Voices of Autism: Twins Who Share a Diagnosis
Every day throughout April–Autism Awareness Month–we will be featuring a different reader-submitted story about living with autism. Today’s story was written by Ilene Krom, mother of Rachel and Simon, 4, and author of the blog My Family’s Experience With Autism.
They share a diagnosis–classic autism–but that’s about all that they share when it comes to autism. They present completely differently. They are both quite verbal, but one is very echolailic (he repeats things exactly the way he’s heard it in the past). It wasn’t until about a year ago that we really saw true comprehension in what he would say. My daughter has a photographic memory. She can recite the alphabet forwards and backwards without blinking an eye.
They can both read “sight words.” They can count to 100 in ones and twos. My son is learning to play the piano. My daughter loves to dance. My daughter can see a stack of items and know exactly how many there are. Like I said, they are smart. But they have their “quirks.” We live by the daily routines. The slightest alteration to these routines causes their universe to come crashing down. Crowds cause them anxiety. They need to know exactly what’s going to happen before trying anything new.
Autism affects every aspect of my family’s life. We have to think about it every time we leave the house and make sure we have everything we can possibly have to address the meltdowns that may occur. And as Mom, I’ve become obsessed with finding ways to help them and ways to help ensure they can live normal and productive lives. But, above all, they are children. They are my children. And I love them as much as my neurotypical son and more than life itself.
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