The Struggle is Real

Kristy Hartford-Harv By Kristy Hartford-Harv, 21st May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Children's Health

Read about a struggle that one in sixty-three family's also go through. A disability that aint picky and don't care if your rich, poor, what race you are or what gender. There is no known reason why it happensd and there is no cure. These are facts I've learned over the years of helping my daughter through her struggle.

Our Struggle; The begining

Our daughter was only three years old when we found out about her having what is known as Autism or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
We didnt know what to expect. We didn't know what to think about the news of her having autism.
When we found about her autism it took us by surprise.
At first it didn't seem real, My daughter seemed fine, She didn't look any different. How could they tell? What did autism look like?
Was this something that would effect her for a short time, or for the rest of her life?
We learned that Autism was a life long disability, and it wasn't going to just go away with a pill or a surgery.
So we accepted the news about her disability and did what any parents who loved there child would do we loved her and lived with it, and we made the best out of a situation that was now a part of our lives.

We read books and surfed the web so we could learn more about her disability.
We learned that she would always be different from other kids her own age. She would learn at a slower pace and not as fast. Simple tasks like jump rope, riding a bike and throwing a ball was going to take her longer. Talking, reading and writing would also take her longer but we knew it wasn't going to be easy and what choice did we have.
She was our little girl and we would never stop loving her.

Weeks after we found out about her autism, I needed to know why? I must of asked myself, the same questions over and over. Like why or how this could this happen. Was it my fault?
Later on I found out that anything could of been responsible for her autism.
We learned that one possibility could be a possible genetic problem or syndromes.
Also not to be ruled out any severe infection or infections that could of affected the brain like: (meningitis, celiac disease, encephalitis, etc.)
And there was the possible exposure to any toxins or maybe an unknown illness during the pregnancy (rubella, chemicals, medications, etc.).
I have a few ideas based on some of those possibilities,
Like the fact I was prescribed the antidepressant called Zoloft by my doctor during my pregnancy.
Also I was employed by a motel in housekeeping, where I used many chemicals every day for the first 9 weeks of my pregnancy.
There isn't anything set in stone that caused my daughters autism. But I do know Autism effects 1 - 63 kids.
As it lies today there is no known cure for autism. In most cases, medications and/or dietary restrictions could help control symptoms.
Its important that a Intervention should begin when the child is young.
Early intervention and preschool programs are very important to the child's social skills.
An evaluation by an SLP should be completed early to determine the child's social skill, communication, language, and behavior needs.
It very important to establish an appropriate treatment plan that meets the needs of the child and the family.
Treatments may include any combination of traditional speech and language approaches, augmentative and alternative communication, and behavioral interventions.
It is also important to have the child's hearing evaluated to rule out any chance of hearing loss.

Diagnosing Autism

Before you can start helping your child. You will need some help getting a proper diagnoses.
I wish it was as easy as taking a trip to your child's regular pediatrician, but it ain't.
Your child's pediatric is however the first step.
He/She will be able to get you the referrals your going to need to seen.
Your child needs to go through several tests, by what are called SLPs other known as Speech language pathologists.
It is important to have your child evaluated by these professionals who know about autism.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), are typically part of the team, that can diagnose autism.
Others in this team might include pediatricians, neurologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and developmental specialists, among other professionals.
SLPs play a main key role, Mostly because of the problems with social skills and communication.
Social skills and communication are often the first symptoms of autism.
So SLPs should be consulted early in the evaluation process. There are a number of tests and observational checklists available to evaluate children with developmental problems. The most important information however, comes from the parents and caregivers who know the child best.
They will be able to tell the SLP and others professionals everything about the child's behavior.

Common Behaviors

Children with this disorder are known to have social, communication and language problems.
They also may have restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, Echolalia, or excessive smelling or touching of objects.

Autism may be mild or severe, it varies from child to child and children with autism don't always have the exact same problems. They usually have the following social and communication skills and a lot of the same common behaviors:

These children may have problems using social skills to connect with other people. Or may seem to be in his/her own world.
It may be hard for him/her to share a common focus with another person about the same object or event. This is known as Joint Attention.

Some have a hard time when it comes to playing with others and/or sharing toys, They may have a hard time understanding feelings; but for most children, they find it difficult to make and keep friends.

Most children may have trouble with communication skills like understanding a conversation while talking with others, and may also have a difficult time when it comes to reading or writing skills.

Sometimes he/she might lose words or other kind of skills that he/she may have used before.
These children may have problems when it comes to
understanding and using gestures, like
pointing, waving, or showing objects to others.

Following directions, understanding and using words is a struggle, Just as having conversations or learning to read or write can be most challenging for most of these children as well.

In some cases he/she may read early, but might not be able to understand the meaning of what they have read, this is called Hyperlwant.  

Children with autism may repeat words that they just heard or words that they may have heard days or weeks earlier, this is what we call Echolalia (pronounced : ek-o-lay-le-a).

These children may talk with little expression or may use a sing-song voice when communicating sometimes just because they like the way it sounds to them.

Most children with autism may have trouble changing from one activity to the next.
And sometimes may show a display of behavior such as a flapping of there hands, sometimes a rocking motion, or spinning or staring.
Most of these children will get upset over certain sounds, and will only eat a very few types of food.
Almost all have a limited and unusual interests like talking about one topic over and over or they will keep staring at one toy for hours.

There are other problems with social uses of language, some could have a social communication disorder, often known as a Pragmatic Language Disorder.
All children with autism will have social communication problems. Children with other disorders also may have social communication problems.
Often enough a child may just have a social communication disorder. These children with social communication problems may or may not have other language disorders.
Language disorders often include problems with vocabulary, grammar, reading, or writing. 

Most often a social communication disorder may lead to behavior problems.
Children may become frustrated because of their communication problems. All because he/she may not be able to share their wants or needs or express themselves.
And most usually use tantrums or fits ( also known as a meltdown) to tell you what he/she does or does not want.
This type of behavior should not be aloud. Correct him/her as soon as this kind of behavior is shown. Most cases if not corrected right away and left untreated the child may develop this behavior as a bad habit and it could cause your child to have bigger problems as he/she gets older.

Then we have the children who have social communication problems without restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities these are usually diagnosed as having a Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder rather than an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

An SLP may work with your child at home, in the classroom, or in an office.
Your child might work on some goals alone or in small groups. Small groups allow your child to practice skills with other children.

An SLP will help your child understand, talk, read, and write. SLPs work with children on social skills too. They also work with children who don't talk at all. An SLP may help your child:
develop joint attention; to play and get along with others; to understand and use gestures to communicate; and follow directions.

An SLP will help your child understand and use words. Your child may learn to ask and answer questions; or ask for help; or take turns in a conversation; or even start or stop a conversation.

SLPs also work on reading and writing. Your child may learn to look at books and tell stories;write letters, words, and sentences.

An SLP may use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with your child. AAC should be used at home and when you go out. It's not just for school. AAC includes sign language; gestures; pictures, photos, objects, or videos; written words; computer, tablets, or other electronic devices.
Many children with autism can benefit from AAC. AAC may even help children learn to talk.

Children with autism may not like the way some foods look, taste, or smell. They may not like how some foods feel in their mouth. Your child may
refuse new foods; or avoid foods with different textures, colors, or tastes; some will eat a limited number or kinds of foods.
An SLP can help your child accept new foods as well.


Autism, Autism In Children, Autism Screening, Autism Signs, Autism Spectrum, Autism Therapy, Autistic Children Behavior, Disability

Meet the author

author avatar Kristy Hartford-Harv
I'm 38, an Aries, and a wife of 3 yrs. I'm also a mother of a 20 yr old boy and a Autism mom of a 12 yr old girl. I enjoy spending my free time drawing, writing poems and short stories,

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author avatar Legend
25th May 2015 (#)

I know several people with children like yours. It can be very difficult! i wish you success

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
25th May 2015 (#)

Thanks for sharing your story of raising an autistic child.

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