Whenever I used to wonder if Sasha was Autistic, the thought never got very far because she is so verbally communicative and affectionate and I was stupid and didn't know enough about autism. Admittedly, the waters were pretty muddied by migraine and food allergy. Only now, 6 years after diving face first into managing, then untangling the food allergies from the migraine (they're not completely unrelated) has it become abundantly clear Sasha in on the spectrum. It is so freeing.
Gah, we wrote the manuals on migraine disease, and have been working our way through the ones on food allergies for about 12 years now. Being able to place a name with a disorder means you get a manual. And even a flawed manual is better than none. Finally getting the manual on Em's chronic fatigue was helpful and now reading about Sasha in the autism lit means we're less alone, she's less alone, and our batshit crazy life makes more sense. It all makes so much more sense.
My eye opening moment came after we arrived home from being out all day due to an exterminator spraying the kitchen. We had moved the table into the living room, which helped empty the kitchen back down to move-in-naked-empty. Emily and I had been joking about leaving it there earlier in the day to which Sasha protested, even tho she knew we were joking. We got home a little late and I was too exhausted to move the table back to its place before bed. Sasha had a small meltdown over it, and everything clicked into place. You see, Sasha prefers to eat at the table in the same spot off the same dishes every day. She was not about to eat if the table wasn't in the right spot and no way in hell was she going to eat anywhere else, like off a stool at the kitchen bar, or picnic style on the floor. I'm pretty sure she skipped dinner and went to bed. I went to thinking about all the effort we had to put in to teaching her how to make eye contact as a toddler, among other things, and click, click, click, more things kept fell into place.
It's empowering, knowing what you're dealing with. I was even able to explain to Sasha the next day why she was flipping out that one dog had to wear another dog's leash for a walk. It calmed her right down knowing that her brain just likes things to be the same every time, but if she wanted to take Luna Bean for a walk and we couldn't find her leash, this was an ok option too for now. Hop skip out the door! She already manages so well, I feel like we've been given more tools, more armor. And we so need it.
One website suggests the four most challenging autism behaviors are Sleep Disruption, Food Sensitivity, Meltdowns, and Aggression. Sasha is three and a half out of four. I WANT ALL THE TOOLS PLZ. I have more reading, and ever more calm speaking to do. It's really exciting to be able to move forward, to put more of this damned puzzle together, but we also have to keep living every day. My migraines are being absolute shit right now as I await the new treatment. Emily is doing better with her Chronic Fatigue since we got more strict with her diet. FITUHIjfkjlsfngljah, I have to teach them school soon.
Well, steven has been to rehab for three weeks in a row and I have money to deposit again. If that keeps up, it will go a long way. Our new house is wonderful, even though I am resigned to not being unpacked for a couple years at least. OH, OH MY GOSH, SASHA HAS POTATOES!!!!!! My friend who grows so much food for Sasha brought her a couple potatoes that she did well with so we ventured to try some from one of our safe farms and she's doing well and eating potatoes AAAAUUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Sasha hasn't gained a food in probably years, she has only lost food on her already limited diet. We tried potatoes from another farm where only some of the food is safe and those ones didn't work out. But it looks like she can have uncortaminated potatoes and it's amazing Hallelujah Praise Jesus!!! I don't know what I would do without my good friends, those few who can dig elbow deep into our mess and make pretty things. I know we're amazing, I also know we're waaaaaaay more work than normal. Speaking of friends, I'm so glad we have some who are on the spectrum. No wonder we love them and get along so well!