Being a single mum with an autistic child presents challenges normal support doesn't even touch on. Share your experiences, ideas - or even just vent if you need to, in here!
Finally I got to see a pediatrician (yes, it takes that damn long to get to see a pediatrician when you live in the country!). Over the past through months my daughter has had speech therapy and has been being assesed by an early childhood intervention person.
She is much the same, but is coming along slowly. Still incredibly frustrating with many behaviours.
The good news is, the pediatrician thinks that she doesn't have Autism - he said that Autistic children do things like stare at their fingers or objects close up, line up toys, and don't role-play (my daughter doesn't do these things, and role-plays sometimes). This came as a huge relief. But following on the heels of that, was the bad news is that he has referred her to a specialist assessment team, as she is displaying too many problem areas - delayed speech development, social development, eating disorders tending towards obesity and refusing to eat meats, and also fine motor skills - she doesn't have interest in drawing, colouring, holding a pen correctly. He says that with so many delayed areas, there's a probablility that there is an underlying cause, rather than she is just slower to develop than other children.
He has given me a form for several blood tests, including to test for chromosome damage - this worries me most of all - is he saying she may be permanently mentally damaged? I know a missing chromosome can mean downs syndrome - what does a damaged chromosme indicate?!
Has anyone been through all of this?
So if you're able to, see what's on offer in your state in the way of parenting programs, as most of them are specifically designed for children with learning or behaviour problems. The Hanen program is run through child health here in queensland, not sure what state you are in but it's worth looking into and speaking to someone to see if they can help you and your daughter. There is also a support group called My Time across australia, aimed at parents with children with disabilities or learning delays www.mytime.net.au , you may find some useful info there or even a nearby group to join. And please let us know how things are going for you both.
And big hugs for you, it's not easy doing it alone, and you're doing the best job you can. I'm sure you'll find the light at the end of the tunnel soon and things will get better.
I want for my child to have a normal and wonderful life more than anything, and I stress that she's not going to be able to do that - I always hope that a miracle will occur, like you do, hoping that she will leave certain behaviours behind her. Strangely, like you, I think I DO believe she is going to be okay. Any small normal development is such a big deal with me.
She still has no boundaries- her aim in life is to get hold of things that are fragile, and eventually break them - sigh
I did also have an amnio with her and she was found to be okay.
I would be VERY interested to hear how that Hanen program goes - I'm curious how it improves behaviour, because nothing has made any difference in our case.
Many of the assessing specialists leave me feeling that nothing was achieved, because my daughter seems so clueless and unfocussed.
For example of her ability to focus, I even tried taking her to a dance lesson, where all the other toddlers (most younger than her) made her look like a bellowing idiot "I can't, I can't!" over and over. I don't think she even SAW the teacher. She then took off, running for the door and the road as I ran screaming behind her, stop, STOP!!!. She NEVER stops - I caught her with a couple of metres to spare. Time after time I have to save her from herself. If I wasn't right on top of her all the time, she would have killed herself ten times over - she has no sense of danger.
And as she gets bigger, it stands out more, as I can't pretend she's just a tantruming little toddler anymore . And will she ever toilet train? Aaaaaaaaaaaargh
. Does anyone else feel as though wherever they go, they and their noisy, badly behaved child draws all the attention, and people are all staring at you, judging you as as a bad parent...?
I will check out those links now, sorry for the rambling rant, and thanks again...