About Me

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Orem, Utah, United States
My name is Annie Campbell and 9 years ago my son was diagnosed with Autism. Over the years of treatments, therapies and schools (with my son) I have learned countless techniques for dealing with children with special needs. Through my experience in primary, I have come up with some specific tips to create a happy atmosphere in church.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Living with Autism

Right after my son was diagnosed with Autism, I began looking for hope. I read all kinds of books about "success" stories of Autism recovery. I didn't necessisarily care if my son was considered recovered, my hope was for him to be able to have a fullfilling life and that's all. Now 6 years later, he's definitely NOT what would be classified as recovered but he is able to go to school in a regular classroom and be an active participant in primary. He will always have Autism and it will always effect his life and how he sees the world.

Sunday, we had a reminder about that. Jackson woke up off. He was upset about everything. So I wasn't too surprised when the primary presidency came and got me out of my class to ask for help with him. Apparently he got upset when they tried to sing happy birthday to him and broke the pencil. He's usually so calm, it kinda freaked everyone out. I, however, have seen him turn "hulk" before so I wasn't really worried. He had calmed down so I told them to let him zone out and not to bring any attention to him for the rest of they day and to come get me if anything else happened. I'm trying to give him some space from me being a crazy over-protective mom. No 9 year old wants that hovering around them. Well, I thought everything went fine for the rest of sharing time but after church, we found out he yelled at his teacher etc. We talked through everything and he made amends as well as apologized but it hit me again. THIS IS MY LIFE. It will always be like this. He will do great for months and then one day he has had enough and blows up. I've always been told that Autism wasnt something he was going to out grow and I accepted that but Sunday was the first time I really came to the acceptance that there is no "finish line". He will always struggle holding his emotions together.

I guess my point is that sometimes when a child is being "difficult" that doesn't translate to naughty. The only thing you can do is be consistent and have an obscene amount of patience. Jackson wasn't trying to show off or just being difficult. His mind and body weren't in sync and he was struggling to keep it together.

I know how frustrating it can be sometimes. I also know how amazing it is when kids do something incredible. Keep that feeling with you so you are able to handle it when times get tough. Good luck to all you parents and teachers!


  1. I just discovered your blog and I love it! I have a 10 year old autistic son and I completely know where you are coming from. Hang in there. You're not alone.

  2. Annie,

    I saw an article about your blog on Deseret News. I have a good friend, Danyelle Ferguson, that you might be interested in contacting. She has a son with Autism and has faced many of the same challenges you have. Like you, she wants to help others at church understand how to deal with autistic children as well as children with special needs. In fact, she has a book that is going to be released shortly entitled "(dis)Abilities and the Gospel: How to Bring People with Special Needs Closer to Christ." Here website is www.queenoftheclan.com.

    God bless you in your efforts.


  3. I was having a "THIS IS MY LIFE" experience this mornign as my 4 yr old autistic son woke up at 4am yet again.

    Somtimes i get caught in the trap of thinking abotu how this is NOT everyones life, which gets me in a pity-party mood thinking that everyone else who doesn't have to deal with autism has it easy. Which I know isn't true. We all have our challenges.

    I'm so glad to connect with people who really understand, that "get it", adn your right there is so finish line. So have to get my tendancy to think like a "sprinter" and prepare for the marathon!