Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Help For Today's Autistic Child

When my daughter was very young, I knew something was wrong.

She cried a lot, had trouble swallowing, and her motor skills were very slow.

Sitting up, crawling, and walking were far below the norm.

Everyone told me not to worry, that she was just being catered to and did not need to do things on her own.

Don't believe that.

You know your child better than anyone else.

My parents would say "She'll be fine".

I honestly believe they felt that way because that's what they hoped for.

If you think your child is developing slowly, or has unusual behavior, like rocking, flapping their arms, or not trying to develop, there may be a problem.

The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will see improvement.

I only wish the internet, with so much information, was available when my daughter was young.

Today there are 116 million sites regarding autism.

Granted not all of them will be helpful, or pertain to your situation, but you have so much at your fingertips.

After my daughter graduated from high school, there wasn't much for her to do.

I thought about having her work for Goodwill or a similar organization.

But she ended up working in my hair salon and spa.

She would sweep up hair and help with laundry.

She liked to intermingle with the employees and clients, even though her speech was very difficult to understand.

At that time my oldest son's came home to live, after losing a job.

When he would go on job interviews, he would take his sister with him and give her driving lessons.

After she got her license it opened up a new world for her.

It helped her to become more independent.

Around the same time, my brother heard about a restaurant that was hiring challenged individuals.

She went for an interview and was hired as a dishwasher. She eventually learned to work the fountain, making sundaes and different desserts. She worked for that company for 23 years, until the company closed her store down.

During that time she was also hired by a local grocery store.

She still works at the grocery store and has been there 22 years. She also receives vacation pay and health insurance.

She has her own car, that she paid for herself.

When my husband and I sold our house and planned to retired to Florida,we helped my daughter get an apartment and she is now quite self-sufficient.

I still oversee her finances and check on her quite frequently, as do her two brothers.

We help her a little with finances but she is paying for almost everything else without any government assistance, like SSI.

We're very proud of her and her determination to be self-sufficient.

So the moral is there is help, but you have to keep looking for the right help and keep working with and for your child.

I just want to give you hope.

The road isn't easy but it can be accomplished.

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