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Autism Mom!

40322Happy Belated Mother's Day to all female caregivers out there. Remember you are all very special. Being on the subject of special, mothers with children on the autism spectrum are angels in human form. Their work is never over, especially at night.

So far, we learned the definition of autism, then we touched a bit on the cause, it's now time to learn what it actually looks like.

Back to the angelic mothers;

Your beautiful newborn bundle of joy is finally home; you cannot stop looking at him and can't believe that this beauty is yours to keep. You are completely enamored and do not want him to have the slightest discomfort.

You were warned that the little ones can awaken a few times at night for the first few weeks or even months. It does not matter to you, because you are willing to give your life for this helpless bundle of joy. Many of those on the autism spectrum do demand a great part of your life, as they do not sleep for more than 20 minutes night or day and can cry hours on end. I remember planning to toss mine through the window, as I was growing delusional because of lack of sleep. Yes, the same priceless one I thought I would give my life for weeks earlier.

Babies should be getting 12-18 hours of sleep daily, however, these little ones average this amount in minutes at a time! If your baby is not sleeping, please do not think it's normal. Take him to your doctor.

When he is around 12 to 24 months, pay attention to how he is interacting with you and other children. They often flap their hands, are hyper, focused on one toy and do not seem interested in being with, or talking to anyone else. You can be calling their names and they will not easily reply. One can miss clues and just call the child stubborn. Please pay attention to these signs.

By one year, they should be babbling and pointing; saying small words by 16 months. If he is not doing these things, please take him to the pediatrician.

There are countless articles about the signs to look out for and the earlier you find out, the better for you, your family, and the child.

Main signs:

-They can have problems with socialization (some do not make eye contact and seem extremely shy)

-They also have problems with communication (some do not speak, understand tone of voice, and facial expressions; they also generally have trouble making friends, may not respond when someone is hurt and they do not initiate conversation.)

-Repetitive behaviors (wanting to eat the same thing daily, wanting to use the same cup, obsessed with one object or subject, only wants to talk about or play with that object.

Please watch out for children jumping in place, flapping their hands, or walking on their toes. Usually if they have six or more of the above symptoms, they should be assessed by a professional.

So, all you moms out there, especially the angelic ones, who have been suffering from lack of sleep, sudden tantrums, annoyed stares from outsiders, unsolicited advice and lack of understanding from all those, who did this so much "better" than you (like your mother-in-law).

Here are two more tasks to add to your infinite 'to do' list:

Give yourself a hug, then research autism if you suspect this or something else.

You are most likely right, remember you are a (Super) Mom!

To be continued next week.

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Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
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