This month we welcome a new contributor.

Sel Seyoum is a Home School Educator, wife and mother to Darius who has Autism. Sel is not a doctor, lawyer or psychologist but a mother with hands on experience of Autism that she will be sharing with readers.

Her motivation and interest on the topic of Autism is to convey through this new column the reality that autism is everywhere, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.

If this column helps you or someone you know, Sel welcomes readers especially autism families to ask questions and to share experiences.

mawit2013@yahoo.fr

What do you feel when you first hear the word autism? It’s indeed a word, but a taboo word as it seems to be linked with the “head”! Well yes it can be .. linked with the head. Anyway… there it is striking your family and your household! You just start to see “it” as the outsider that you want kick out from your home, your household and your space! I thought that every morning when I woke up that this “autism” would be gone and that I would find it “gone” because I prayed every night before I went to bed saying “Lord just kick this “thing” out of my son’s brain.”

And yet it doesn’t! Reading and research tells you that autism is genetic, and this takes you to the blaming trip: Which side of my family could “give” autism to my son? Or what caused autism in my son?

But it doesn’t go away, and you have to live with it and then you start learning to live with it. From a single word; “autism” becomes a jouI am going to share with you my journey, my families journey with autism.

What is autism? Professionals run through a list of red flags: “no eye contact doesn’t communicate, doesn’t have speech, no social skills”… Autism is a spectrum, it is a wide range of challenges. One thing that the spectrum might have in common it’s the language disorder. Fast forward: I mainly focused on language disorder intervention to help my son in his breakthroughs (I will write more in depth about this in the following months’ issues.) At an early age, in my son, I saw a happy kiddo who loved to sing, meaning he had speech, and I thought that’s all that mattered.

And there is danger in giving a cultural explanation for any red flags observed such as; “He is a boy, he will speak later, He stares at objects intensely because he likes it, He repeats the same words because he likes the sound of them, He doesn’t say those words anymore because he’s bored with them.”

No! I needed to address all the challenges as soon as I heard about autism. My son was 2.7 months when for the first time I heard that he might have “autism” but he was diagnosed later at 3 and 2 months which was very late missing the early intervention.

He had serious challenges, and he was sick all the time…..

Stay tuned for my next installment.

Sel Seyoum

Just a Mom.

I encourage people especially autism families to ask questions and my email address is mawit2011@att.net