Twins and Autism: The Day Our Future Changed

When twin mom blogger Heather McMillian realized that her twins were on the autism spectrum, she couldn't breathe. Read about how she coped, and learn more about twins and autism.

By Heather McMillian

When you have children, you never really think of anything serious actually happening. You begin to plan out their futures; wonder what they will look like as an adult or whether they might have your sense of humor. Many things cross your mind when you have one child; so imagine what happens at two. I want to share a little bit about my experience with having identical twins; both being diagnosed with autism. Read more about twins and autism.

Almost like they were deaf

The first year, for the most part, seemed like it was normal. However, in actuality, most of it was a blur. After all, it was just my daughter and me taking care of them due to the father’s chosen absence. No, he didn’t just up and go; he lived in the same household. He was just never present, and that was not a bad thing. When my rambunctious boys hit the age of two, I began to wonder what was going on. They did not speak, and it was almost like they were deaf. I made doctor appointments. After speaking with the pediatrician, I was still unsatisfied. I did not believe that they were behind mentally due to being twins or premature. It just didn’t make sense. I began to look into their ‘symptoms’ myself.

A lump was caught in my throat

Article after article, book after book; I kept seeing a theme. The theme was hard to swallow, but it was still the only reason why my children were not like others; autism. I remember when the thought hit me. It was like a lump was caught in my throat. I couldn’t breathe, and my eyes began to swell with tears. It couldn’t be.
Here it is three years later, and describing the realization is bringing tears to my eyes now. Those feelings of guilt and fear; they do not go away. Some can deal with it better than others, but I guess I am just not one of those lucky ones. Here are a couple of tips I use.

What to remind yourself

You need to remind yourself that no matter how you feel, you did not cause your child to be autistic. You need to hear those words, “It’s not your fault”. I am telling you this now; it’s not your fault. I know just like you do that these feelings are crippling, but you need to stand strong.

Take time for yourself

I am extremely guilty of thinking this. I have trained myself to think that if my eyes are open and I am able to move, then I should be doing something for my children. You are not ignoring your child if you go take a hot shower or even watch an episode of your favorite show. You need down time in order to re-coop to continue being the rockstar parent you are; have a seat. Although there are many more issues that come with a diagnosis, these are the top two. You need to take your feelings very seriously, and if you feel depressed to seek help. Having one child with autism is hard, now imagine having two; most can’t.

Read more about twins and autism

About the Author

Heather McMillian

 

Leave a Reply