Cover girl (or not, LOL)

The article 'Raising Autism - Just Keep Swimming' in the new issue of Maeve, that one's mine. I'm actually really honoured to be in Maeve again, I had written 'Me and My Bestie' and contributed music recommendations to the last issue. Funnily enough, when Louise originally responded to my offer to contribute, she had suggested an article about Autism for their first person feature, but I didn't really know what I wanted to write about that yet...

However, after mulling it over I guess I had a little expressive summary ready to write. Now I'm not so sure, but it's out there anyway :) As I say in the article, I don't like whinging, I just don't like dwelling on negative things, or on the negative aspects of things. I'm quite practical, in that sense. I like planning and researching and doing something about things I don't like. Defeatism frustrates me no end.

On the other hand, depression is different. The feelings then aren't about pessimism, or being a victim or anything, the experience of depression is both despite and apart from the things in your life. Not 1 + 1 = 2, but rather 1 + 1 will equal whatever the hell it likes, regardless of the logic. This is just a kind of disclaimer paragraph I feel like I might seem really judgmental from the last paragraph. The truth is, I apply my approach more to myself than anyone.

Back to Autism, I had forgotten that I'd left in the bit about my husband going through the diagnostic process (when I started writing, I put in everything, and then edited). He didn't have any specific issues that we were concerned about, but after reading about Aspergers (Sienna has Aspergers, Ash has autistic disorder - or, high-functioning autism) there were some parts that were so similar to Ben it made us laugh. Especially the parts about how they commonly react in the workplace, and the great divide between what they're passionate about and... well... everything else! But then, other parts - like hyper sensitivity - didn't match at all.

So, he chose to get assessed, not to get a diagnosis but just to know himself better. The result was pretty much what he expected: he doesn't have autism as a functional disability (according to the DSM-IV), but the clinical psychologist felt that he otherwise fits the diagnosis of Aspergers. It was all positive. She added how well Ben uses his strengths and intelligence to make up for some of the social awkwardness common to folks on the spectrum.

Anyway, anyway, the kids. Cedar is being assessed later in the year, though he has some pervasive developmental delay concerns that his paediatrician has noted, he is a conflicting presentation. In other words, he can seem totally happy, fine and normal, and he can also seem delayed, overwhelmed, emotional, fixated. Which is what all of the kids were like, I think, in hindsight. Quirky but okay. Which is what they still are, essentially!

Cedar's also being treated for aneamia, which resulted from drinking too much milk (his food was fine) and most likely began to be a problem in hospital when milk was all we could get into him for a week or so. Excessive calcium inhibits iron absorption, or something like that. So he's having his iron stuff and should be fine in a couple of months. Not that I've noticed any lack of energy on his part, that's for sure!

We're in Adelaide this week, the kids and I, and Ben is flying over on Friday. Family time and catching up with friends, the kids enjoying playing with their cousin here in Mount Barker. Did I mention I love my car? I really notice on long drives. I fill up with fuel at home (Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne) and drive to Adelaide with petrol to spare. LOVE IT!


Maxabella said...

Congrats on having what I imagine is a very personal and wonderful article published. I'll be reading it. x

sylvia said...

congrats on the article! will save it up for some quiet alone time. hugs xx

sylvia said...

oh and i love the last picture, crazy happy bunch!

Marissa A said...

You write so well Dani, I will definately have a read of your article!
I recently attended an Autism Spectrum workshop with key speaker Tony Attwood - such a fantastic speaker and oh-so-knowledgeable! Highly recommend many of his publications.

Michelle Benson said...

I have come across you blog for the first time via Kate's bits and pieces, I was instantly impressed by your fabulous photography, but then found this post and felt and instant connection ... I too have a child with Aspergers and 1 as you described 'quirky but ok' : )
Will definitely be popping off over to read your article, and also will be visiting your blog often, best wishes to you and your gorgeous family x

Michelle Benson said...

having now read your article ... LOVED IT ! So candidly written from obviously a very loving mother, had a little chuckle at the end, my son too is constantly wrapped in a coral fleece blanket, without shirts on so it's close to his skin. He also has a calming space at school where he can hide and wrap himself up to self sooth : )

dquarmby said...

Thanks so much, Michelle! It's so lovely to get feedback like that :)

dquarmby said...

Thanks so much :) I really appreciate it!

Bla27 said...

Hey Dq :)
Long time no chat. Really enjoyed reading this. Sounds like a lot has changed since we last chatted. Our littlest is presenting similarly to Cedar at the moment. Brett (my dh) also feels he is on the spectrum somewhere but like Ben is able to manage life around it and of course Liji is Austitic. Makes for a colourful and wonderful (often challenging) life journey.
Love to you :)
Lus x

dquarmby said...

Hey Lus, Lovely to hear from you :) Life is always interesting, which has
got to be a good thing! xx Dan