Those of you following the GirlyAutism blog probably know that I have two girls on the spectrum. I usually write about my 8 year old who has a classic Autism diagnosis. People can see that she is unique and special when they first meet her. She also has seizure issues. Sometimes even very complicated seizures… We are getting a service dog to help her with her issues.
My older daughter also has Autism. Although not a clearly obvious type of Autism, she has several other diagnosis that complicate matters. What you should know is that when you meet her, she seems like a typical young lady. It’s not until you are around her on a consistent basis that you start noticing some quirks. I haven’t written much about her in a while. I have been hesitant, because she has started to mature in the last year, but also because she has become more volitile. But I think that you, as a care giver of a child like mine, might just find comfort in my experiences.
I will now start writing about a hypothetical girl named “Princess” – about her struggles and triumphs. These struggles will reflect my struggles. Please give me grace, as I try to give anonymity to a certain girl who sometimes reads my blog! Astute readers will understand this conundrum.
Princess is a young teenager. She has hormones like any other girl and she is increasingly anxious, angry, and insecure just like all young teenagers are. Princess also has Autism (not that a stranger would know). She sometimes doesn’t understand people, she has a hard time transitioning between tasks, she has a few quirky behaviors, and sometimes her hormones, lack of will power, and lack of sleep work together and she goes into a full blown rage. She has a heart of gold though. She loves Jesus, singing, helping out (when in an agreeable mood), playing with anyone 6 and younger, and loves writing stories and drawing.
Before going on I should ask you: have you ever seen a 3 year old child with Autism throw a tantrum for hours? Complete with throwing things, screaming, kicking, hitting, slamming doors, crying, hyperventilating, and destroying things? Kind of like the Taz let loose in your living room, right?
When Princess is in a rage, you can imagine it gets much more destructive. Imagine this Taz at just over five feet tall and 170 pounds! AND with the social appropriateness of, well, lets just say Princess is about as socially appropriate as a Tazmanian Devil. Property damage, destruction, and physical assault happen when in “rage mode”. It isn’t pretty!
I will attempt to put into words what Princess goes through and how it affects her family. For both you, the reader, and for myself – a cathartic venture to air it all out and chart progress! And I say that in the most positive way – I believe the Lord will bring Princess and her momma through. It will just take time, prayer and faith.