Autistic Child: "Mommy, I hate my brain, I just need a new brain"
Being the mother of a child with autism, I describe my experiences with noticing and denying my child had autism, difficulties with communication, getting services, and how the family coped and improved our lives.
I knew something was wrong even before she was a year old. She had many of the warning signs of autism. But I was in denial. I did not want to admit that my child may have autism. I think I thought that if I denied it long enough, it would go away. Even so, I did realize she needed to be tested for a disability, so at age two I took her in. The fact that she could not communicate made it impossible for testing to occur. For reasons I do not understand, we were told they denied her placement in the county preschool for children with disabilities. So, a few weeks later when she turned three, I had them try again. This time, she qualifed.
At this point, she still was not diagnosed with autsim and I was content that she was getting services. But the word autism rang through me each time she would have a meltdown because she could not communicate with us. She would cry and throw things, such as Christmas tree decorations. One year, she destroyed a large part of the tree ornaments. As I watched other children in her class who were autistic, I think it slowly crept into my mind that my daughter needed more help. I began to accept that autism was not necessarily a bad thing. The day she bolted in front of a large bus in the road, I knew I had to get her some help. She was diagnosed with high functioning autism soon after.