Autism: It’s Not Who You Are, It’s How We Help You

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Local Mom, Kristi, shares her story of having her son diagnosed with Autism.  She shares words of wisdom and encouragement!

Autism Diagnosis

My son, Ryder, was diagnosed with Autism on August 21st, 2014.

Some people say that the day their child was diagnosed was one of the hardest days of their life… dealing with the news that their child has been diagnosed with a “condition” that will follow them in their lives forever.  There is no cure for autism and honestly, I am glad for that. The day he was diagnosed was one of the most relieving days of my life. We had a diagnosis that we could work with, we had answers for the reasoning behind some of his behaviors…. but most of all… we had support! Autism does not define who Ryder is! It is a diagnosis that allows us to understand him more and to get the help and support we need.

Write Everything Down

In the last 5 years (after he was diagnosed), we have been through a lot. From trying to deal with unexpected behaviors, to fighting with insurance companies. It has been an emotional roller coaster from the very beginning, but one of the best bits of advice I have ever received was to Write Down Everything! Write down different the doctors you visited, therapies you have tried, different diets, different behaviors you notice at different times, etc… write it all down. The more you write down, the easier it will be when you have to talk to a million and one people about your child’s diagnosis. When you start a new therapy, or start school, or go to the doctor, the more information that you have to give them, the easier it is for them to help you out. When you are emotionally exhausted from everyday life, it is so much easier for you as a parent to pull out your notebook and have all of that information right there.

Connect With Others

I could go on and on about different stories from the 9 years I have been blessed to be this little boy’s mom. He keeps me on my toes, we have our ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change anything about him. I just want all of you to know, you are not alone, there are resources out there to help you. Don’t be afraid to connect with a friend or someone in the community that has a child on the Spectrum. Sometimes just having someone there to talk to, to share experiences with, or to get advice from, is some of the best “therapy” you need as a parent. I feel like I have been through it all; from battling with schools, insurance companies, and family members who think your child is “just a brat.” I have seen it all. Please, please, please, If I can help you in any way, reach out to me. I am here to listen, I’m here to give you my experience, I will help in any way I can. I have been in your shoes before, you are not alone.  You can email me at [email protected]

Hello, my name is Kristi and I am the mother to two boys who are 9 and 6. Many of you may have seen me coaching at Air Force Gymnastics. I have been there for the past 6 years, and before that I worked at The Little Gym in Ashwaubenon. My love for children and gymnastics is obvious. I have a background in early childhood education and love what I do!

Green Bay Autism Services Guide