Owen and his little brother Henry (whom you’ll meet soon) live on a farm just outside of town. You’ll see by the pictures below that this hands-on little guy has some real skills in the area of assembling and maneuvering. This obvious strength of his is sure to come in handy if he follows Daddy’s footsteps someday on the farm. Enjoy Owen’s Story of Autism and his handsome smile!
Eight years ago, we were blessed with our son Owen. He was born five weeks premature, and what a huge surprise he was. After a brief stay in the hospital, things seemed to roll along just fine, and Owen hit every milestone that was expected. He was a fun baby!
At age two, Owen seemed to be having difficulties. There were a lot of verbal outbursts, aggression, and he was content to just sit and watch TV. He didn’t seem to engage with peers his own age either. I did some reading and tried different parenting strategies from books. Nothing seemed to click.
After discussing Owen’s situation with his preschool teacher and pediatrician, we went to a child psychologist who immediately had Owen diagnosed with ADHD. We went through several different medicines to assist with that, and finally were able to get him an appointment at the Waisman center where he went through several additional screenings.
During Owens appointment, my husband and I watched him through a double window, and even he knew there was something on the other side. We just cracked up. His answers to questions can make you bend over in laughter, and that is what he was doing to that poor therapist. More so than ever though, we knew our son needed a different approach to many things in his life.
After that appointment, we learned that Owen was on the Autism spectrum. He was four years old.
A whirlwind of thoughts came through us, and actually a sigh of relief. See, we all have the abilities to work with any situation; we just need the right tools. The books I was reading never were anything to do with Autism. I never even thought, of it and I didn’t know much about it actually. Autism was the character portrayed in the movie “Rainman,” and that’s not Owen. But it was, in a different way.
The books I had been quickly put to the back of my desk and a whole new approach to learning how to parent my child came along. Many times we felt that our son didn’t fit the criteria of being on the spectrum, but we just couldn’t do it on our own. His intensive therapy services greatly helped. Although hard to accommodate at times, it was much needed.
Owen is a very intriguing kid. He loves art and has an awesome sense of humor. Owen is very innovative in his work. He builds bridges and dams in his sandbox and will take days to do it, and no one better enter that sandbox! He can paint a swing set, pretty well actually, and put a Lego set together in minutes. Some larger Lego sets he will patiently await for someone to help him (and he will make sure that person comes to help him) and then when the gears don’t work quite right, he can discuss the issue over the phone with an adult and find the problem. And he’ll fix it. A mechanic, engineer, maybe even an artist I see in him. Maybe a standup comedian or all of the above mixed together. I really do see it. I see great potential in my son.
Although he can turn a switch on us sometimes and make us take a longer path to get to our destination, we do get there. Some days are faster than others.
Renee, mother of Owen
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