I want you to meet my blogger friend Arianne. I met her through my blog. I quickly found out that she is an Autism Mom as well. We have that in common, and I am so glad that I have got to know her some. She is a great mom and her daughter Katelyn is so luck she has her. As well as Arianne being so blessed to have Katelyn. Our children most often teach us more then we could ever teach them. I especially have come to know this with my Ian who is on the spectrum. He knows exactly what is important in life, and helps me every day to understand this.
I had Arianne share he story about finding out her Katelyn had Autism. I appreciate her sharing her story with you all. I hope to find other Autism Mom’s to share their story as well with us all.
Autism Mom’s Stories: Arianne’s story
*When I first thought that Katelyn might have Autism, she had just turned two. I was working at a daycare & going to college for child education. My dream was to be a teacher. Katelyn was in the room next door, which gave me comfort. I very quickly realized that she was miserable in that classroom. Not because of the teachers or the other kids. Every time I walked by the class to peek on her, she was either crying on the teacher’s lap or sitting in the corner turned away from everyone. I was hounding the teachers, asking them what was wrong with her. They never gave me a clear answer. One day the teacher handed me the number for Easter Seals & said ‘Maybe they can get her a speech therapist?’.
*At the time Katelyn had lost all her speech & was only making grunting noises. After Easter Seals came to the house & watched her & asked a million questions…they had no answers either. Instead they sent over a occupational therapist. Which I thought was strange, because I asked fro a speech therapist. When I eventually became friends with her therapists after many of her visits, she finally told me those dreaded words…’she’s definitely on the spectrum’. Right then & there my life changed. I realized that Katelyn could not stay at the daycare. Which meant I must quit my job & stay home with her. Which meant no more college either, seeing as my boss was paying for it. My whole world was now wrapped in this “unknown”. I put my teaching ‘itch’ to work…I made PECS cards for her & a picture routine. Every minute was stressful! Spending twenty minutes just on the words “I want”, then another twenty minutes on “juice”. Her constant jumping made me stressed & sad. Seeing her exhaust herself, which then turned into tantrums.
*Then when she started school it gave me a break, but frustrated me too! She was there without me, with task after task. Having to do new & different things, instead of being home with me doing whatever she pleased. I soon realized new changes in her. When I first dropped her off…she was un-kept, hair a mess, teeth not brushed, pacifier in her mouth, screaming constantly. She started letting me comb her hair & brush her teeth. She got rid of the pacifier. She started looking at me again!!
*I believe the real magic started her second year in the Autistic program when she was 4. I remember feeling frustrated at the beginning of the year, because her teacher, Glenda, and her aids were just so darn HAPPY. I wanted to know all the nitty-gritty…all the things wring with Katelyn so I could fix it. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t helping me ‘fix’ Katelyn. I soon discovered that it was that darn HAPPY attitude that was working it’s magic on Katelyn! And ME!! How can you move forward if you’re always stuck on the negative…YOU CAN’T! Katelyn was soon talking away, holding my hand, walking to school, AND THEN SKIPPING TO SCHOOL!!! ACTING LIKE A HAPPY GIRL!!! This ‘happy attitude’ helped her forget about things she use to have tantrums about. The tantrums started to disappear. She was learning about feelings & how other people felt. Soon we were having conversations & discussing things. She was hugging people & asking them “how are you doing?”, saying “it’s ok, don’t be sad”. I am now so grateful that I met Glenda & her ‘HAPPY’ assistants! It was just what Katelyn & I needed. Now we have all watched her turn into a beautiful butterfly together & I will never forget what you have done. They got us through the hard part!
Check out Arianne’s blog Family Joys for more great stories about her journey with Katelyn
*Now Katelyn is in mainstream school. She doesn’t need an aid anymore, just OT & speech a couple times a week. She’s reading chapter books and doing well in math. She is in the Junior Olympic Archery Development & she loves it! She just had her first slumber party! I am so proud of her…she’s a hard worker and one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet! She is my FIREWORK…making the whole world in awe of her and she shoots across the sky!! I LOVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART, MY KATELYN JOY!~*