Me, of course! My name is Teresa.
Who am I? Simply put, I am a wife, the mother of two beautiful boys, and math teacher with eight years experience as a special education teacher. My life is uniquely tied to autism and children with disabilities since my oldest son has autism and I have also worked with children with all sorts of disabilities, including autism. My experience is a unique one in that I am raising my two boys with my husband while also struggling with depression, fibromyalgia, and physical problems, so I also write about my struggles as they are relevant to raising my children.
I’m hoping that what I write here will provide support, encouragement, and awareness of autism and those who have individuals in their families diagnosed with autism. From my perspective, a child’s diagnosis of autism does not necessitate devastating thoughts, nor does it negate a child’s potential. This blog will talk about our day-to-day achievements and struggles as a family in which one person happens to carry a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Occasionally, I may also talk about work, especially when it comes to how work life impacts home life. The message I hope to deliver, though, is a big one. We are, first and foremost, a family. We experience ups and downs like any other family. No matter what happens, though, we never lose sight of love and hope in our journey through this life.
My husband. I named him “The Manager” because he manages a store and because he is, by nature, a “fixer.” If something is wrong, his first inclination is to ask how we can make it better (an urge that has a slight tendency to drive me crazy, but I love him anyway). The Manager is a wonderful, supportive husband and a great father. I married him for his money. Just kidding! No, I married him because he is silly, stable, and supportive (decided to stick with alliteration here). He is my rock. Without him, I’m not sure how I’d make it on this crazy journey we call life.
Is my oldest son, who turns 10 in October 2016. He got diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder on June 14, 2011 by the fine people at TEACCH. He has lots of needs, hates loud noises, and is easily frustrated. He has what we call “meltdowns” when things don’t go as planned, when he gets overstimulated, or when people say things that don’t match his truth. We work on building his frustration tolerance every day, but we never have to work on building his ability to love. Squeaker is a loving, energetic, silly kid, which makes it super easy for us to love him through all his challenges. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He enjoys cars, trains, Wild Kratts, Gravity Falls, and books. Over the past year, he has shown a great capacity for learning new things. He has a natural affinity for math and is incredibly good at memorizing facts. He spends a great deal of his free time memorizing car symbols and can identify vehicles by both symbol and body of the car. We love how much he loves learning and his desire to protect his brother. I know he’s going places!
Though this boy seems small in comparison to his brother, he really is my big guy because he was such a huge contrast to Squeaker’s size at his age. He is 5 years old and already quickly approaching his brother’s height. For such a little guy, he has a BIG appetite. This kid loves to eat and is not a picky eater at all! He is generally a very happy boy and has a huge, empathetic personality already. He has an infectious laugh, is very ticklish, gives big hugs, and loves to watch movies while snuggling with his mama. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have his own difficulties. He has some anxiety issues and has difficulties coping with some changes. His intelligence shows on a grand level and he shows some craftiness already, so I’m going to have to watch this guy! His mind churns fast, and he likes things his way. Generally, though, just like his brother, he’s a sweet boy who loves hugs and kisses and bedtime stories. He also likes books, dinosaurs, Scooby Doo, superheroes, Wild Kratts, and his big brother.
For my family and friends who read this blog, please know that I love you all. I swear to always uphold the truth in my writings. Or at least, the truth as I see it. XOXO
Last updated 7/6/2016