Monday, January 14, 2013

My Artistic Autistic Son

Posted by Paulette

My first son, Hyrum has been asked to illustrate a children's book. These are the first pictures that he's done.

We are hoping that the author will like these and hire him for the job. Hyrum's artistic talent was apparent at a very young age.

I knew there was something different about my son when he was just a few months old and imitating the sound of my drill while I hung curtains in out new apartment. This is the baby that had to be held down to get him to sleep. He was transfixed with the Christmas tree lights.

I didn't know how different he was until he picked up a pencil and began to draw. Somehow at the age of four, he already knew about perspective. When you asked him what color the clouds were, he's say, "blue, yellow, pink, and gray."
When it came time for him to attend school, I looked for something that would encourage his creativity. Originally I signed him up to go to a Montessori school around the corner from our house, but he was number 14 on the waiting list. One day a door hanger showed up on our front porch advertising a charter school that was in the next city over, and focused mainly on academics, but included the arts. I knew it was a perfect fit for him.

In the third grade, he began to falter. He had no buddies, and was beginning to fail some of his subjects. I started studying up on what it might be that was holding him back. One day my mother called and told me that she suspected that he has Asperger's Syndrome. After reading quite a bit on the subject, and a psych evaluation at his school, I made an appointment at a developmental pediatrician. 

His doctor gave him some written and physical tests, interviewed me, and after an hour we had a diagnosis. Hyrum had Asperger's Syndrome or "high functioning autism." 

I was both relieved and scared at the same time. I wasn't sure what roads we would travel. We began with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) the next year, and Hyrum improved academically and socially by leaps and bounds. 

He is now in 7th grade, and a rather large junior high school; the largest in the city (Almost 1300 students). He still has his struggles and we are fine tuning his IEP. I am still studying about autism, and the more I learn, the more I can pass on to his teachers to help him in the classroom. 

He has friends that LOVE him. I am hoping that he will develop many rich relationships throughout his life time. His Father also is an Aspie, and I am so fortunate to have met and married him. I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

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