Aubrey Miles bravely went public about the autism diagnosis of her daughter Rocket to raise awareness about the condition.
The 40-year-old actress explained why it took some time before she and Troy decided to open up about their daughter who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Aubrey said they first wanted to know more about autism before coming up with the decision to share it with the public, citing the importance of educating themselves.
“Autism awareness for Rocket. Yes, our Rocket has ASD, Autism spectrum disorder. We didn’t share this right away because we are still learning about ASD. It was important for us to educate ourselves about it,” Aubrey said.
What Aubrey and Troy did was they consulted an ASD specialist as a first step in searching for answers.
“At first we were confused, and questioned ourselves, how and why. We searched around to for an ASD specialist before anything else,” she remarked.
Aubrey went on the debunk common misconceptions about kids diagnosed with ASD, saying it’s not always different for every kid.
“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,” she said.
Aubrey then shared what her daughter’s symptoms are, saying these are “common” types of symptoms.
“As for Rocket, she has the common symptoms like delayed speech: no eye contact, difficulty communicating, can focus on one thing for hours, repetitive [which means] she does things over and over again like running and flapping her hands, etc.,” she said.
“She flaps her hands when she likes something, another way to address her emotions; cries her heart out like nobody's around: from 1 she can get 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,” she added.
“[She has a] hard time controlling her emotions, sometimes there’s no middle. Happy or sad, Laughing or crying out loud and doesn’t know how to stop,” she said.
Aubrey reiterated that it could always be a different situation for each kid but the symptoms she mentioned were the ones that she and Troy have seen in Rocket so far.
“There’s a lot more for other kids I’m sure, but so far these are the things we see from Rocket. Autism is always present, in many ways. There’s no proven reason that’s 100% why kids get autism. It can just happen,” she said.
She then gave a piece of advice for parents whose children were diagnosed with ASD.
“It’s possible for first-time parents to think it’s the worst thing that can happen to their baby. It surely can be scary and who knows what the future holds but definitely not the worst,” she said.
“You just need to know where to go, what you’re dealing with, find 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,” she added.
Rocket is currently undergoing speech therapy and occupational therapy as part of their efforts to help Rocket with her future day-to-day experiences in life.
“Rocket is taking ST (speech therapy) and OT (occupational therapy) basically OT is learning activities that she will encounter in her daily life,” she said.
Troy, on the other hand, encouraged other parents who have children with ASD to reach out to them and other support groups.
“If you have a similar story, please don’t hesitate to message us. 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. Keep your faith high and do the best that you can. Stay strong. Appreciate the love and growth of our kids,” she said.