local school and at the time, she was completely nonverbal. She had her full evaluation prior to kindergarten this spring and was diagnosed with Autism. Her speech score was 68 which is still "severely impaired" but still a major improvement from 0.
|This is Gilbert. He is her favorite cat. He used to be "eeow" and then "cat' and then "kitty cat orange" but now he's named after the cat on Calliou. She has three identical beanie babies but this one is the only cat for her.|
|She was so happy and normal but what the camera doesn't see is the oober tantrum we had when it was time to get OFF the tractor.|
|We love bubbles. And also Pooh (he's on the couch behind her)|
I'd love to take them to Disney World but that's out even though they'd love it (a. too expensive; b. I'm not crazy enough to even try without an army of backup; c. I'm really not sure how the younger one would react to a giant Pooh).