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The Stuff I’m Figuring Out


I wish I had known about Holden’s autism earlier. Not so much for early intervention, but just so I could have been a more understanding parent. I’m sure most parents feel like they don’t know what’s going on with their kid, but for me it was one of the most pervasive feelings. It explains a lot of things:

  • It explains why he didn’t like to be held as a baby and would cry when I tried to hold him in my sling or stiffen up when I tried to put lotion on him. He was his most content happy self when he was sitting alone in his chair.
  • It explains why me taking him to San Antonio when he was 18 months old was such a torturous trip (for us both). I just couldn’t understand why he didn’t connect with my family at all. Or why he was so frazzled the whole time. It makes sense now. Change is just excruciatingly hard for him.
  • It explains the hour-long scream fests in the middle of the night when he was utterly inconsolable. And why his frustration levels go from 0-60 in a 1/2 second.
  • It explains why he was the only kid at play-dates that would come unglued at the end of them. I seriously just stopped going to them because Holden couldn’t leave without an enormous tantrum. At least one of us left in tears every time we went anywhere. I just seriously stopped taking him places by myself. I was afraid to. Transitions were just impossible.
  • And it makes it totally understandable why he HATES the Lehi Legacy center pool when the big bucket and bell goes off every 10 minutes and splashes water. The noise and the commotion are complete agony to his hyper-sensitive senses.
  • I speak in past-tense because now that I know more about ASD I am becoming a much better parent. Understanding Holden has brought so much clarity into our lives. I used to be so embarrassed when Holden would tell someone who just came to our house to leave. Actually, he didn’t understand leave so he would say “STAY HERE! STAY HERE!” meaning “go away” and people probably thought he was so rude and we were rude for having a rude boy. But now we just try to prepare him for when people (we know of) come to the house and he handles it fine (usually). I’m reading Thinking In Pictures
    right now and am learning so much. Temple Grandin is amazing.

    Holden is such a bright, beautiful boy. I love him so much and am thankful to be ever-learning more about him and how to be a better mom to him. It has taken me a while to get here, but I’m ok with him being autistic. At first I was shocked, then angry, then really sad. But I am ok with now. I don’t want to train the autism out of him. I absolutely adore that boy and I believe he – like me and everyone else – has a purpose here and it’s my job to help him fulfill his mission. It’s just my job to see that he gets all the resources and help he needs to be as healthy, happy and high-functioning in this crazy world as possible. And I’m learning a lot on the way.

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    3 thoughts on “The Stuff I’m Figuring Out

    1. I'm so happy to hear your figuring everything out and things are getting better. I might be way off here and sound totally stupid but I was wondering if you knew what his talent is yet? Not sure if that's what they call it. But, I hear each autistic child has something they're really good at. Like a lady I've been working with on the Charter school, her little boy is Autistic but he's amazing with computers. And my sis in laws lil bro is awesome at citing movie quotes. He'll just throw them out in random conversations. Makes everybody laugh. I was just wondering what Holden's is, but maybe he's still to young to notice it yet.

    2. Hey Amber, keep it up. It's a tough and tricky road, but doable. Brenda has a brother with two ASD sons (9 and 8) and my older sister has one that's 6 (who sings perfect pitch, but a bit on the loud side!). They're amazing kids and both sets of parents are glad that we are willing to come by and be involved in their lives.

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