The Things I Know Because of Autism

Carrie Cariello

My second son, Jack, was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months old. Now he’s almost eleven, and let’s just say there are certain, well, unique parenting skills that I’ve learned in the past decade or so.

Because of autism, I understand the acronyms for ASD, IEP, and PDD-NOS.

I know what sensory processing disorder, self-direction, executive functioning, joint attention, and echolalia mean.

Some days, I don’t even notice when I’ve answered the same question fifty-seven times in a single hour.

“Mom. The cake for Henry. His birthday. I have to make the cake blue. How will we make it blue?”

“Yes, Jack. We’ll figure it out.”

The sounds of someone jumping, grunting, spinning, hopping, and whirling are as familiar to me as my own heartbeat.

I know what it feels like to have someone stand over your bed at 6:03 every single Thursday morning chanting, “Waffles. Waffles…

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