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Messages By: jsolimine

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December 15, 2007, 9:17 am CST

Daughter with Autism

My 9-year old daughter has autism.  She is sometimes aggressive because of her frustration levels at our inability to understand what she is trying to communicate.  Sometimes she doesn't want to stop doing something others want her to stop doing and she thinks her wishes are being ignored when we don't listen to her wishes.  Sometimes she hits her little sister (pretty typical in older siblings) when she thinks she's not getting enough attention.  This wouldn't be so much of a problem, except that her little sister is extremely developmentally delayed, is in a wheelchair, and is medically fragile.  Most of the time, she is a funny, smart, and even affectionate girl -- with some very quirky behaviors.


Autism is a big enough problem without adding violence to the mix.  Too many children in this world are violent without autism.  Autism could make a tendancy for violence worse, however, because of the lack of inner restraint and inability to empathize many people with autism seem to have.  If Luc is threatening his mother with violence, the autism may not be helping, but it is NOT the main problem.  Vaccinations may trigger autism in some kids, but they are NOT the cause.  Like other parents with children with disabilities, I'd like to know why, but with my children, and many other childen, there is no "why" there are only the facts of their disabilities.


Many people have told me that they don't know how I do it, having two children with completely different disabilities.  I do it like every other parent does it:  with love, intention, a willingness to fight for my children's future, and a combination of diplomacy and insistence when dealing with their school district and doctors.


The life that my husband and I have is not the one we planned.  The lives our children will have are not the ones we dreamed for them before they were born.  But, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, sometimes you have to give up the life you have planned and the dreams that you have in order to find the life and dreams that God has waiting for you.


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