Autism Spectrum Australia

The aspie apple from the tree

  • Posted: 15/05/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Hello mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers - welcome back to Aspire. To all mums I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day. My mum, Babcia and aunties spent it on a ship enjoying a cruise. Sunday might have been about mothers, but today is International Family day.

I have to say I’m glad mum is back from her cruise, now I can enjoy those nice family dinners. Now for someone on the spectrum, I am happy to come from such a large and loving family. I do realise there are families out there that are coming to terms with having someone on the spectrum. Times like these can be hard; you say things like “There is nothing wrong with my child”, “What’s happening?” and “ Why is this happening?” however there is nothing wrong with autism; it’s just a part of someone, like the colour of our skin or the size of our feet.

A Professional Opinion

Climbing through the forest filled with family trees, looking for that aspie apple, I decided to talk to Kylie Ouvrier, mother of two kids with autism, Ben age 10 and Nathan age 6. Here is a snippet from the interview.

"We have an amazing life with our two kids. One moment I remember fondly was when Ben was to talk about transportation in front of his class. He struggles with different topics, but when it comes to his primary focus - buses, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge on the topic. He can tell you so many things that others wouldn’t know about buses. Even though everyone was assigned 5 minutes, the teacher allowed him to speak for 20 minutes. So his knowledge, focus and attention to detail are just phenomenal.

"For those who’ve recently discovered their child is on the spectrum it can be hard coming to terms with the news. I strongly recommend Aspect's Early Intervention Program for younger kids. I cannot put a monetary value on how incredibly helpful that was to me, my family and us. It helped me understand my children, giving me insight into Ben’s behaviours and why he did things. I thought he was just being a naughty boy when he wasn’t. So that was huge. Anything that educates the parents and helps them understand why kids do what they do is a great help.

"It can be hard communicating with someone on the spectrum. I recommend sitting down and giving them the opportunity to talk.  My eldest son Ben struggles to articulate well when he is concerned or worried about something. So it’s necessary to allocate time to sit with him and allow him to open up in his own time. Don’t rush them or push them through answers, just sit and talk with them."

My Two Cents

Alrighty, dad’s bald and works at a nuclear power plant, mum has tall blue hair, my sister Lisa is - wait, my bad, that’s The Simpsons. Mum and dad are both from Poland, both work for city rail, and love me MORE THAN MY BROTHERS! Michael is very much an alpha male; the dude is like Jason Statham and works out like him too. You already know me. Lastly the youngest member is Ben. His acting can only be rivalled by his cooking expertise.

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 16. Mum always knew there was something different about me. Dad however had to come to terms with my diagnosis. Being a proud father he believed there was “nothing wrong” with me. Once he came to terms with it, both my parents were fully on board.

In Conclusion

Everyone has families. Sure this sounds obvious but there’s more depth to it than that. In math some might say (Mum + Dad) x kids = family but who are we kidding? Families come in all kinds of numbers! There are families with 2 dads, a single mother or sometimes 3 or 4 parents! What we must understand is that if you have a group of people you care for, who you confide with and love, then you have family. I believe we have our original or biological family, those who take care of us, those who have loved us from our first day on this planet. Then there is the family you get from your closest friends; the ones who stay with you until the end. At least that’s what I think. How about the rest of you? What do you believe is family? So until next week folks, I hope you enjoy Family Day, have a great weekend and remember - family is forever.

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The aspie apple from the tree