Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Autism Awareness Month

An AMAZING selfie of my daughter

The rainbow of Autism.  What does it mean?  A wonderful metaphor describing a broad community of unique and challenging individuals.

3 of my 6 children fall under this rainbow....All beautifully and exceptionally created ....In a complicated twist of mind boggling colors.

Bailey has Asperger's -- She's magically cooky, but also quietly reserved.  She finds comfort in being alone....But then, enjoys the company of the few friends that she has made.  Communication is at its best...when nothing is said.
She has a hard time reading people...So if you roll your eyes, or give her a pursed lip glare...She will have no idea what that means.
Her confidence in herself is low...And she is the last to raise her hand and participate in social activities....Sometimes...people think of this as being rude...or uninterested...But that's just the way Bailey works.

Teachers have called her "lazy"... "Inattentive" ...

Bailey is "socially awkward"....And doesn't quite fit in with people her own age....She can be really silly one moment....Then withdrawn/depressed the next.   But she has a heart of gold.  She is loyal and trustworthy...And has grown into such a beautiful woman....She has changed my life.

Braden also has Asperger's.  He will never look you straight in the eye...So sometimes, it's really hard to have a conversation with him....But if you get him on the topic of video games....He can talk forever!

Braden has very few friends...The ones he DOES have, are a lot like him.

Braden's learning disability - along with Asperger's has him functioning as a 7/8 year old and has been a hard thing for most of the people in Braden's life to understand.  They see a 16 year old young man and expect 16 year old work out of him....This has been a ongoing battle we fight...Especially in regards to school.

If you take the time to get to know Braden...You will find a kindhearted guy, who is the happiest when he is allowed time on his video games.  He has helped me learn to have patience and has given me a new appreciation for taking life slow...and just enjoying each day as it comes.

Rachel.  My little spit-fire!  Rachel is one complicated little bundle of crazy energy.  She was born quietly...never crying....Until we brought her home from the hospital...Then it was non-stop.  

It took us FOREVER to get a diagnosis...And even today...We are trying to figure things out.

Rachel has Sensory Integration Disorder--Which has a RAINBOW of complications as well.  

Wildly diverse...Rachel can display every color of the SID rainbow....She is fiercely unpredictable and sometimes she is completely "normal".

She falls under the "rainbow of autism" because we aren't quite sure of where exactly to put her.

She fits in the box of Autism...But then...Some days...She doesn't.

Life with Rachel is unpredictable and takes you on an emotional roller coaster.

Noise.  Light. Smells.  Touch.  Anything can set her off...And I find myself always wondering -- and watching how I interact with her....

Her temper is short.  But at the same time...She can be wonderfully affectionate.  A "go-getter"...Who is the life of the party....Eager and excited at school....Friendly and silly. 

She has pushed me to my limits....Then she reels me back in, with her sweet smile, and loving spirit.

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