Slowly getting over denial

I have been in a hole in totally separating AS from Autism. I don't know if my denial stems from trying to explain it to people and I'm second guessing things or seeing Eric on a Good Day and thinking no way. Then here comes a bad day. I constantly feel like I have to "prove" to people that he has AS and then "prove" to people that he doesn't have Autism. Or am I just trying to convince myself? I finally decided that I need help outside of my family - someone that I can talk to to help me through this transition. What made me decide? I had a meeting with Eric's Preschool directors yesterday and I'm realizing how much I don't know and how much effort and money I will need to put out in order to have the absolute best for him. I'm also realizing that I can't depend solely on Terry for support just from the simple fact that he also has AS. Not that he doesn't WANT to be supportive and helpful and do everything he can. Those that know Terry know that he is the servant type and service oriented so I know that that is what his intention is. However I need help from a professional. I feel so overwhelmed that I don't know where to start. I contacted the ASA of East Tennessee and this is what I found on their site:

What is Autism?

Autism is a biological and neurological disorder which usually becomes evident before the age of three years. It is not a mental illness. It is a disorder in which communication, social interactions, and sensory integrations are the primary disabilities. Autism is found throughout the world in families of all social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in every 166 individuals have autism (2000). Four of every five people who have autism are male.

Characteristics of autism:

Autism is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, meaning the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Although autism is defined by certain set of behaviors, children and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviors in any degree of severity. Two children, both with a diagnosis of autism, can act very differently from one another. It should also be noted that any of these characteristics may also be present in a "normal" child or adult:

  • difficulty relating to people, objects and events;
  • repetitive movements such as rocking and spinning, head banging and hand twisting;
  • insistence that the environment and routine remain unchanged;
  • avoidance of eye contact;
  • impaired verbal and nonverbal communication skills;
  • use of toys and objects in an unconventional development; or
  • limited intellectual ability.

What Autism is Not

Contrary to popular belief, children and adults with autism do express affection, smile and laugh, and show a variety of other emotions. Although children with autism are often described as being aloof or self-absorbed, they want to have friends.

  • Autism is not the result of poor parenting
  • Children with autism are not unruly or spoiled kids with just a behavior problem
  • The vast majority of persons with autism are not savants, like the character portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man
  • Children with autism are not without feelings and emotions
I will patiently wait to hear back from them to see if they can refer me to a support group.

2 Responses to "Slowly getting over denial"

mcewen (visit their site)

I would like so say something warm and encouraging, but that's a tall order and may come out as merely trite.
Best wishes

Bonnie Arnwine (visit their site)

I had to get G evaluated three times before I could accept he had autism.