Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Autism Ambivalence

Gili's 'diagnosis' of autism hasn't really changed anything, but my husband and I do think about it once in a while. It really hit me when I saw it on the Neurologists's report. It was one of the few things I could read.

My husband said, "I thought Gili couldn't be autistic because she's special needs." That's what I thought, too. I thought you had to be higher functioning to fall within the autism spectrum. I still don't think Gili has autism. The neurologist just said that her behavior, like the repetitive motions she makes slapping the floor and repeating the same sound like, "d'ge, d'ge, d'ge," are consistent with autism specrum disorder.

I've taken this opportunity to join a couple of the many autism groups/forums. I figure some extra advice can't hurt. Though I still feel like I get the best advice from the other CMV moms. I think the main difference is that Gili has no concept of right and wrong and therefore she can't "misbehave."

Yesterday Big Sis asked my husband why he loves Gili the most. I don't think he came close to denying it, he was just somehow surprised that she noticed. I joke that Gili has the best father in the world... even better than her brothers and sister.  He answered that he loves everyone the same. But to me, he answered that it's because she's the best behaved. He's blind the the things that would be horrific if "normal" two year olds did them. It's not likes she's an angel, she just doesn't know better, so he can't get mad at her. It made me think about how we get stressed out about our other kids misbehaving, ignoring us, etc. Really they are no worse than other kids their age. They can be monsters at home, but I am grateful that I can usually trust them to behave for others, teachers, other parents. There are pre-teens and teens who actually come play with them for free. So thank G-d, they are basically sweet kids.

I think that my husband give Gili the most love to compensate for the attention she doesn't get from others. Big Sis is obsessed with Lil Bro and only wants to play with him "because he's so cute." She rarely even touches Gili. And babysitters, even with the best intentions, are a little stumped on what to do with her. "So, what does she like to do?" Even now, I'm home juggling two little ones, it's little Bro who's sleeping (with a fever) on my chest, while Gili is kicking the door behind me in need of attention. As much as I wish my husband would be more attentive to the needs of our infant, it's good that Gili has an advocate. It's a shame we can't just be on the same team, but I naturally put the needs on my helpless nursling first. So it's good that hubby makes sure Gili gets what she needs, even if she's not the "squeekiest wheel" in the house.

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