I have been loving the time with my beloved on the truck. It feels so much like when we first were together as a trucking team. Only difference this time around is that I am not doing any of the driving. The schedule is crazy. Some days we were shut down at a decent time of night while others, we are catching up on sleep during the day while waiting on the trailer to be loaded or unloaded. Of course, beloved handles the craziness better than I do. It sure makes me feel my age! But, in spite of the strange hours, I love this.
We have had many discussions about us, the kids, homeschooling, and much more. That is one of the things that I love about my husband. We actually talk about the things that are important to us. It doesn’t matter if the topic is one of great interest to the other person. If one of us feels something is important to us, the other always makes it important enough to themself to listen attentively and take part. That showing of respect really makes the relationship much easier on both of us.
One of the topics that we are both interested in is the fact that those with classic autism are falling through the cracks in the system. We are both disheartened by the experiences that we have had with our son in regards to treatment. Literally each therapist that he has seen in the areas of occupational and speech have treated him as though he were higher functioning or an Aspie. In doing our own research online, it is staggering that the percentage of children on the autism spectrum that are Aspies or PDD-NOS make up 75% of the cases. So, it is understandable that most therapies would address them. In the effort to help these children/adults, they have inadvertently overlooked the more severe and low functioning form of the classic autism. How do I know this? It is rather easy to explain.
Whenever our son has been treated by a therapist, both during and after early intervention, they expected him to perform at a much higher level than he was cap[able of. One was insistent on him riding a tricycle, when the only interest he had in one was to have me turn it over so that he could spin the tires. When she forced him to sit on the tricycle, he was terrified and screaming. He had absolutely no ability to petal the tricycle and would not touch the handlebars. She kept saying that boys his age love riding tricycles and that he should also. What??? Another time, she wanted him to do a “pots & pan band” with us hitting the kitchen pots with a mixing spoon and walking in a circle. Uh, did she not realize that a child with sensory sensitivity to sound would freak out over that? The speech therapist did not much better. She demanded that our non-verbal son make the “g” sound for over 2 months of visits. She admitted that all of her patients were doing that and she wanted our son to do it also. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say, we stopped going to them. They had no idea of how to work with a child like our son. The speech therapist was not supportive of him learning to do sign language. It was her opinion that if he learned to sign, he would have no reason to start talking. That is ridiculous. The odds against him ever becoming verbal are staggering. Unlike Aspies who are able to become verbal and become quite good with speech, most with classic autism never become verbal. You much find other means to allow them to communicate. Our experiences, along with the stories of other families, shows us that there resources for classic autism are seriously lacking. This is an area where my husband and I are doing what we can to help educate others. Maybe, somewhere along the line the resources may become available.