If there is one thing I struggle to get my head around is how autism can be seen as being “different” It’s so complex how can it not be seen as anything other than truly amazing.
For a 5-year-old to have a photographic memory, recognise complex shapes and love working with high digit numbers is nothing short of astonishing, If this is “different” then sign me the hell up as I would love to have these abilities!
Autism comes in all shapes and sizes which is whats so amazing about it. The spectrum is so vast no two children are the same.
Autism normally presents itself by the age of 3, however, parents may notice signs as early as 12 months. For us, Teddie hit all his milestones when he was a baby, it wasn’t until he was over 1 we noticed a real change in how he saw the world. It honestly felt like one day he was ok then all of a sudden he wasn’t.
Teddie walked early, would high five his brothers, made eye contact with you, was so happy & even said a few words then it was like a switch had been flicked, he was a different boy.
Throughout my studies, I come across lots of theories on why children behave in certain ways (neurotypical and ASD children) Children all develop at different stages during pregnancy and after birth. As a parent of 3 boys, I’m still met with the need for my children to confirm but the fact is children will be who they want to be.
I’ve never felt the need to find out why Teddie has ASD. What we do know, however, is environmental factors & genetics strongly influence the risk for developing ASD. Do any of these apply to us? I’m not sure but I do ponder on a few questions.
One of the main issues Teddie faces now is recognising facial expressions and the emotions behind them. The question I always ask myself is what changed from when Teddie was a baby/toddler to now?
Studying and research have taught me infants regularly show facial expressions of sadness and happiness despite never being taught such emotions so this has to be something that is built into us.
A study I worked on a few years ago on how babies congenitally blind will smile when they are happy and cry when they are sad. These infants have never been taught or seen these facial expressions so it backs up the theory that these emotions are built into all of us.
With this in mind, how is it possible for Teddie to be able to regulate all emotions at such a young age but find it all so hard now? Why does Teddie have empathy towards others but not towards himself?
Did something happen for these changes to make such an impact on him?
Even if my questions were answered it wouldn’t make a difference, in all honesty, I (we) would never want Teddie to be any different from the amazing kind-hearted boy we all love so much.
The mind works in mysterious ways & to complex for any of us to ever fully understand. No two people are the same which can only be a good thing.
We love our Bear more than he could ever know.