Autism and Siblings

Now that you have had the initial experience of having a daughter with a disability, discuss how you will navigate her educational, recreational, and social life. She has entered school, how to you advocate for her, what type of support have you received? Talk about the journey and what you have encountered, be detailed and relate how you will provide for all of your child’s needs. Discuss the impact on siblings and the family as a whole. (Discussion Forum (three total responses) applies.

Navigate Education Needs

The journey. Amy was born in 1991.  It was not until she turned 4 where we had her diagnosed with Autism.  She did not talk at all during her early years, but was a happy baby with few concerns.   She liked to be alone a lot of the time. The parents did not know Amy had Autism, as Amy was their first born, and mom was a stay at home mom.  Amy did not have much socialization with other children, so her disability with Autism was not recognized until around the age of 4, when her sister was born.  The parents noticed Amy would flap her hands at times, and just not respond to social situations. Her baby sister was a fire ball, and not diagnosed with Autism.  The journey of having a child with Autism, and high functioning Autism, was not easy, even though the parents had money to navigate any extra tutors, traveling for experiences, ski trips, vacations to Disney World and a few other vacations to Hawaii and other experiences.  Amy enrolled in Public School and had an IEP. At the Junior High Level she enrolled in Private Lutheran School with a continued IEP. The parents did not talk too much about Amy has having Autism, so she was treated normally in all family functions, it was only at school where she had extra help.  Consequently, Amy was able to attend College, and live on her own, now at age 26. What have encountered.  Because of the husband, having good income, and living in an affluent neighborhood, the family did not encounter too much segregation, hostility, or shunning, none of the negative behaviors.  

Navigate Recreational Needs

The journey. Amy has had a few friends her age while growing up.  Because she was an only child until age 4 and mother was able to stay home with her, her disability wasn’t completely noticed and diagnosed until her younger sister was born.  Then when her sister was born at Amy’s 4 years of age, then her sister’s friends became her playmates and she became more social and somewhat recreational. As Amy grew older, she had extra body weight on her, because she was not interested in working out, running and playing with other children.  Amy as a 26 year old are of the same body weight composition.What have encountered.  The biological father of Amy, was embarrassed about her excess weight, and ridiculed her if she choose to eat something fattening.  Amy would just ignore him, and continue eating what she choose to eat. However, I am sure that her father’s ridicule, did not help her with her weight.  Mother ended up enrolling Amy into a Judo class and this helped with her excess weight.

Navigate Social Life Needs

The journey.   Most of Amy’s social life consisted of socialization with her siblings friends, and other students in her school.  She just would rather be alone, even when her parents had adult friends over, she would go into her room and read. What have encountered.  Most of Amy’s parents friends, did not know Amy had Autism as her diagnosis was on the high end of the Autism spectrum.  Amy’s parents did not talk about their daughter’s disability or they did not include Amy in conversation as having a disability, therefore Amy was always included in social, family events, and treated as not having a disability.  

Advocate for Child With Disability School

The journey. The mother of Amy, is a tiger and more of alpha female, who will pester until it is done.  This is what she did with her child, in a nice way. Since her disability was not diagnosed until she was about school age, and she was high functioning, there was intervention with Amy’s social skills. What have encountered.  The school staff was accommodating in about 1996 when she began attending Kindergarten.  Autism was not taught as much in school, so the school staff had to incorporate and assimilate Amy into the mainstream classroom with limited pull out to work on social issues.  Since Amy came from a nice family, with a attending mother, she learned quickly to maintain her Autism disability.

Impact on Siblings and the Family as a whole.

The journey.   Amy has one sibling who was born 4 years later than Amy.  Since, Amy was an only child in the house, until her sibling came along, and was not used to speaking up to her mother, when her sibling came along, she had a time of adjustment.  Her sibling was ornery and demanding her way. Her sibling pinched and was a feisty fighter, to the point where mother had to get up earlier than usual and walk just to get tension out before their day started!  The father never talked about his oldest child, in fact, he always criticized what she ate. Except when she was about 5, he stated “you see, she does that hand flapping!” The father, is an athlete and had difficulty accepting a daughter with weight on.  What have encountered.  Amy seemed oblivious to the goings on with her sibling and the father’s remarks, and seemed to take everything in stride.  She appeared to be an easy going child with Autism, who really grew out of the disability almost by high school. She did not get into the cherished private high school that her mother wanted her to go to, but she went to another private high school and College and is a thriving working adult now in present time of 2016.  

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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