In 2002, I was surprise, but thrilled to find out that I was expecting naturally-conceived triplets.
Early in my pregnancy, I became seriously ill. It was thought unlikely that I would keep the pregnancy, but two babies hung on and my lovely twins were born in April 2003.
How Autism Has Affected Us
My daughter Lyla was diagnosed with autism in 2008 at the age of 5.
Autism affects our life in so many ways.
Things which normal families take for granted such as dressing, eating and outings are either not possible or very difficult. Lyla tantrums several times a day and is often hyperactive, harming herself and our home. She often hides, even when we're out, which is extremely scary. And she is addicted to TV.
We love her to bits, she is an extremely charming and engaging little girl who's eccentric take on life gives us lots of smiles.♥
Are All Autistics Geniuses?
Sadly, not. Just like in the general population, there is a wide variation in intelligence. About 3% of autistics are 'savants' or geniuses like the central character in Rainman (who doesn't strike me as being much like Neil Morrissey btw).
Challenging Behaviour is literally difficult behaviour. In practice it usually means where a child behaves in either a verbally and/ or physically violent way.
A minority of kids with autism and ADHD behave violently and it can be quite a tricky problem to deal with as the causes can be quite varied.
Lyla had extremely challenging behaviour for about a year around the time of her diagnosis. Every night at bedtime, she would behave extremely violently and attack me, break things (windows etc) and self-harm. This would go on for about three hours every night. It was a strenuous and frightening time for us both.
What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Aspergers is a form of high-functioning autism. The term 'high-functioning' is slightly misleading as the difficulties of the sufferer can be just as great as those of other autistic people. Also, high-functioning autism can often co-exist with other conditions like ADHD which can create additional challenges.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
SPD is such a common feature of autism that it is now being considered as a diagnostic criteria for the condition.