Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 31

PARENTAL ADVICE Reflections and Advice from a 20-year-old on the Spectrum By Debra MOORE, PhD I first met Cosette and her mom when they were re- ferred to me by their pediatric neurologist. He won- dered if Cosette, then six years old, might have au- tism. Our evaluation affirmed that yes, Cosette was on the autism spectrum, that she was struggling, and she needed assistance and resources. fit a neurotypical pattern! At home, they tried stickers and charts. With a therapist, they tried social skills and Parent/Child Interactive Therapy. At that time, Cosette was often defiant and angry, hav- ing frequent meltdowns and retreating into what her mom called the “turtle” position. (When overwhelmed, Cosette would curl into herself emotionally and physi- cally.) She had early echolalia and used words inappro- priately. She had severe sensory problems—visual, au- ditory, and tactile. Some days she could tolerate touch; other days she hated it. Twelve years later, when I was coauthoring The Loving Push with Dr. Temple Grandin, I knew I wanted to in- clude Cosette’s story. I wanted to know what happened to that adorable little six-year-old girl with shining eyes and curly mop of hair. Cosette was 18 years old when the book was written, and it detailed her story u