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Aubrey Miles On Signs Of Autism In Daughter Rocket: 'No Proven Reason, Can Just Happen'
PHOTO BY Instagram/milesaubrey
  • Aubrey Miles recently took to social media to share her and her fiancé Troy Montero's experiences with their daughter Rocket Miller as a special needs child, including the signs of autism the 3-year-old exhibited.

    "Autism awareness for Rocket," began Aubrey's lenghty post with a photo of the three of them. "Yes, our Rocket has ASD, AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER."

    What is autism?

    Autism, which is also referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), constitutes a diverse group of conditions related to development of the brain, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It estimates 1 in 100 children has autism.

    WHO explains that while signs may be detected in early childhood, autism is often not diagnosed until much later. People with autism have varied abilities and needs, which can evolve over time with the help of evidence-based psychosocial interventions and constant support by their caregivers. (Read here about the possible cause of autism.)

    Aubrey said in her social media post that she and Troy didn't share about their daughter's condition right away because they were still learning about ASD.

    "It was important for us to educate ourselves about it," the actress and entrepreneur pointed out. "At first we were confused, and questioned ourselves, how and why. We searched around to for an ASD specialist before anything else."

    She added, "Some people might think someone with autism acts crazy, has mental problems, physical issues and other stuff. Yes, it’s mental but not a problem, yes can be physical but it’s not an issue and definitely not crazy. Autism is different for every kid."

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    Read also: My Son With Autism Is Different But It's Not A Disability

    Signs of autism

    Children with autism may have trouble understanding the world around them, according to Nemours KidsHealth. They may have difficulties in talking and learning the meaning of words, expressing their emotions, and making friends or fitting in, as well as dealing with changes, loud noises, or crowds, among other things.

    In the case of Aubrey and Troy's daughter, Aubrey said Rocket exhibited "common symptoms," such as:

    • Delayed speech
    • No eye contact
    • Difficulty communicating
    • Can focus on one thing for hours
    • Being repetitive—doing things over and over again, like running and flapping her hands
    • Almost like an introvert—can be a loner but never alone.
    • Flapping her hands when she likes something, as another way to address her emotion
    • Crying her heart out like nobody's around and can go from 1 to 10 real quick—"When you hear it, sounds like she’s getting hurt but really she just wants her toy or something that she cannot express."
    • Having a hard time controlling her emotions, that sometimes there’s no middle ground—whether happy or sad, laughing or crying out loud, and doesn’t know how to stop.

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    Aubrey noted that "there’s a lot more for other kids I’m sure," but the ones she mentioned "are the things we see from Rocket." She added, "Autism is always present, in many ways. There’s no proven reason that’s 100% why kids get autism. It can just happen." (Read here on red flags parents have to be aware of.)

    What to do

    If your child is exhibiting signs of autism, consult with your child's doctor, who will then refer your child to a specialist. Experts said that early intervention, particularly in the preschool years, can help your child develop skills in critical and social communication, as well as the functional and behavioral.

    There's no cure or one-size-fits-all treatment, according to Mayo Clinic. Instead, the goal of treatment is to "maximize your child's ability to function by reducing autism spectrum disorder symptoms and supporting development and learning."

    For her part, Aubrey, whose other children are Maurie, 20, and Hunter, 13, pointed out, "It’s possible for first time parents to think it’s the worst thing that can happen to their baby. It’s surely can be scary and who knows what the future holds but definitely not the worst."

    Her advice to parents with special needs children: "You just need to know where to go, what you’re dealing with, finding the right therapist, the right support groups and lots of love. We’re still in the process of learning. It’s going to be a long ride."

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    She said that Rocket is taking speech therapy (ST) and occupational therapy (OT), adding that "basically OT is learning activities that she will encounter in her daily life."

    Aubrey also reached out to other parents "with a similar story," whose children may already be showing signs of autism, and told them, "Please don’t hesitate to message us."

    She added, "There’s a support group, a community for parents who have kids with autism. You’re not alone. We will embrace and understand each other. Our kids' struggle is our struggle. Keep your faith high and do the best that you can. Stay strong. Appreciate the love and growth of our kids."

    She mentioned these support groups: Autism Community Philippines, Autism Society Philippines, and Autism Pilipinas Support Group: Holistic Approach. She also used the hashtags #RocketASDjourney, #autismawareness, and #ASDawareness to emphasize her advocacy.

    Read here how some Pinoy kids with special needs lead productive lives.

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