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I am very fortunate to have both of my children and a supportive husband. My kids have taught me so much about life. I learned a lot about myself through them.
I was in regular classes in school. I was also sent to day camps every day during the summer. All this while struggling with learning and social cues. My struggles were ignored.
I always felt that someday I would find out why I struggled in these areas. Little did I know that having my kids would give me the answers I needed.
I have a daughter, age 20, diagnosed with PDD-NOS [pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified] at 4 and OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] at 10. I have a son, age 17, diagnosed with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], dysgraphia, and dyscalculia at age 12. [Dysgraphia is a learning disability that can make writing difficult. Dyscalculia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to understand mathematics.]
It was very natural for me to raise two kids with autism. I say natural because when I saw their struggles, I knew what they needed. The biggest struggle for me was communicating with the staff at their school. I have never learned to advocate for myself, so this was tough at first. Then after doing it for so long, I became a pro. This helped me to become an effective communicator. I had to write emails and make phone calls. I had to come out of myself. While getting support and help for my kids, I was seeing things that weren't done for me. I saw the things I needed at their ages which would've helped me reach my full potential. This has made me sad at times. I am so happy to see my kids happy.
I finally got my diagnosis of autism after all these years. I am so relieved and happy to now know why I struggle from time to time.
I am so glad and proud to be an active member on MyAutismTeam. I enjoy supporting those who are going through what I have gone through.
This article was written by MyAutismTeam member Donna as part of the Member Spotlight Series. Donna is on the autism spectrum, has two children on the spectrum, and she enjoys making miniatures to relax.
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