Occasionally when I’m at work, the BIG boss will email all of us articles, usually having something to do with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders. I used to read them, because I found them interesting. Now I just find them depressing. The articles are sometimes about a new study, or new techniques being used, the newest find, or medication, but I’ve yet to see an article being emailed to us from the parents point of view. I’ve yet to read any articles, come to think of it, that really dive into the heart and sole of parents who either just received their child’s diagnosis, or how they are dealing with their own struggles/day-to-day.
Now, I can assure you that those articles would be interesting reads, no doubt, but hard to digest, none the less.
A long time ago, I remember having a phone conversation which a dear friend of mine, when I suspected that something wasn’t quite right with my boy. I almost felt like I had mourn my son so I could move on. But my friend put my feelings into perspective for me, which was a nice feeling. Her son is on the spectrum as well, so I felt like my emotions were in excellent hands.
We talked for a long time.
We talked about everything.
We talked about diet, lack of speech, social skills, what our kids futures will be like, etc. But the part of our conversation that sticks out the most for me, was when she told me that “what ever I was thinking, no matter how I am feeling, nothing can ever crush the love that I have for my little boy.” And she was right! She also told me to stop reading articles that I might find irritating or depressing for as long as I could, because those articles give depressing statistics and false hope. Not all articles, but some.
Again, she was right.
Why bring all of this up you ask? Well, we are approaching the one year anniversary of Willy’s diagnosis (D Day), and I have to say that I feel like we’ve come a long, long way as a family in just one year. In just one year, Willy has come out with more words, longer sentences, and has made academic strides that make his teachers smile from ear to ear. As a family, we have become more aware of his agitated “signs” and we try to accommodate him as much as possible. We always have a plan A, a plan B, and an exit strategy with just about every situation when we are away from home. We also consult with several doctors who are all on the same page when it comes to helping our boy succeed.
Our road is a bumpy one, but we’re all doing just fine, I’d like to think. We have, and always have had an amazing support system. And that my friends is one of the most important first steps to take when your on a journey of any kind. Find people who will not judge, but who will accept. Avoid doctors who have have “magic” cures, but do read up on your journey, so it feels less scary and ominous to you. And just so you know, just because a diagnosis is made, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world for you or your child. Our kids are young, and they are like sponges, just waiting to absorb.
Nobody has a crystal ball, so nobody can see the future, but I can promise you this. With all of the services, medications, diets, doctors, therapists, teachers, and knowledgeable adults out there, progress will be made! I have so much faith in our support systems, that who knows what and who our children will become in 20 years. Maybe my son will be an actor? Or, maybe he’ll be into politics? Who knows, but what I do know is that I am never giving up on him, because I know that my boy deserves every fiber of my being, and I will never stop fighting for him or his rights. And you should too.
This rant was brought to you today, by the the letter R. Ranting is good sometimes. And by “the duck song” that I unfortunately got my son into on youtube. And lastly wine. It’s always 5:00 somewhere, right?