It’s a painful experience realizing that your can’t do shit to immediately solve a mental health issue faced by your child…but don’t I have mental health issues...by anyways this post isn’t about me…
…or is it…
Ok, I digress, come back.
Ok, then again I hear there a asshole parents out there who don’t give AF about their kids, I’m referring to those that do.
Omu has an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) barrier as well as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and another barrier that makes it difficult for her to correctly speak out the words registered by her brain.
My sister says I’m overexaggerating with all my concerns regarding these barriers.
That’s just one too many disorders for my liking.
It all began when my wife started sending Omu for speech therapy to ID if baby was in fact delayed in her speech.
Mommy’s intuitions were confirmed when it was discovered that baby was in fact delayed in the development of her speech in accordance to her age.
Baby was 2 at the time and still babbling, with her not being able to speak clear words or speaking a minimum of 2 word sentences.
After a couple of weekly sessions, the speech therapists recommended we take Omu to see a neuropediatrician.
And that’s the person who flipped the script on us, diagnosing her with severe ASD and ADHD.
I had an idea what ADHD was, but had no clue what ASD was.
It’s just that, whatever the acronym, I was flooded with emotions on…why her…
Non-autistic parents or friends or strangers do their best to assist and “comment” on how best we could manage Omu, advice not applicable to her because (God bless their souls) they have no clue how to best to interact and care for some who is on the spectrum.
So there’s this incorrect belief that me and mommy are all alone in the struggle, because the support system around us don’t fully understand the impact of raising an autistic.
So going to workshops, support groups, social workers who specialize in the field, and doing research on the barrier is giving us the foundation that we need to better equip ourselves in the journey to understanding baby and how she sees the world.
Holy shit, you should see how far Omu has come.
And you then add the occupational therapy she is doing, to assist her brain to establish the link between thought and speech, it brings tears to my eyes.
Every child develops at their own pace. It’s just that the gap I see when compared to toddlers her age…that shit hits home.
What she lacks in speech though, she excels in finding other ways to communicate, by grabbing you by the arm and pointing in the direction of what she wants.
She also kicks ass on the iPad, before it got smashed to bits, playing those matching games and navigating through the apps, I need to get that fixed.
My mom got her some matching board games as well that she successfully completes after a few tries.
Omu and her random screaming and/or laughter associated with her spectrum (those used catch me of guard). Her fine motor skills are in the process of developing to the level that we would like them to be. She’s making progress.
So as much as she would tell her brain to move her body in a certain way, when the message reaches her limbs they come out as something else.
So instead of placing a plastic cup filled with water on top of the table, like she would from her other independent water drinking attempts, she spills the cup on the floor.
Or when it comes to feeding herself. She can scoop the food, but the spoons travels many a places before it reaches her mouth.
Or the other time she had a meltdown on the floor and then started banging her forehead on the floor. I’m still recovering from seeing that. I mean, how do you respond to that?!
Her senses are heightened. Senses her brain cannot process correctly, at times. Sight, smell, touch, hearing data all coming to her at the same time.
To try and limit being overwhelmed (sensory overload, the call it) she would cover her ears and hum (aka stimming) to herself.
Probably leave the environment and go outside where there’s less for her to process.
I need to get her noise cancelling headphones.
She also stims when she’s upset with something or hungry or thirsty or in need of a (brief) hug.
And mind you, she doesn’t like to be touched but welcomes hug every now and again.
On some “make that hug bra, I’ve got things to do.”
She can’t “read” emotions so when she pushes you aside when you’re in the way, girl does not give AF how you felt about that.
Her objective was achieved.
And when you protest, she looks at you unbeknownst to her of what you are faffing about.
This makes it hard for her to interact with people or make friends, apparently that’s an important skill to have…making friends.
They call it social skills…oh well.
I think that shit’s overrated but then again I too might need to get my head checked out for an American-defined disorder that they can be placed on, with its corresponding medication of course.
Uncle Sam needs to get paid you see?
Healthcare scandal or not, these are the cards that mommy and I were dealt with, and we need to see how we fare with them.
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” – Randy Pausch
So that’s been my 2019.
Eventful, but I feel I ain’t seen nothing yet.