I am mother of a child diagnosed with Autism

Fourteen years ago there was limited information available on autism. I found only two books that offered me any kind of hope. Thinking in Pictures by; Temple Grandin was one and Somebody Somewhere by; Donna Williams was the second. Both women are considered to have a high functioning autism.

Today, with the use of the Internet and the thousands of books being written on the subject of autism everyone is an expert. Parents have so much information available. How can you possibility decide what direction to take?

For my family, early intervention was the KEY and creating teams to work directly in sync with one another. One team was our school district, which included teachers and therapists within our community. We formed teams of family and friends. I educated everyone, and if you were involved with Jordan you were educated on diet, discipline, communication, sensory issues, and many more issues.

I was Jordan’s social coach. We spent most of our days with children twelve years old and under. Through constant modeling, I taught Jordan to interact with other children and other children how to interact with Jordan. I kept him integrated from the start. His full blown tantrums did not stop me from teaching my son social. Young children are resilient. They don't judge each other, they forgive and forget. It’s when they are older that judgments are made.

Therefore, get moving and don't waste a minute. Time is of the essence.

I would like to offer the newcomer information and direction to make life a little easier.

There is a lot of advice out there and also on this web site. Choose what you feel is right for your own child. Listen to your gut and don't be afraid to speak up if something isn't working. You know your child best. Most everything I will be blogging will come from my own experiences or something I researched that helped my own child.

Take what you can use and leave the rest behind. May the force be with you (:

Recently, at a dinner party, I was introduced to a group of women whom I have never met before. We were all seated around the dining room table sharing stories and carrying on. There was a woman seated next to me who was obviously from a wealthy background. As we began to talk, this woman Kim, while pulling two pair of expensive sun glasses from her purse, told me that she enjoys the finer things in life. She also mentioned her home which was located in a prestigious subdivision that I am very familiar with. From the road the houses of this subdivision look more like castles. I often have wondered what type of occupation a person would have to afford and own one of these mansions. All of this was very impressive!

As the evening progressed, more personal information was exchanged, you know how us women can be, bla, bla, bla. Kim started to pour out her frustrations in regard to her husband and as I listened to her a pattern suddenly began to unfold.

Kim was married fifteen years earlier. She told me that the first six months were fabulous. Then she looked puzzled as she explained how her husband’s behavior started taking a turn for the worst. “This was not the man I married. Who was this man?” Kim said, “...and where did my husband go?”

Kim went on to explain, “One evening, we met up with another couple (professional friends) for dinner and cocktails. It was a very fancy restaurant. First off, I had an extremely hard time getting Jack to go. He was having a huge temper tantrum. I just didn’t understand what his problem was? ‘Jack she said, what is the big deal? It’s only dinner?’ Well anyway we ordered and the three of us are conversing and not a peep from my husband Jack. Oh, I was mad. Not only mad but embarrassed. The waiter served our meal. It looked delicious, and I was very hungry considering I hadn’t eaten all day.

We all started to dig in and look over at Jack and to my shock and dismay, he is cutting his filet holding his knife with a fisted grip. I kicked him under the table. ‘What are you doing?’ I whispered giving him a nasty glare. Jack just gave me this blank stare?”

Now Kim said to all of us sitting at the table, “Don’t you think that whole experience is odd? I think his mom babied him to the point of probably cutting his meat.” she grimaced shrugging her shoulders at the same time.

As I listened to her story of rigid behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts, isolation, a weird attachment to his animals, obsessions, blank stares and not comprehending conversation, inappropriate behavior at his job and sensory issues, I couldn’t comprehend how she wondered why the marriage went wrong.

The last situation she spoke of set off red flags immediately. He worked for a very large company for over 20 years as a computer programmer, which is basically a loner job. Jack was then transferred after 20 years of computer programming to Human Resources. Kim said he could no longer handle the people, so he quit.

Kim mentioned that his parents were very wealthy so Jack inherited a lot of money. Therefore, Jack really doesn’t have to work. However, another thing to add to the list of his odd behavior is that he would not touch or write a check to pay the bills.

Kim said, “I just don’t understand that man, I am so incredibly tired and lonely I don’t know how much longer I can go on doing this. Does anyone have any suggestions?”

I realized that that was my cue. “I understand how you feel. I’m beginning to think something more might be going on here, besides Jack just trying to aggravate and embarrass you. Have you ever heard of “Aspergers Syndrome”? I asked.

I began to share some common characteristics with her, explaining that not everyone is the exactly the same but there are commonalities.

• Lack of social skills
• Trouble communicating
• Emotional out bursts.
• Fine motor issues
• Depression, possible suicidal thought patterns
• Obsessions
• Perseverating on topics
• Sensory issues
• Isolation preferring to be by ones self

Then I gave her several web sites that I’m familiar with and said that I would help her in gathering resources. Here are some of my favorites.


This just enforces my mission to carry on educating others and to share my experiences to provide what living with a person under this spectrum is really like.

Ed Arranga, Founder of Autism International Association and Teri Arranga, his beautiful wife, Director and Manager of Autism One, have blessed me with many opportunities to further my mission and have introduced me to many fascinating people on these similar paths.

I thank Ed and Teri from the bottom of my heart. Who ever it is looking down on me has provided me with a wonderful child and a personality to persevere and reach out to others. After all, in my opinion this is not a competition it’s an educational partnership.

Jordan has re-emerged successfully from Autism. It certainly has not been an easy road. There have been times when I wanted to give up but then who would suffer?

Through trial and error, Jordan has been integrated into a regular classroom setting. He is now in high-school, driving a car and social to a point that others would think he is just a shy young man. And his obsessions of sports and poker 24/7, are aggravating to me but very normal to someone who hasn’t an inkling of what we’ve been through. This is a life of progress not perfection.

My hope is that we all discover that missing piece to the puzzle. Many blessings to you all. And if you should need me, I am here.