A Special Kind of Love is my new release from Secret Cravings Publishing.
A Special Kind of Love
A divorced school teacher, estranged from her family, wants to start over. Sharon Daily moves to Gaines, Wyoming with her ten year old autistic son, Aaron. She hoped to find kindness and acceptance in this small town. She wasn’t looking for love…
Tanner West, the Fire Chief of Gaines, seems to have it all. Great job, loving family, and any woman he wants to warm his bed at night. But, Tanner has suffered too. A Native American in a white world, he longs to find love and acceptance. He is ready for more than someone to share his bed. He wants someone to share his life. And Sharon really lights his fire.
But, A Special Kind of Love is something more, too. It is the necessary element in the hearts and minds of parents, relatives, friends and teachers of differently abled children. I hope that A Special Kind of Love will help raise autism awareness and give people a look at the life of an autistic child and parent. Today I am going to share some personal stories, from myself and some writer friends.
There are many famous people thought to have Autism Spectrum disorders, present and past. Many people believe Einstein had Asperger’s Syndrome. Rocker, Courtney Love, Actress Darryl Hannah, Wildlife Illustrator, Dylan Scott Pierce, just to name a few. More and more people with ASD are being featured in film and television. The one prominent figure in television that come to my mind is Temperance Brennan, from Bones. While they creators never state that “Bones”has Asperger’s, as one who has dealt with an AS child for 23 years, I can tell you she exhibits all the classic signs. (I love this show)
I hope that people will soon come to see that Autistic people are “Different not less.” My son, for example is one off the finest young men you will ever have the honor to meet. (Not a proud mother, am I) Alex is extremely intelligent, he maintains a 4.0 grade point average in his second year of college and is studying Missionary Services. He has abounding faith, precious loyalty, and is a gentle soul, who doesn’t eat meat or wear any animal products. He literally will not kill a bug!
I hope the following stories will move your heart. They certainly moved mine!
A Snippet from me:
This story has always stuck in my mind when I think of my son and his single mindedness. One of the side effects of Asperger’s is OCD. My son, Alex suffered from it horrible for over 10 years. He would not eat or drink anything that wasn’t “air sealed” and then only after he showered first, in a ritual that took 20 minutes to 5 hours, depending on his stress level. (No, I am not exaggerating) When Alex was about 12 we went to a Japanese Culture festival in West Palm Beach Florida. We spent the day there. At one point my husband went to buy drinks. Alex went with him. He bought Alex a water. Alex carried that water around all day, never opening it. Michael would ask “Aren’t you thirsty?” Alex would reply “Yes” “Aren’t you going to drink your water?” “When we get home,” Alex would reply.
My Husband often says that is the difference between Asperger’s and non-Asperger’s children. The difference between being involved and committed. A hen and an egg are “involved” in breakfast, the pig and the bacon are “committed”.
Morgan Wyatt share a story
Most people regard autistic children as retarded. I take offense at that label as a special education teacher. I have worked with dozens of autistic students and realized they see the world differently, not wrong, just differently. One of my students could tell me what teacher walked into the teacher’s lounge by the sound of their steps and what soft drink they got from the sound of the fall of the can.
Another student could pick up any piece of music and play it beautifully the first time through. Although, he could read the music and perform it, he seldom heard the beauty of the music he played.
The student that may have had the most impact on me was a twelve-year-old boy with an amazing memory. He used to regale me with endless facts about the Titanic. One day, I asked his mother if I could start teaching him handwriting. She informed me that she’d been told that he could never write. Anyone who could memorize entire documentaries could write.
We started by printing, which looked like chicken scratch in the beginning. As the year went on, it became better. By the end of the year, he was typing. It is hard to believe anyone could think he couldn’t learn. I only wish half my students were as good and intent as he was.
Julie Dalglish – My experience with Autism.
I remember proudly watching my son Casey pass his eighteen month check with flying colours. He had more words then expected for his age. Then all of a sudden six weeks later his speech just stopped and he had no words. I remember panicking and rushing to the doctors to be told he just needed speech therapy and not to worry. I felt like I’d been brushed off, but waited for his appointment to come through. It was about this time my son started reacting to strange environments and only seemed happy when at home and when sticking to his normal routine.
Six months later his speech therapy appointment came through. I took him and he screamed the place down so we left early, the second week he screamed again. Finally the third week he didn’t scream, but clung to me like a life raft and wouldn’t interact with the therapist or other children in the group. The fourth week I was asked to sit outside, for twenty minutes he screamed and banged his head against the door trying to reach me. I went in and said “ I can’t listen to him scream like that”. The therapist then said “I don’t think this group is appropriate for your child until he grows out of his clinginess”. I was not amused by her attitude at all.
So I got no help after that until Casey started nursery two years later. He still had no words, so was delayed with toilet training but the nursery took it in their stride and it was all arranged to ease him into the class gradually, it took a full half term to be able to leave him without tears or screaming. After a week holiday he went back with minimal fuss. The staff then set in motion things to help him with communication like an action board which had cards on which he could hand to the teacher when needing the toilet, choosing his snack etc. Through this Casey started to form his words again very slowly.
By the time Casey was due to start school fulltime he was back to the level he was at eighteen months with his speech, but still lack the skills to follow instructions. His reception class teacher had already been going into his nursery class and spending time with him so he was familiar with her. So moving classes went smoother than expected, don’t get me wrong it took time and patience but we got him settled eventually.
It was about this time he started his mild ADD tendencies, things had to be in certain places in his bedroom before he would go to sleep, and he played about with his curtains making sure they were open the same amount each side. At this point I went back and saw a different doctor explained to her all about Casey and his ways. She mentioned autism and referred him to a children’s doctor. The progress was very slow but two years later he got his diagnosis. By the end of his reception year in school he had started forming sentences and thrilled his teacher by being able to stand in front of school and say goodbye on behalf of his class when she was leaving. There wasn’t a dry eye in the school hall that day. I believe he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the help and dedication of the staff in his infant and primary school years. Casey is now in his third year of secondary school and is doing really well.
Beckey White Shares
There is a wide variety and gap in the ages of my daughters. From an 18 year old to the 13 and 11 year old to youngest who is 3 year old. The three year old is the one that has the Asperger syndrome. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least to raise a child with Autism. One symptom for children with Asperger’s is fixations and inflexible schedules. One things I can mention about would be about the characters of Cars and the wearing out of the DVD. She has repeatedly watched the movie until the movie wouldn’t play anymore
Another thing that annoys me when people say hey she’s just having a temper tantrum when you can clearly see that she feeling extremely overwhelmed like something isn’t right. Normally this happens when a monkey wrench has been tossed in things don’t go according to what is the norm for her. Breast feeding had been a challenge because she used my breastfeeding for not only feedings but as security as well… Which made in a challenge for not only me but her as well. It took several weeks, almost two months and many nerve rattling moments for both her and me both.
Loud sounds like sirens from emergency vehicles and such as well as train horns will upset my autistic toddler. She will launch into what my husband calls a freak-out moment (crying, holding her ears, wants to held but you do she rocks herself). My 13 year old is in the honor guards for school. She was upset when we couldn’t go see her in the parade cause of the youngest not being able to handle the sounds… Doctors call it an sensory sensitivity. We have adjusted things to keep her calm but there is time that we can control those types of sounds happening….
Tamara(I mention this in A Special Kind of Love)
FOr more information on Autism contact: http://www.theautismsite.com/