Our Autism Story – Day 19 – “Not Only Do You Get Autism, You Also Get…”
When Brahm was diagnosed with autism, we thought we were only dealing with autism-specific challenges – things like communication and behavior delays. However, like many things on our autism journey, we were thrown curveballs.
Around the time Brahm turned 2, we noticed he had many OCD-like behaviors. Brahm fixates on objects. It started early on with trees and American flags. It then progressed to lights, fans, windmills, and cats. Brahm’s compulsions with objects prevent him from doing many age-appropriate activities. To further complicate his OCD-like behaviors, Brahm has an extremely difficult time focusing and concentrating. He typically fixates on something and isn’t be able to answer questions appropriately. Around the time Brahm turned 4 years old, the state required Brahm to have some standardized testing. The testing results were eye-opening to the challenges Brahm faces especially with problem-solving abilities and the ability to answer the question that was asked (as opposed to Brahm just talking about what is on his mind).
Around the time Brahm turned 3, our ABA therapists identified major delays in Brahm’s fine and gross motor skills. It’s one of those things we never noticed because we’re always with him and are not necessarily measuring him up to his peers. Brahm still struggles in these areas. For example, when it comes to gross motor, he cannot catch a ball, jump on one foot, or ride a bike without significant assistance.
Brahm has anxiety issues. It has been fairly clear to us that Brahm gets very anxious when at new places and seeing new faces. He also has extreme anxiety if certain objects are broken or misplaced.
It’s amazing that on paper, it appears like Brahm has all these major challenges…and he does. And, we are certainly working to address these areas. But, end of the day, we honestly don’t even see these things and just see our big man as just that…OUR big man!