Today was the date for the monthly luncheon for the 4-5 good friends of mine from high school when we meet at a little local restaurant for a nice leisurely lunch and to get caught up on things going on in our lives, with our families, etc.
There were only four of us today as one from our group e-mailed me this morning to let me know she wouldn't be there because her brother, who is dealing with Parkinson's Disease is in the hospital and has been there for the past week now too. About an hour after I got her e-mail, she phoned me because her computer system had indicated that her e-mail hadn't gone through but it had, so that part was okay then. But, while talking to her on the phone, she said a bit more about her brother and his health problems right now.
Yes, he has Parkinson's and it is quite advanced now too. However, because intially he was hospitalized with either a kidney or urinary tract infection and then began to lose his appetite along with also now having lost between 5-10 pound very quickly, she told me she and her sisters and their older brother are just not sure if this is part of the Parkinson's or if this is perhaps coming from some other undiagnosed source or what?
And that got me to thinking too then about how things are with my grandchildren here and with the Autism factors they have.
All too often it seems people who see both these kids don't understand how autism works. Heck, neither do we and we live with these kids! But then too, all too often even the doctors are not that knowledgeable either about autism itself and they don't know exactly how to diagnose some of the issues these two have at times -is it the autism that is the underlying cause of some things that pertain to them or is this from something else perhaps and this is a totally different entity?
Like Kurtis and his issues which we tend to blame a lot of them on his allergy problems but sometimes, he may have problems and he can't tell us that he hurts someplace because his communication skills are still not very good. Even Maya, who can talk to us now much, much better, still isn't always able to communicate very well to us when she is ill, or if there is something else bothering her that upsets her, and that in turn, throws her whole system off kilter at times too.
Sometimes too, people in general tend to think that all autistics are all alike and that is probably the biggest fallacy ever to come down the pike!
People who think like that often tend to regard autistics and their issues as all being kind of like it's a custom rubber stamps type thing, you see and that creates yet another set of problems for the person(s) who have the disorder as well as with the person who thinks like that then too.
People often think autistic people look differently than other people who they regard as "normal" and upon first meeting, first observing Maya, they have asked Mandy -or me -"Is she really autistic? Are you sure? She doesn't "look" autistic." Well, I'm sorry to inform them but there is no particular way that autistic people look!
Maya and Kurtis as brother and sister do resemble each other in many ways -appearance wise. But they also resemble their older half-siblings in appearance too as well as looking a lot like my son, or their mother's sister, or my late aunt, or their grandfather, and on and on.
You can't judge this book by the cover also comes to mind here too.
So just as with my friend and her brother and his current problems, you can't generalize and say that this is all being caused by the Parkinson's just as you can't look at my grandkids and some other child or children or even adult who is autistic and say, well they are all alike, and keep thinking of these things -any of them -as being carbon copies, or "cookie-cutter" designs and such -to bring in another type of analogy there.
Just some thoughts I really wanted to get off my chest for quite some time and now that I did, I'm off my soapbox for a while.