He is no different: A Dexter woman's story on discovering her son has autism | Families
DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - With April being World Autism Awareness Month we asked viewers to share their stories of friends or loved ones with autism.
Here is the story of Lauren Neuhaus from Dexter:
My son was diagnosed with autism in February of this year. I have known something was "special" about Owen for quite sometime. He was above kids his own age in certain subject, but when it came to learning Owen wanted no part in it. Owen can do things most 5 (will be 6 this month) year olds can't. He can do a 100 piece puzzle, take apart toy cars and put them back together, recite any movie/cartoon back to you word for word, and he is a little OCD. Owen is different from 5 year old kids because he doesn't know his alphabet, or how to count past ten. Don't get him wrong, he can write his name, dress himself, play with certain children and is a normal child for the most part. I never call Owen different; I call him "special." Autistic children are neat, and if you observe them well it is amazing how different his mind works. I was in denial something was wrong with my child for years.
I knew something was going on, but with my background of ADHD I just assumed this was the problem. He was tested for ADHD a week after he turned five, a little early? Yes, but he would be starting "big" school, as Owen calls it, in the next year and I needed to know what to do to help my child advance. Owen was not ADHD, and the lady he was seeing at the time said he may be border-lined autistic. I have no idea what this meant and she didn’t know what else to do for Owen. We then discussed the outcome of this Doctor appointment with Owen's primary physician. He referred us to a different doctor. We visited this doctor early January. The Doctor sent us home with papers and test for his preschool and myself to fill out. We went back a month later. Owen scored 89 on my test for home and a 79 for the preschool test. The average child without autism scores between 0-60. Well, with this test score guide and Owen's scores we came to the conclusion. My child was AUTISTIC. I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. The doctor said if I don't enjoy rollercoaster rides I better hang on because that is what my life would be for the rest of my life. My husband, Owen, and I left the doctors office. I called my mom, sisters, and grandparents to share this devastating news with. I was in tears and heartbroken. I just wanted my child to be a normal five year old.
Later that evening after we had gotten home, fed everyone, bathed, and put to bed I sat alone for awhile in the living room thinking of everyone I had known with autism. I found myself praying to God for answers on why me. My boss text me with a reply after I told her the news (she has a mentally challenged child) and it said, "My mother told me God gave special children to people who could handle it." My reply was: "What a smart lady your momma was." A pity party is what I was having. My child was health-wise, healthy. There are children all around the world homeless, no food, no clothing, life threatening diseases, and being beaten and abused. I was crying and upset because my child was diagnosed with autism. No longer do I find myself upset over it. I was thankful for what I do have.
Autism is no easy battle, but it beats a child with cancer or a child that has no where to call home. I will not lie and say it is easy, because it is NOT easy. You just learn to deal with it, you can't change it so accept it. Owen now has counseling and speech therapy. He will soon start OT. He goes for his Kindergarten screening this week. He may not do the best on it, or may do worse than some children. This is my child and he will do good in my eyes no matter what
My child is a normal, smart, funny, energetic, and handsome child.
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