What total and utter chaos…but that is about par for the course in our #HomeCrazzyHome. Fifty-five days ago I committed to a series of blogs celebrating #100DaysOfHomeEd. Now it is April…and that is always a biggie for me because…
April is Autism Awareness Month!
Except that I decided long ago that awareness was not good enough. What we really need is…
As I thought about how I wanted to celebrate it this year, I considered just combining the two…home ed and autism. In this house they go hand in hand. But I had already done loads about autism during those other 55 days.
When I thought more about it, I knew that I really wanted to focus upon Pathological Demand Avoidance or PDA, a little unknown and not ‘officially’ recognized part of the autistic spectrum disorders which my beloved daughter PanKwake has.
I knew then exactly what I wanted to do celebrate Awe-tism! I wanted to edit the book that I wrote almost five years ago for publication. AND I wanted to write the follow-up…right here on this blog. Rough draft anyway.
But before I get into any of that I should introduce us…for those of you that may not know about our #HomeCrazzyHome.
I am Tara. Homemaker. Partner. Sometimes writer. Blogger. Homeschooler. And full-time Mom to PanKwake.
My partner and the love of my life is Cookie Monster. No, that is NOT his real name. But as important as getting our story of life on the beautiful, exciting and never ending rainbow of the autistic spectrum is…keeping the privacy of those I love is just as much so. Cookie and I are coming up on our 1st anniversary. And he is the best thing that has ever happened to us…both me and my daughter.
Speaking of which…let me tell you about PanKwake.
She is eleven years old. She has been home educated since Year 1. She began having seizures when she was just two and a half. She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she three. And with high-functioning autism when she was eight.
But none of that captures the wonder of this unique spirit.
- Computer games…Minecraft, Roblox, Sims and I can’t even begin to name them all.
- Her iPads…yes, two of them.
- Billy…I won’t even call him a doll. He is a family member. And one of a kind.
- Her pets…a cat and fish…at this point any way.
- Birdseye frozen waffles with Nutella…but who knows what next month?
She is really good at…
- Anything physical…despite the dyspraxia that makes some things like climbing stairs quietly really hard.
- Anything that goes higher, faster…more. More…MORE!!!
- Making art…she has even developed patience now.
- Practical jokes…and this is April’s Fools Day after all.
- Logic and critical thinking…that kid can astound you with some of the things she thinks and says.
- Loud, sudden noises
- And anything that even slightly resembles a demand or takes control from her.
Like many others on the autistic spectrum, she has trouble…
- With mood modulation…that which goes up must come down…usually with a splat.
- Reading people’s faces and telling when they are making fun of her.
- Paying attention…even when she is one the iPad or computer she is always switching between apps/games. With the notable exception of Minecraft.
- And of course…she has her meltdowns…but honestly most of us do.
In short, she is so much more than her Awe-tism/PDA. She is a human being with strengths, challenges, hopes, dreams and unlimited potential.
If I sound like a proud Mom that’s because I am. A very proud one. Because PanKwake has often had to ‘learn’ things that just comes naturally for most children. But she always does…in her time and her way.
I hope you will join us this April is Awe-tism Acceptance Month. And I hope that this book/blog can offer hope to other parents or adults facing the challenges of Pathological Demand Avoidance.
Tomorrow I will tell you about my first experience with this thing called PDA.