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1. When did you first realize Kira had Autistic Spectrum traits?
Somewhere between 18-24 months I knew something was not "normal" about Kira. She only spoke a few words, lined all her toys up in neat little rows, and threw severe temper tantrums several times a day.
2. Is there anything Kira does that really irritates you?
I can't say there is anything that really irritates me about her, but my patience gets "taxed" sometimes when she gets overstimulated and is bouncing off the walls and screaming.
3. When was Kira diagnosed with high functioning autism?
Kira was 3 years old and her diagnosis came from a pediatric neurologist. Her initial diagnosis was severe to moderate sensory integration disorder with speech delays. (both of which most people with autism have to one degree or another)
4. Do you think that Kira will be able to live a normal, happy, fun loving life?
Of course that is my hope, but I am also preparing for the challenges she will inevitably face in the future....making friends, following rules etc. I am not sure she will ever drive a car or hold a normal 9-5 job but as a mom, I dream big dreams for her and try to make her life happy and fun!
5. Does Kira do regular things that are odd behavior to you?
Kira has an uncanny ability to recite entire movies, words, grunts, action sounds etc. She also uses a lot of "movie" talk in regular day life...such as when I wash her face, she quotes a line from the Land Before Time movie..."Ah mom, if you wash it, it will just get dirty again" (which is what the dinosaur says to his mother) And of course there is the fingers flicking in front of the face, walking sideways, winking face thing...that is something that always strikes me as odd whenever she does it.
6. Does Kira get on with other children her age?
No, Kira usually gets along with best with the kids in the 2-3 yr old range. (she is 5)
7. As a parent of a child with high functioning autism do you feel that having a child with autism/aspergers syndrome is gift?
I feel it is certainly more of a gift than a curse. Having a child with autism has taught me patience, understanding, humility, and perserverance. I have made good friends who I may never have met had it not been for our common bond of autism, and I have a sense of focus and purpose in my life that perhaps I may not have if Kira were not a part of my life.
8. Do you know any other parents who have a child with autism/aspergers syndrome?
I have met a lot of parents with children on the spectrum through the internet and support groups, but none that I regularly hang out with (well, that is if I had the time to hang out).
I want to add a note of thanks to Emma for caring enough to interview a parent. You are truly an inspiration for others, you have a sweet spirit, and as a mom, I hope to learn a lot from you.
Em says: awww I do try and be someone who is nice and kind to everyone but I know sometimes people don't appreciate it.