April is Autism Awareness Month...So Let's Raise Awareness!
I want to tell you about my little guy, Kaden. He is 3 1/2 and one thing he is being treated for is high functioning Autism - PDD-NOS. 1 in every 54 boys is diagnosed with some sort of Autism. We fought hard for a long time to get someone to believe us that something was "just a little off" about him. Not because we wanted a diagnosis, but because we needed help with our parenting. We needed someone to teach us how to teach him basic skills.
When I was pregnant, I knew he was going to be different than my first child. Then he was born. It was one problem after another, we couldn't get him to eat, we couldn't get him to sleep. He always had to be moving and cried if I wasn't bouncing him. He would get on all fours and rock back and forth for hours. He had severe acid reflux and allergies to almost everything. In all of his pictures, he was looking down at the floor; he never looked up. He got older and started talking, then completely stopped. We couldn't get anyone to do anything for us because he was so young and didn't meet certain guidelines. We finally had a meeting with a group of therapists in Arizona. They agreed he didn't meet the guidelines but qualified him anyways because they knew "something was different" about him.
His therapist started using behavior and communication therapies and before long, he was using sign language and communicating with us!! We started doing our research into Autism. We started using therapies and suggestions from Autism foundations. We found that the therapies used for autistic children to help them become successful individuals worked for our son, Kaden. He is now successful with his communication, his behavior and his social skills. He still requires work every day and some days are better than other. Without these therapies though, we don't know where he would be on the learning spectrum. I am so thankful for the research done for Autism because it has given me the tools to allow me to help my son.
I have several friends and family who tell me Autism "isn't real" or doctors are too quick to diagnose kids these days. I was never looking to label my son or to have him fall under a specific category. My only goal, from day one, has been to help him become the happiest, most successful person he can be. Through my Autism research, I have found that he has a different learning style. He needs more direction, he needs someone to help him stay focused and work with him a little more than another 3 year old. The training I have received regarding Autism has helped me raise my son to the absolute best of my ability and I am able to help him manage things that come easy to us, but not to him.
"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn." -Ignacio Estrada
Kaden is in therapy 5 times a week, for 5 hours a day and his teacher, Michelle, is continuing to help him and other kids every day. She is a teacher at Bellwood-Bowdin for Murfreesboro City Schools. She is teaching them the way they learn and since my son has been in her class, he has improved tremendously! She works with them individually and as a group and loves each and every one of them with all her heart.
Michelle applied for a grant for Autism supplies and unfortunately, didn't receive it. With your help, I would like to help raise the money for Michelle to buy the supplies she needs to help these children. Our goal here at Ross Financial Planning is to raise $1,500 during the month of April.
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