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ASD Moms: Click Here for Help with Diagnosis, Treatment, Potty Training, Meltdowns and More!

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Welcome to Autism: Support Across the Spectrum!

You're in just the right place for support, information, tips, and advice from moms just like you!

Visit the links below to find help with some of the most common issues facing moms with children on the spectrum:

Plus, see what ASD moms are talking about today in Spectrum Support.

You can jump right in by replying to one of the discussions above or start a post of your own.

jigsaw ribbon  We're so glad you've joined us!

by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM
Replies (671-676):
by on Oct. 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Thank you for being here having a bad day feeling like I can't be a good mother to my 12 year old newly diagnosed adopted daughter

by on Oct. 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I just received a chronic autism spectrum disorder for my son in the pass week, and I am not handling it very well. thank u for this support group/site, and would appreciate everyones support/advice. xoxo

by Vicki on Oct. 15, 2014 at 12:52 AM
I have one of the oldest diagnosed Autistic children, born in 1989, the first group to be exposed to the intense immune assault of current vaccines in America. (Just a side note, if your family is predisposed to neurological disorders caused by immune assaults, look up porphyria. My entire family is expressing it at different levels, and immune assaults trigger changes at the DNA level. Most autoimmune disorders are not investigated by specialists to the point if the trigger, and an accurate diagnosis of what is causing symptoms. Think porphyria! Son autistic, daughter ADHD, with medication induced seizures, because they are toxic at the DNA level. I was accurately diagnosed in 2008, and now my entire family is very careful with drugs, toxins, water, food and does not follow the immunization schedule, minimizing immune assaults.)
He initially had classic symptoms, noticed delays after second round of immunizations. He got very ill after his 18 month mega immunization, with a noticeable, and permanent change in his eyes and disposition 2 days later. I did the research to get the diagnosis, changed pediatricians to one that would help with an official diagnosis, finding the best pediatric neurologist. This was 1991, he was 18 months old.
I had trained horses and dogs since I was 10 yrs. old, and I knew the intelligence was there, just the inability to relate to the humans and communicate. I began by using the only motivation he had to try to communicate with me, food. I would eat his favorite food and pretend I didn't understand he wanted some, I would say the food name over and over, "do you want a cookie?" Then when he became very agitated, I would give him some, then repeat the lesson, never training more than 15 minutes a day, 3 times a day ( eventually working longer and more times, progressing just like good horse training. One day, I came into his room in the morning to get him, and he said "cookie"! Now I knew he could understand and speak. There would be lots of time and training before he spoke again. He was in the high chair, instead of giving him one of his favorite cereals, I stood in front of him and shook Cheerios, underlined the word while I said it, like sounding it out when teaching reading. Then I shook the Rice Krispies, underlined the word as I sounded it out. I did this over and over. At ever meal, two choices with names he could see, underlining with my hand as I sounded out the word. When his frustration at not being fed peaked, I made the choice, moving it up and down, focusing him on the letters on the box. After months of this, one morning, as I shook his beloved Honey Nut Cheerios, his eyes lit up and he pointed to the Cheerios. I knew I had him engaged!! From there on he started picking, but I still focused on the words on the food containers, sounding them out while underlining. One day, age 2 1/2, he spoke "what's that say", I with much excitement said "Rice Krispies" as I underlined each letter sound as I made it! He was off and running. I had been accumulating letter & number blocks from every friend who could garage sale, and playtime was always spelling out words and sounding it out, hoping to teach him to read. Now he was ready to do that himself. He would not talk about it, but now I knew he could! He continued to spell out every word he saw with letter blocks, and he had to do this every waking moment. I just couldn't get, or afford enough blocks, so I started printing on paper with crayons, and he would watch me sometimes, and I would offer him the paper and crayons. He would just do his blocks, and I would mimic the word in crayon on paper. He was 3 years old when he started writing words, and that was only because he didn't have enough Bs to spell a word with blocks. After that, I would hide blocks, and always offer him paper & worked on getting him verbal by using the food method. So he was reading at 2 yrs and writing at 3yrs, barely verbal, and I trained him to be reasonably compliant, using good horse training methods, with food rewards, blocks, or paper & crayons. I continued until most people thought he was just a quiet, focused, intelligent boy who loved to write. His vocabulary was limited, and I found a good preschool, with small class size, and a great P3 teacher who worked with me to try and develop verbal skills, and compliance with group rules. All through out grade school, the Language Specialist worked with me, communicating every day with a form sent back and forth in his backpack. We met in person every week, and I was hands on with every teacher he interacted with, including his lunch. I knew everyone by first name, bus drivers to principals. I made it clear that their job was to keep him safe and progressing, and never aggressive or abusive with either one of us. Most were good, but if they weren't, I was a master advocate, that enlisted the pediatric neurologist, pediatric psychologist, other teachers, principal, etc. to advocate with me to get the change we needed. Threatening a legal advocate at one point in 3rd grade! During first grade, the pediatric neurologist and I discussed the stress of full day school problems, and started to find the best anti anxiety medication for him, this is a long process to, finding the right one and the right dose, as he grows. I never let him go more than a week, before discussing the outcome with the specialist to change/get a better result. When he was 8yrs. old, he learned to look at you and say "hi" when you said hi to him using his name! This was a great accomplishment, done by the Language specialist at his elementary school. He still didn't understand meanings, but could remember everything he saw, and get straight As, as long as they didn't ask him to explain! Lunchtime was very stressful, because there was no routine as to where he could sit. I worked with the lunch teacher to make him understand that he had to find a way to create a routine, which he did, reserving a section for his class, and keeping everyone in line all the way to the tables:-) This method continued to work until the social pressure of middle school, for his safety, and to prevent the development of ticks, extra medication, etc., I pulled him out and home schooled, putting him in community home schooling programs at the science center and started him in private drum lessons(he liked drums). I also pulled his little sister out, enrolling them in everything together as much as possible, as this always provided a comfort (except ballet). His younger sister, who is 21 months younger, but only one grade behind. I always worked to make her understand that he needed his sister to be his best friend. I insisted he continue to learn, through training, what the proper response was to verbal requests or statements said directly to him. By the way, he made his first friend when he was 10, a sweet boy with ADHD who didn't notice anything different about him.
His sophomore year, I put him and his sister back in high school in 2005. We chose to move, based on the smaller, friendlier, well scored high school, 20 minutes out of the urban area. The school was very proactive about protecting him, I drove him & his sister to school to avoid bus problems, was very interactive with teachers, etc. I got him a drum set that year to help ease the transition which he mastered by 17yrs. I divorced at that time, and the neurologist and I decided he needed a good psychologist, male, to help him adjust. He continued to see him, mainly for guidance, until choosing to stop as an adult at nineteen.
He was still delayed socially, but slowly made strides. He made a friend his junior year (also ADHD) who also played the drums. They started a band that practiced in my basement. I always kept close, but made it seem like I was just a hip mom, always will to open up our home to anything social and anything he requested. He had a drivers learner permit for just short of 3 yrs, and it was slow going, with frequent panic attacks, but we got there! He was able to drive to school the winter of his senior year! He graduated in 2008.
He did well academically in college, and although it was stressful, he decided to go off his anxiety medication at 21. He continued to play in bands, even at venues that were hard for me not to worry, but his band mates were always there (me too, proud mama:-). He had a hard time getting a job, even the state wasn't much help, but a friend came through with a fast food job. I thought he'd cave under the pressure in 2 weeks, but encouraged him to learn, and follow instructions. Turned out, he was reliable, never got orders wrong, and could perfectly run the register! Sadly, the cooking part was too hard, but he kept that part time job through out college! He graduated from college 2013. It was hard for him to find work, interviews are not his strong suit. He knew that he didn't want to work with people, so he ended up getting on with a maintenance company. He's happy for now, taking a break from college, and is planning to go back to get a masters in library science, staying in the academic world that is so supportive of his meticulous excellence! Bottom line is...don't underestimate their intelligence, just because they don't relate to the environment, doesn't mean they can't be trained to interact with it daily. I know that I was a great gift to him, a mother that didn't take it personally, just sacrificed my own career as a college professor, and continuously worked to understand how to think outside the box, (like with horses when they can't relate to the meat eater who wants to be on their back and control their movements).
It's a long, back and forth repetitive learning process to maximize his potential! If you met him today, you might think him a little odd, but you would never guess that he had been trapped in Autism! Even today, at 25, I coax him continue to learn what the proper response is, to verbal requests or statements said directly to him, (just as a excellently trained show horse understands the most subtle cue that no one can even see). I know some people might resent the comparison, but it worked! He still struggles to create intimacy, but I am confident that he can support himself and find happiness doing what makes him comfortable and reasonably content. I'm 58 now, and it gives me some peace of mind to know this! It would be my dream come true for him to find a partner to spend his life with, someone gentle who could value his gifts and emotionally support him. For now, he has his band mates, and the most loving supportive little sister in the world! And a grateful much improved mother:-)
by on Oct. 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Hi, I,m a mom with an 18 year old on the spectrum.  He is so despreate to find friends and be able to get together in some way.  Is there a group here in las cruces nm.?  This is a deseperate mo trying to help her youg boy.  I will appreciate all the help you can give.  Thank you very much!  Blessings! 

by on Oct. 22, 2014 at 1:03 AM

I just surfed the web and found this site!  I am a grandmother of an almost 11 year old ASD child.  He is High functioning.  I just would like to talk with others and get support and to understand it as best I can.  One of my questions is When should a child be told that he is on the spectrum?  Should he be told with a professional present, or just the parents?  How can you explain to a child that he is on the spectrum?

by on Nov. 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

pls help me my baby i notice his gesture with asd.. huhuhu

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