Henry did not sleep through the night until he was 3 1/2. He would not nap unless he was in motion, either in a car, stroller or rocking chair. When he did wake up from a nap, he would cry for at least half an hour. He did not like to be swaddled and refused to wear mittens when he could throw them off. He did not feel pain, nor was he bothered by the heat (or seemingly, the cold). He had fevers often but would NOT take medication. Transitions were hard. He had special sensitivities to smell and sound, so a nice little Disney movie outing was a fantasy. Forget about a trip to the specialty cheese store (or God forbid, the fish store)…. He was very particular about certain things, like how the hat went on his Woody doll. Add to the fact that he did not acquire speech until he was 5. So why the title, mypuzzledlife? Can you imagine trying to figure out your child’s needs and wants under these circumstances?
The symbol for autism is a puzzle piece. I think it is particularly apt… Unfortunately, when babies are born, they do not come with a manual. Figuring them out is a wonderful journey. But when your child is autistic, there are a lot of pieces that are harder to figure out.
My mom and sister used to love putting together jigsaw puzzles over the holidays. I didn’t seem to have the patience to do it when I was younger – if a piece didn’t fit, I would try to pound it into place, and then failing that, would lose interest and move on. Henry is the most challenging, sometimes frustrating and wondrous puzzle I have ever worked on. When one piece falls into place, there appears a bigger, more spectacular picture to behold.
Those of us who have children on the spectrum are continually working on our puzzle. What does your puzzle look like?