Tehya is our blue eyed blonde haired 6 year old daughter, she is a real character, always my shadow and helper (even when I'm not fussed on receiving the 'help' at the time)
Tehya was diagnosed with Aspergers in 2013, she's a people pleaser and an awesome actress, many of you wont see how hard she struggles because her front is so well displayed in public.
Very few people see the sensory seeking, the anxiety, the stimming and even fewer see the meltdowns, only a handful have seen the violent meltdowns we face.
Tehya relies heavily on scripting speech patterns, her voice, accent and even body posture changes for different phrases she has picked up from tv shows or Disney movies. She will script back and forth for an entire movie if you join her!
She has never been good at lying or sugar coating, if she thinks it, she says it. Often stating the obvious and being blunt which occasionally hurts people's feelings.
We strive with routine and predictability, we drive the same route no matter where we are going, we stop for juices at the fuel station on our way, there is rarely room for sporadic activity as anywhere 'off' can send anxiety levels soaring.
Tehyas senses are out of sync, her sense of smell is super human, her hearing not so much, her hearing tests show that her hearing fluctuates between normal and moderate loss depending on the time. She seeks sensory input for all other senses, has a limited diet and pica tendencies now which is a far cry from the oral evasion we faced through toddler years. Tehya loves to run, spin and jump and have the pressure from heavy tight blankets, gravitation pull and squeezes to regulate. And clothing has to be 'just right'!
Tehya is a literal thinker, Idioms, puns, nuances, inferences, metaphors, allusions, jokes and sarcasm are often lost on her until thoroughly explained.
Tehya isn't neccasarily a 'runner' but she wanders, she gets distracted and dashes off without a second thought, with no fear of anything, she will dash out the front doors of the shopping centre and run straight for the road. This wandering has caused us to lose her at times, which is very scary... once we found her with her head stuck (literally stuck) in clothing racks... Yep she needs whiskers!
Tehyas EEG earlier this year came back clear but our paed is still unsure. Tehya has episodes that mimic characteristics of absent seizures, she will pause doing whatever she is doing and her face will change and she becomes unresponsive for a minute or two, on their own absent siezures don't have ill affects but if Tehya was to have one whilst crossing the road she would stop instantly, if she was climbing at the time she could lose balance. This is the concerning part of these episodes.
An autism assistance dog would make our lives so different, we wouldn't have to worry about Tehya hiding under the chair at the doctors or running into traffic or having as many or as full on meltdowns or even be overly worried about her sleepwalking. An autism assistance dog is trained specific to the childs needs, for Tehya that means a companion, a dog that has access to go into public places with her, that knows how to calm her anxiety, distract and re-route her attention to curve an oncoming meltdown, to be harnessed together and is trained to sit when Tehya tries to bolt. To sleep by her and nudge to go back to bed instead of her pacing circles around the room multiple times a night, running outside or coming into our bed every night with no memory of doing any of these. A dog that can possible warn of an oncoming unresponsive episode, all of that and so much more than your average four legged friend!
An autism dog is unique, unique to that child, uniquely trained to deal with autistic children. We need our super hero autism assistance dog.
- Lyndell Simpson
- Mcity Church
- Ngaire Hb
- Gary Peck
- Jess Queen
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