Kate has autism. With numbers like 1 in 68 on the autism spectrum you might know someone like Kate. If you don’t, here’s a little crash course. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in three main areas: communication, socialization and restricted and repetitive behaviours. As you can imagine all of these areas overlap in many ways. Autism presents uniquely in every individual affected. Having said that, we can only tell of our own experiences and we sincerely help it hopes you understand a little more about autism.
As mentioned, autism is a communication disorder, so discussing the terms of her autism is relatively difficult for Kate. She prefers simple and direct questions and she can usually come up with a pretty great answer. Enjoy the transcript of one of our most recent conversations below:
Me: Hey Baby, want to talk for a bit?
Kate: Oh, Mama. I fought (thought) you were reading. Silly Mama. I do want to talk.
Me: What do you want to talk about?
Kate: What did you said that to me? (This is a great example of how the words are there but she can’t quite get them in the right order or at the right time.)
Me: Is there anything you want to talk about?
Kate: I don’t know.
Me: Can we talk about autism?
Me: What is autism?
Kate: Oh autism. It’s just…..It’s just my best brain (brain). (I always like to use my best brain brain). I can show you, too.
Me: Does autism bother you sometimes?
Kate: Boffer? No, sometimes I get wrinkles in my heart. That is a little hurt for my heart but I fink it’s not bad.
Me: What kinds of things make wrinkles in your heart?
Kate: Well, if I want to sing and I might not always can sing or go to the toy store.
Me: How should people treat you?
Kate: Ummm. Mostly, I fink (think) ice-cream but sometimes, chocolate.
Me: Err, okay, let me try this again. Are you the same as everyone else? Do you do all the same things?
Kate: Same fings? I don’t be the same. I be Kate, silly goose.
Me: Are you happy, Kate?
Kate: Sometimes I fink (think) I could be more happier if I could go to the toy store.
Me: Is there anything you’d like people to know about autism?
Kate: No, but would you imagine if a shark would eat a flower and then it could come out his butt!!
Me: Do you know how much I love you?
It’s not much but it’s a start. We plan on being open and honest with her about her autism and offer her any and all support available. She’s just beginning to question some of the things that make her different and if we can make her feel confident, strong and safe as she grows than we will have done our job.