Chapter 7: iAutism 17

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By Brandy Pavia

It’s been quite some time since my last update…if truth be told, it’s been months! I’ll be the first to admit that I only post when I think of something witty, otherwise I would wind up boring you with the random, mundane nonsense that pops into my head, and ain’t nobody got time for that!   I was Facebooking earlier this week, and stumbled across this amazing post, and it got me thinking about how much my Bean has changed, and in some ways, has remained the same.

I like to use the analogy that her autism is like an iPhone.  I know that may sound nuts at first, but try to bear with me while I attempt to explain.  Apple is constantly coming up with a new version of the iPhone, constantly thinking of ways to make it better, more user friendly, easier to navigate.  Just when you get used to the phone you have, they announce that the next version is about to be released…one that can do more, and hence, immediately deems your current phone outdated.  So you run out to the store, buy the newest, fancy-schmancy iPhone, and start the cycle all over again, getting used to a new phone, learning the many different features that it offers, etc.

Autism is constantly changing, constantly evolving.  One week my Bean may enjoy swimming, the next week she may not.  One day she may want to stay for the duration at a party, the next day she may adamantly object to the thought of even leaving the house.  These may seem like little things to you, but they are HUGE in her world.  With every change, comes the pursuit of learning how to adapt to it, and how to help her successfully navigate through it.  There is always a new version of her autism, which keeps things exciting. Currently…

  • Her autism has a fascination with slime.  Watching slime videos on YouTube, buying slime at Target, or Five Below and staining all of her clothes with it, etc.
  • Her autism is seasoned with dysarthria, which means that the muscles in her mouth are weak, so the speech doesn’t always come out clearly, but she always keeps trying!
  • Her autism is extremely low maintenance, and would rather have a squeaky hamburger dog toy, than a pile of presents.
  • Her autism doesn’t seem to understand abstract things, such as Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. She can identify them if she sees them, but the storyline behind them isn’t of much interest to her…yet!
  • Her autism is still working on writing her name legibly, but she can draw a pretty amazing smiley face, peeing and pooping!
  • Her autism is always reassuring her of what’s to come to help eliminate any anxiety, for example, “first school, then home.”
  • Her autism doesn’t seem to care what others think of her, which is wonderfully refreshing! We could all take a lesson from her!
  • Her autism introduced some OCD/anxiety characteristics that made this past summer a bit of a challenge, but she got through it amazingly.
  • Her autism is still prompted conversation, but she kicks ass at answering yes or no questions!

There are tons more, but my brain is on overload!  Most importantly, her autism is perfect, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

Brandy Pavia is a working mom from New Jersey, with two amazing kids: an autistically awesome daughter, “Bean” & an adorably sweet son, “Bear.”Together with her husband, and their dog, Penny, (who is like one of their kids), she enjoys sharing her family’s adventures and encouraging others to embrace autism along the way!