From past experiences, I’ve learned that children with autism don’t really want much. We may think they do; because they can’t always express how they feel. Until we take the time to learn who they are; by helping them learn themselves. We then see, they are actually interested in more “adult” things. Things that require deep thought. Or should I say they love to use the brains people “think” they don’t have. Children with autism are sensitive; even if they don’t show it. So what may not matter to you; means the world to them.
I mean that is; the things they value the most, have no price tag. Yes they enjoy their IPad, books and toys. But that could never replace the love and attention they deeply desire. Those “objects” get “old” real fast for children with autism. Where majority of them, don’t even remember what toys they had. But they can tell you about their favorite moment in time with them. Like the time at the lake or when you watched their favorite movie with them. And if they are unable to speak; their verbal expressions will tell a story; that only their hearts can understand. But their lips cannot transcribe.
Loving a child on the autism spectrum; is just like loving any “regular” kid too. Its just that they need more attention, love and understanding to thrive. For in all honesty; loving a child with autism is a emotional job. One you invest your heart and soul into. As you cherish their littlest milestone or “blame yourself” for every setback. Yet its the up and downs of #raisingautism; that teach us the most about raising children. All while learning to appreciate the finer things in life.
After Hilary Clinton ran for President and Michelle Obama “put it on” for women of color in the White House. Its ridiculous, that women are still dealing with the same double standards from centuries ago. Where they aren’t respected and valued for what “they can bring to the table” or the intelligence they possess. Even though, women are ones “holding the fort down”, getting degrees, raising kids and bringing home “the bacon”. All while looking beautiful and trying to “save the world”. Yet behind every great man or father; is a phenomenal woman. Isn’t that ironic? Thus, despite how far women have come in society; women still struggle to be respected for what they possess on the inside. Their beautiful souls, creative minds and bodies that not only give pleasure, but create and nurture life. But the truth is whatever HE can do, SHE can probably do better or just as good. Yet SHE still has to contend with double standards; for HE cannot accept SHE has his equal. Although without SHE, HE wouldn’t exist. Read some common double standards women face, every day.
- SHE is so beautiful, she has to be dumb and/or easy, while HE is praised for being a “player”.
- SHE shows she has a brain of her own and speaks her mind; she has to be a “bitch”. HE is just is assertive and intelligent.
- SHE dresses sexy, she must be a “whore”; but HE is a “fly” or got “swag.”
- SHE has a lot of accomplishments; she gotta be “stuck up” or cocky, but not as deserving as HE.
- SHE can lift weights and “put in work” like a man; but she got breast and hips, she can’t be has strong as HE.
- SHE can “show” her breast off for the pleasure of man. But if she uses them to feed her child, HE says it’s inappropriate.
- SHE works hard and makes more money than HE; SHE must of “slept with someone”.
Book #3 Love Has No Barriers
Real Men Respect Women with Standards
According to recent studies, researchers have found the rate of autism is higher among teen moms. As opposed to mothers in their 20’s and 30’s. Yet genetics, only account for part of this reason. There are other factors that may play a role in the development of this neurological condition. Whether it be environmental factors in pregnancy or a lack of prenatal care; the exact cause of autism is unknown. There are so many contributing factors; it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to just one or two.
For one, autism wasn’t a “thing” moms talked about; up until recently. Not to mention the fact that many teen moms were first time moms. So some young women might not even know they are pregnant at first; which delays prenatal care. I mean how can we care for ourselves, if we don’t know what its like to be pregnant? Therefore the environment (the womb) the child is growing in; isn’t exactly fit for a life. Until the mom nurtures the fetus into a baby; through caring for herself and her body.
Two, when a child has no speech or communication issues; the autism often times is considered high functioning. Like Asperger’s; meaning they “appear” to be just like any other “normal” kid. And indeed they are; but on the inside, they are “dying” to understand who they are. Therefore in these cases; a diagnosis isn’t even thought of. The child is usually labeled “bad” or “disruptive”. Not to mention the fact that a teen mom, is more willingly to believe what doctors say. Because she is new to motherhood and doesn’t “know any better.” (some of us)
Three, teen moms often are uneducated and unaware about womanhood and motherhood. Young women are still learning how to become grown women; at this age. So this “transition”; can be quite tough. Yet teen moms don’t always receive the education and support; when they need it the most. Many young moms aren’t aware about autism or any other conditions. They are still processing the fact, that they have to share their body with another human being. While having to face scrutiny for having a baby at such a young age. Which can cause stress, anxiety and depression in pregnancy. Creating an unhealthy internal environment for mother and child.
What many people don’t realize is that; autism “has no face.” So we never know who is living with autism; diagnosed and undiagnosed. As autism affects many children; regardless of race, gender, location or economic status. Thus there are many factors when it comes whether or not a child will be born with autism. But regardless we should always listen in our inner voice. As a mother always knows whats best for her child. Because in the end a doctor can never compete with a mother’s intuition. That will never steers us wrong, no matter how young or old we are.
I am a firm believer in avoiding prescription medications as much as possible. Meaning that medications should only be used as a last resort. Like to save our lives or when nothing else will do. As putting artificial substances in our bodies; alter our DNA and/or can produce serious long term effects. Whether we realize it now, or later on. Therefore when it comes to our growing children; all other alternatives should be exhausted first. Before we treat autism and/or ADHD with “drugs”; as we don’t know what’s really in those capsules.
As pharmaceutical companies are getting paid to “dope” up our children. By our very own government; who say they “care” about their future. They give free samples and even pay doctors to “distribute” their brand of medicine. While the doctors use medications to “tame” our children so they don’t have to do their job. They get a diagnosis and “throw” a prescription at us and send us on our way. But yet these doctors take an oath to help our children; yet they only see them as “number”. Instead of addressing the real issues that affect their quality of lives.
It’s just “easier” and more “efficient” to “dope” up our children. This way they become dependent upon these “drugs” and the “ones at the top”; continue to see their profits rise. Off the suffering of our children. But yet the real issues aren’t addressed, so they still struggle in school and at home. For prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are nothing more than “band-aids”. I mean why do you think amoxicillin is the most prescribed medication? Those pink antibiotics are thrown at every mom who brings her kid in with a “sniffle”. Therefore we cannot rely on doctors to “take care” of our children; we must be their biggest advocates.
To begin with; routine testing and exams should be done to rule out any other conditions. Whether it be allergies, vitamin deficiencies or hearing issues. Children with autism and ADHD; struggle with a lot. But its often times left untreated and overlooked because the “drugs” mask; whats really going. Resulting in a teenager and/or adult living with untreated autism; as they struggle to cope and coexist with others.
Some things to do before we “run” to prescription drugs to treat autism and/or ADHD is:
- Physical exam that includes routine blood work, vision and hearing tests. To test for abnormalities like anemia and vitamin deficiencies that can affect a child’s development.
- A blood test to rule out any food allergies to foods such as cow’s milk, wheat and peanuts.
- A skin allergy to rule out environmental allergies such as dog, cat and dust.
- MRI’s, EEG or X-rays to rule out any other serious issues.
Alternatives to Try as Opposed to Prescription Drugs:
- Reduce sugar and “dyes” in their diet as it increases hyperactivity and implusivity. Making it hard for children to learn, focus and sit still. In home and at school.
- Eat a strict gluten free diet as its the most natural way to eat. Its why gluten free foods cost so much. They aren’t filled with ingredients we can’t even pronounce. As gluten tends to irritate the stomach thus affecting brain functioning and behavior.
- Vitamins and supplements can help; especially for those children who only eat a few foods. It helps to make up for what they don’t eat and keeps their weight up.
- ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy can bring about positive changes in their attitude and behaviors. As children learn to live and cope with autism and/or ADHD.
- Individual and group counseling is great for school settings. These sessions strengthen speech and communication skills, while teaching children how to socialize with others. To be able to better communicate their needs and wants in an appropriate way.
- Strict or rigid routine to follow every day. So they won’t struggle with so many changes in their lives. The child will know what to expect from them and it will make things less stressful. Meaning less meltdowns and confusion.
- A punishment-reward system that entails small prizes, praises and a whole lot of love. They will associate the reward as a non verbal way of saying; “you are doing good.” In turn that child will want to exhibit more of those behaviors that they were being praised for. As they begin to understand right from wrong; in their own way.
BUILDING YOUR SELF AWARENESS
If you are a woman who lacks self awareness or a woman looking to improve her life. Analyzing, addressing and changing your negative habits can leave room more positive habits. That will increase your self awareness, help you make more informed decisions; all while building a better you. The woman and mother you’re destined to be.
- Recognize your strengths. Putting less attention on your weaknesses. Giving yourself credit for the good in you. As your weaknesses become much clearer to you. To be addressed and strengthened.
- Despite how hard it may be. Make note of your bad habits or ugly ways. Because with realization comes self awareness. So its necessary to know what changes you need to make in your life. In order to have some awareness to build on.
- Sit down and write down what you do and don’t like. So that its right in your face for internalization. Many times you don’t realize those same things that you believe are making you happy; really aren’t. Either you are doing it for someone’s else pleasure or because you don’t see its something you don’t want to do.
- Know what motivates you and what’s important in your life. Have a vision or plan for your life. What you want to do and goals you are going after. Using that motivation to go after what you want. To achieve health, happiness and success
- It’s always good to hear an unbiased or objective view of yourself. Others who can provide positive feedback and most importantly, negative feedback. Giving you real truth about your flaws, so you can analyze and improve them accordingly.
- Having a healthy self esteem and self confidence goes a long way when it comes to self awareness. When you know and love who you are as a woman. Finding your own flaws are easy and you welcome the feedback of others. As a self confident woman is aware of herself, the people around her and her surroundings. She thinks before she acts; remembering that there is a time and place for everything.
- Study your environments and the people around you. Don’t just dive head in first just to have a friend for the time being or for some fun. Learn people before you give so much of yourself to them. See if they are worth it first. Put yourself in the shoes of others for a change. See what its like to live in their world, go through their struggles and what its like to be them.
- Listen and be patient. Stop for a second or take a timeout. Just some time for yourself to reflect on you and your life.
Many parents wonder if they should have more children; after 1 or more of their children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Its something every parent of a child with autism has thought of. Even those moms and dads with typically developing children. As the odds of a child born with autism are pretty high; 1 in 68 children each year will be born with autism. Read More Here
There’s also much to speculate about the origin or “cause” of autism spectrum disorders. So this is an important question we should ask ourselves as parents and parents to be. For raising a special needs child can be rough, time-consuming, expensive and exhausting. I have three children of my own on the autism spectrum (four total); but with different disorders. They are all intelligent and amazingly unique, each in their own way. But it’s a lot of work and some still don’t understand. It really takes a superwoman to be #raisingautism.
As a psychology major, that studied autism and biology. I knew having a second child born with autism was pretty high. The odds would only increase, since my first child already has it. These odds then furthered increased when my third child was born. As it all comes to genetics and environmental factors. Yet my fourth child isn’t on the autism spectrum. So know that you can have a child, that isn’t on the spectrum too.
Therefore regardless of what I do or do not know about autism; my heart doesn’t see statistics. I mean after all, you can do everything right and still give birth to a child with mental retardation. So there’s no 100% way to be sure your child isn’t born with autism or any condition. For autism doesn’t define who our children will be. Because no matter who they are born to be or who they become; we will love them unconditionally for who they are.
Raising Autism, Chapter. 3 Excerpt : Accepting a Diagnosis
Raising Autism Preview
Book #3 Love Has No Barriers
Mother’s Day should be every day and not just the second Sunday in May. As mothers are the foundation of our families and communities. Who should be honored and respected for “holding down the fort” 24/7; no questions asked. With very little breaks and no paid vacations. Doing what some women, are not cut out to do. Making sacrifices, others would never do. For the love and happiness of their children’s futures.
For we as mothers or mamas; occupy different roles, every day in the upbringing of our children. One day we are a “nurse” when pneumonia strikes; at the same time we are a “maid” on “vomit duty” for the next week. The following day, we are our daughter’s counselor; when a little boy at school breaks her heart. Maybe our son’s basketball “coach”; cheering him on at every game. But above all those other “jobs”, we are mothers. Who strive every day, to give our children the best lives possible. Not just on Mother’s Day when “everyone” is watching and the cameras are out.
Because being a mother isn’t about what we can receive; it’s about what we can give. So Mother’s Day isn’t about the endless chocolates, flowers or expensive jewelry (although its a plus); that make women feel valued or “special”. For 9 times out 10, we can buy ourselves those things. As money or materialistic things don’t “move” a real woman and mother; she can get it on her own.
We want to be respected for all we do. Those little things that make all the difference in our children’s lives. Those 3 a.m. feedings, the late night baking sessions or wrapping presents in our sleep. The things we do to make our children happy; when no one is looking. All the blood, sweat and tears, we “exhaust” to see our children smile; to bring love to their hearts. While getting an education, paying the bills and looking beautiful.
For us as moms are in “employed” in the most underpaid and unappreciated “job” in the world. Yet we know, that our “rewards” from motherhood, could never be valued with a price tag. There’s just something beautiful about a selfless woman who knows how to cook, clean and raise some kids. Real moms just have a “swag” about them; that other women don’t.
“We can even be in love with person with a learning disability such as autism or ADHD. At the same time, people fall in love with those dying from a terminal illness; without even realizing it. Because our hearts see no barriers; only the ones we physically, emotionally and mentally impose upon ourselves. Thus, no matter our ethnicities, sexual orientations, economic statuses and/or religions; love has no limits. A millionaire from the suburbs can marry a waitress from the ghetto. While a Caucasian woman who cannot have children; can adopt three African American children and raise them as her own. Whereas a college student can volunteer her time to inspire and uplift the troubled youth in her community. For love takes many shapes and forms; and a lot of times, it’s not romantic.
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Motherhood is far from a “walk in the park” and not every woman is “cut out” to be a mom. It sounds bad, but its the honest truth. I mean just because a woman can procreate, doesn’t mean; she can, will or want to have babies of her own. Nor is there any rule that says; just because a woman has a uterus, that she must become a mother. Not every woman wants to be a mother and that is okay.
But that isn’t the issue; as every woman has the right to choose. Just like the way a man, can choose whether or not to be a dad. The problem is that, women shouldn’t have kids; if they don’t want to raise any. As they are the primary caretakers; whether dad chooses to be a dad or not. For the children are the ones, who suffer the most; now and in the future; for their “regrets”. So whether, they are young or old; some women aren’t the “type” to raise kids or have a family with. They don’t know anything about raising kids and have no “maternal bone” in them. It’s just how some women are and they shouldn’t be scrutinized or looked down upon for it. As every woman’s lifestyle is not the same and not every woman is meant to be a mother.
For raising children; whether it be 1 or 5, is a way of life or lifestyle. A life-time commitment; that is more than a title. One that not every woman can live up to. As we can tell a lot about a woman; from the way she raises her children. To how her children interact with her. To how the kids in the neighborhood love her. For children are the best judge of characters. They know what’s real and what isn’t. As kids see no titles, they just know how we make them feel inside their hearts. Because a mom just has a different “swag” about her; she knows her worth and what she wants.