Rainmom is an assistant professor of religious studies and a mom of two children, of whom the elder has autism. When I went to college with her, I got to enjoy her stunning soprano voice in productions of La Boheme and The Marriage of Figaro. Now, I read her thoughtful, insightful blog about raising a child with autism, and though I don't often comment, I take courage and wisdom from it.
My daughter's challenges are different from her son's, but there is definitely overlap in what we deal with as parents. When Rainmom wrote, "The Ohio House of Representatives has voted that insurance companies cannot decline to cover expenses related to autism and diabetes" (Little Victories), I realized that I had better find out where Washington State stood in that matter. I found the Autism Society of Washington (where you can find explanations for the wide range of diagnoses from "classic" autism to Pervasive Developmental Disorder).
We're still waiting for appointments to have our daughter assessed this spring. It's possible that she'll get a diagnosis that will help her obtain the services she needs, but it's also possible that like my youngest brother, she will be classified an "enigma."
I want Lucia to get the help she needs. I want her to have friends who accept her, quirks and all. It's very painful to see her run up to children, eager to be friends, and watch them shrink away from her into their parents. I understand why they do that, and I certainly don't like it when anyone invades my personal space. Still, I internally grumble, "Where are all those exuberant, extroverted kids when I need them? They're allegedly supposed to be in the majority."
July 25, 2010: Now that Lucia is older, I feel it is no longer appropriate to write about her. I decided not to delete older posts, but I want to respect her privacy by not writing about her in a public forum, even if she does have a pseudonym. If you have been reading the blog for awhile and wonder what is going on these days, please feel free to contact me through email.