Autism: An Update on Our Son | Organizing Made Fun: Autism: An Update on Our Son

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Autism: An Update on Our Son

It was 2002 when our lives changed suddenly! We had an amazing little boy, who was suddenly diagnosed with autism. I had never heard of autism, nor had I ever known anyone who had a child with autism. It plunged us into such an known world of therapies, sensory issues, and so much more. But, the good news is what I wanted to share with you today. It's been several years since I posted an update on our son, Adam. He is now 16 - oh my goodness - and I'd like to share with you and encourage any of you who know someone with autism. So, feel free to pin, share, and comment about who you know who has autism. 


Autism Update :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


You see, Adam isn't a typical 16 year old. And for that, I'm so grateful! He isn't the teenage boy trying to get in trouble or trying to break every rule. In fact, he's just the opposite. He was SO MUCH WORK when he was toddler through about age 10, then something started to click and he got easier and easier. He still does dumb stuff and doesn't always use his head - which is typical of most teens - but, he is the most joyful kid you could know. 


Autism Update - Driver's License :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


This past year, he got his driver's license. Oh yes, he's driving now. And he's driving all over our city from place to place. His independence has skyrocketed. Some doubted that he should be getting behind the wheel of a car and driving - as he tends to panic and over react to things. But, our thoughts were that we would never know unless we just pushed him and made him try. He was hesitant, at first, about driving. It took him three tries to pass the test - but he passed and he's such a great driver! He's careful and obeys the laws to a "T". 


Autism Update  :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


I hear from many of his teachers that he is one of their favorite students. Why? Because he does the work, participates in class, and never complains. This teacher, above, had Adam in first grade and fourth grade and again as his seventh grade history teacher! It was so fun and he was Adam's favorite teacher. He loves Adam and secretly said he's never had another student he enjoyed more than Adam. 


Autism Update  :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


He plays on the high school golf team. He's also in the high school marching band. He thrives in each. He works hard and he's nearly making straight A's.


Autism Update - hard working teen gets his own job  :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


This summer he tried getting a job. He applied EVERYWHERE. The city program turned him down and all the minimum wage jobs turned him down or he never even got a chance to have an interview. Well, I told him he HAD to work because a teenage boy can't sit around all summer and do nothing! There are job programs for kids with special needs, but they need to be 18 or older so he also wouldn't qualify. So, we started advertising him in the neighborhood website, our church freecycle, and my personal Facebook page. He started getting job after job after job. People left comments stating how hard working he was. We put his hourly rate up front and stated all that he was good. He's very strong and has a lot of energy, he's tireless, and he never complains. People noticed that. He has been able to continue to work through the summer and into the fall and make his own hours, and has probably made more money doing his own work than if he'd be tied down to a job somewhere else. 


Autism Update  :: OrganizingMadeFun.com


Why do I share all this with you? I share it for your encouragement, for your hope. Having a child with disabilities is not meant to be a doom for their life. We are ever so thankful that our son has thrived. It is ONLY by the grace of God that he has done so well. As parents, we have always pushed him just outside of his comfort zone. We have always expected his best. We NEVER use his autism as an excuse to misbehave or to do poorly or to be mean to others. It's been uncomfortable for him, at times, when we make him do things he doesn't like. 

He took a social skills class a couple of years ago that was SUPER helpful. It was called PEERS and was directed out of UCLA locally near us. It helped tremendously. I encourage you to look into a class for your teenaged son/daughter if they have auspberger's or any type of spectrum disorder. High School has been GREAT for him - better and better every year. That class he took really got him ready for this time in his life. He struggles still, here and there. But, we encourage him and we see him really thriving. 

Do you know someone with autism? How can you encourage them? Share this with them. I have more on autism HERE - click and find out more ways to help both you and your child. 



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23 comments:

  1. I didn't know about your son. I read to some little boys every week who all have autism. They are my heart. I couldn't love these little boys any more if they were mine. Now they are hugging me and giving me high fives and I so look forward to seeing them every week.

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  2. Such a blessing and an encouragement! Our boy is 10 and this is so encouraging!!! God bless your boy! Much luv from Dallas TX!

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  3. Thank you for sharing! My son was educationally diagnosed last spring with a spectrum disorder. I will definitely be on the lookout for a social skills class for him. That's his biggest struggle and like you, while we know his disability makes some things more difficult, it is never an excuse to not make good choices.

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  4. Thank you, Becky, for sharing your heartwarming story! I am certain that it brings needed encouragement to many. A dear friend of mine has a son with Asperger's. One of my sons and one of my daughters were privileged to tutor and mentor him some years back, and in more recent years he has graduated from college. There have been many challenges along the way, but they have always sought God's leading, and many resources have become available to avail themselves to for guidance and for assistance.
    I also have a grandson, 14, who is on the spectrum. Social stigma has been rearing its head, as is often the case at this age. But his parents have been diligent in prayer and in seeking out wisdom in rearing him in the unique way that best fits his particular needs. Whether it be trained counselors, loving friends & family members, healthcare professionals, teachers, extra-curricular activity groups, or whatever - they have kept themselves open and active in seeking those things that would be edifying to him, and he has continued to prosper and grow.
    Additionally, I have a very close family member who was stricken with mental illness in his early twenties. Because it did not manifest itself overnight, and because there were various influences at the time that could have explained the changes in behavior, many hearts were broken before we realized what was taking place in his life. It has been many years now, and most would find unimaginable the healing and restoration that has been taking place in our family. I praise God for His grace and look forward to all that is in store for him.
    We know so much about our physical health and are learning more with each day. But we have just begun to scratch the surface when it comes to delving into mental issues. It is critical that we seek and remain teachable!

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  5. your story is heartwarming and inspiring. thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. My son is 11 (1/2) and is on the spectrum. He is high functioning, and SUPER social. A total contradictory to what everything Autism is. I hope that something "clicks" for him soon, he is so much work and I'm waiting for the day where I realize things have gotten easier. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to sharing the same in 4 years when my son is 16.

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    1. Yes! Some parts take longer than others! I'm sure you'll see some struggles diminish and others come up. Keep up the great work! Becky B.

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  7. Wow, this is such a great story. I love it. What a wonderful young man you've raised way to go!

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  8. Becky, what an extraordinary young man, your son. Thank you for the update. It is inspirational to me though I've not had a child of my own with autism. What a gift it is to those of your blog followers who may have children, or other family members, with autism to see a successful life is still possible.

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  9. Thank you. This is so timely as I just recently went through an IEP meeting for my son. It is so much work, but I'm hopeful that his independence will increase. Continued success to your son. I'm delighted for your family.

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    1. It's a lot of work - no doubt! Have hope that it will be easier someday, but be his biggest advocate! Becky B.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this! My 3 teens are also on the spectrum. My oldest two have stories similar to your sons and I was really encouraged to hear how you helped him find "work".

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    1. You're welcome! We had to get creative! Becky B.

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  11. thank you for sharing. our daughter was diagnosed last year. she will be turning 3 in march and i hate to admit it, but i tend to get very down about her future. we started her in aba therapy in july and she is up to 6 hours a day. i do see a difference but i just get so nervous. so it is good to read stories like yours, thank you

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    1. It's a long road, not gonna lie. But, it's a road that you will be glad you took! He was so much work when he was little, but as a teen he is easy as can be now! Becky B.

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  12. He sounds like a really awesome kid. I believe my mother has autism, and she has many of the same qualities. Good job on raising an obviously happy and healthy guy! The teens years can be a scary time, and he's lucky to have you both.

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  13. Thank you so much for this post. It truly is inspirational. I work with several autistic kids so I'm going to pass your post on to their families. It even encouraged me. Thanks again for the update.

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  14. Such an interesting post. A lot information and very usefull. My regards!

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