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Olivia and Autism

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Olivia currently has several diagnoses.

One of those diagnoses is Autism.

What does Autism, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) look like?

According to the National Autism Association, here are some exemplifications:

1. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of three.

2. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function.

3. Individuals with Autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and play activities.

4. Individuals with Autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, and more…

Olivia has each of these, as well as other A-typical manifestations; her prognosis variant being the main differentiator.

While currently there is no cure for Autism, with early intervention and treatment, symptoms of Autism can be greatly improved and, in some cases, completely overcome (according to the NAA).

Olivia’s prognosis, however, is projected to regress, then decline.

It’s always difficult for me to express that: I cannot imagine life without her.

Even now, Olivia is perched atop me on the couch. I keep having to swipe her hand off the keyboard, periodically stooping to receive her open-mouthed kisses.

Olivia, to be four in June, starts ABA therapy soon.

ABA therapy stands for applied behavioral analysis therapy, also known as behavioral engineering. The strategies of ABA vary significantly for each individual with Autism.

For Olivia, she will be coached in cohesive life-skills and encouraged to increase her overall ability.

Olivia’s program will be uniquely formulated around her specific cognition/capacity, with methods being added or amended as they prove advantageous or non.

I have butterflies of apprehension and hope.

Here's to hope!

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