As Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings(ISBN 978-0-8254-2977-4 Kregel Publications) shares, a diagnosis of autism in a child is a shock, no matter what signs the autistic child has been exhibiting. For she and her husband, they thought their child simply needed consistent but firm discipline. Why did their child scream and cause problems in public? Why did he withdraw at lights, noise, even touch? It was frustrating, embarrassing and humiliating, especially when others complained or glared when their child misbehaved. Especially when nothing they did seemed to alleviate the problem. Parents, like Kelly Langston and her husband, end up feeling like failures.
The first step with an autistic child is usually the pretense that nothing is wrong. Even doctors often advise parents their child is simply developmentally delayed. As Kelly Langston points out in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings even after a diagnosis of autism, it is sometimes difficult for parents to accept and act on the truth of the situation.
For Kelly Langston, a moment of clarity came when she really looked into her son’s eyes and saw his desperation and realized he wasn’t misbehaving just to misbehave. He really couldn’t deal with the stimulation in his world. It explained why he had to do certain things in the same order, every single time. If a step was not take, his reaction was immediate. His world required order. Light and sound and touch actually hurt.
Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings shared that once she and her husband accepted the autism diagnosis, they were able to move forward to help their child. Pretending there isn’t a problem does not help either the autistic child nor family dynamics. Acceptance can be the first step in moving forward. Instead of discipline, Kelly Langston and her husband learned their son needed stability, understanding, and treatment. These took many forms over the years.
In her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings, Kelly Langston emphasizes that autism is different for every child and treatments differ. One child might be only mildly affected, another affected severely, most are some place in between. There is no cookie-cutter solution.
For their child, a special diet has been one avenue to deal with his situation. Another has been caring teachers and treatments. Most of all has been the loving support of two parents who love and support one another. A stable home goes a long way to having a stable child. Fight the problem, says Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings, not each other.
Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings makes it clear this is not easy. Parents of autistic children are often exhausted and financially strapped due to different treatment options. Kelly Langston and her husband realized they needed to keep their finances from collapsing completely and found other alternatives to expensive treatments. Yes, there were expensive treatments out there for autism, but when money ran out they considered what options were best for their son and their family-options that worked and with which they could live.
Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings advises parents not to go it alone. Support is crucial for a positive outcome for the autistic child and the family as a whole. Kelly Langston claims she couldn’t have made it without the support of family, friends, her church family and autism support groups. Information can be found at Autism Society of America as well as the government site CDC Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
Though not politically inclined, Kelly Langston also recommends getting involved politically when needed. Become an advocate for your autistic child. Be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Most of all, Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings shares that the support they have drawn on the most has been their faith. Faith has kept them going when their personal strength, knowledge and finances were exhausted, when nothing seemed to help and there seemed nowhere else to turn. Prayer and reliance on God helped them keep going when there seemed little hope. Autism’s Hidden Blessings draws the reader into the heart of love with Biblical examples from which Kelly Langston drew strength and guidance and hope.
In her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings, Kelly Langston, through telling her own story, helps parents deal with the diagnosis of Autism, through accepting the diagnosis, working together, seeking support, and having a foundation of faith.
Kelly Langston in her book Autism’s Hidden Blessings shares that many children do get better, but all progress at different rates. Their son has made great strides. She says the key to it all is accepting the autistic child for who he/she is and loving that child unconditionally, no matter what the outcome.