The Faces of Autism: Meet Sammie
Meet Sammie a caring 6 year old girl diagnosed with Autism. You can read last year's piece on Sammie HERE.
Sammie was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2.5 years old. She wasn't talking at 2 years old and like her sister, Sonja (found HERE), her Speech Therapist through Early Intervention sat her parents down and expressed her suspicions of Autism.
Sammie is very smart, kind and caring. She can memorize books and "read" them to her parents. She loves cooking and cooking videos. Sammie is also very athletic and will probably be a fantastic athlete when she is older. Sammie is very much locked in her brain. While she does communicate verbally, she often doesn't talk or struggles to get her words out. She also has a very soft speaking voice and it's easy to miss what she says. Sammie has strong sensory issues and is a huge seeker, so she jumps and runs and spins all the time. She is getting to the age where instead of being seen as cute, people in public are now staring and her parents get the impression they think she is misbehaving.
Her parents on their experience raising a child with Autism:
" I want people to know that my child is trying her best to function normally in public. But she needs to constantly move, run, jump in order to handle the stimulation from most public places. I will always allow it. Not because I'm a lazy parent, but because taking this away would be like asking someone to hold their breath the entire time they are grocery shopping. Or to read a book while wearing snow mittens. This isn't optional behaviors that we should limit, but we are trying to help Sammie learn how to get the same benefit from more socially acceptable actions."
Sammie's mom asked her a few questions about Autism and the answers are just to cute not to share!
Sammie's mom: "Sammie, do you have Autism?"
Sammie: Meows yes
Mom: "What is Autism?"
Sammie: "The Zebra has sand"
If you suspect your child may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are great supports in the community. One of my favorites is BisMan Autism Families on Facebook, the people there can help guide you in the right direction, through the process.