This reblog is from Bereaved Single Dad – blogger and father to a son. As they say, it’s never too late, too late to become educated, to learn, to become aware and to shed light on things that matter to you. Him and I share one thing that’s close and dear to our hearts and that is our sons have been labeled many things, which only means they are extra special.
I recently saw the comedian Amy Schumer’s Netflix special, ‘Growing.’ She opens up on her husbands autism diagnosis. She and her husband – a chef, are expecting their first child. It was also evident that in the midst of a diagnosis we can still find laughter and joy.
“Once he was diagnosed, it dawned on me how funny it was, because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons that I fell madly in love with him,” she says in the ‘Growing’ Netflix special. “That’s the truth. He says whatever is on his mind. He keeps it so real. He doesn’t care about social norms or what you expect him to say or do.”
This reminded me of my son – he says as he sees it, he’s now 9 years old, working hard in school and continues his speech therapy. You can read more on my son’s Autism diagnosis here. When I first heard her speak on the topic it was hard not to feel an overwhelming feeling of hope. The stigma around Autism – as many other diagnosis, is the unknown future. Will he find a special person, a wife, will he have children, a career, etc.? The actress speaking up on her husband’s diagnosis filled me up with both appreciation and hope.
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It’s been a ‘on your back’ sort of day. Not just for the pets. First we played football in the garden. Son wasn’t keen on using his boots so I dug out mine as well. As a I put my boots on I warned son that they would be hard to walk with on the […]
This post for ‘Reblog Wednesday’ couldn’t have come at a better time. The thoughts of wanting to feel better physically are reoccurring thoughts, coming in too often throughout my day. And the fact that I can’t change my circumstance or diagnosisis evident in this post and is the perfect reminder of things I conveniently choose to forget. This ‘Reblog Wednesday’ is from a blogger I hold dear and near to my heart, Stuart, his honesty, love for Christ and life, is what I appreciate from reading his work. I couldn’t appreciate him more than I already do.
This post unraveled the truths of my reality. I can either learn to accept my reality or continue to live in the falsehood of reminiscing of what my life once was – life without the prescription medication and physical pain. It’s up to me. If I can only touch ground, ‘come back to Earth,’ as they say, and stop living in the clouds, I’d be able to open my eyes to see my life as it is. And perhaps only then will my sense of purpose fuel my desire to live a more happy and fulfilled life.
The conversation with God in the post reminded me of my own conversations with God.
I want to tell God what to fix in my life …
my diagnosis – fix it, reverse it,
my physical pain – take it away,
my old, ‘normal self’ – bring her back,
my finances – increase it,
my brain / head – make it stop spinning,
my son’s autism diagnosis – make it better,
my happiness – give me more of it.
And all the while, I’ve been praying for what I cannot change. He’s saying surrender, trust me, leave it to me as I do all things for a reason – beyond your humble comprehension. The reasons for it, all will be revealed in due time – patience. And love, love is what I need, it’s what I should be praying more for, so that I may accept my diagnosis with love, accept things that I will not be able to change.
The trials and tribulations are only there to get me away from worldly things and closer to Him.
Have a blessed day.
I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up. I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No.. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary. I asked God to grant me patience. God […]
This quote here by Helen Keller reminds me to be grateful and be present – in the moment. Often times I’m looking at you but I’m not listening to you. There’s so much distraction and chaos that surrounds me that my mind is running far too quickly to stop and as the saying goes, ‘to smell the roses.’ There have been events in my life that could have broken me and taken me to the point of no return, like a separation, a breakup, my son’s autism diagnosis or my own Chiari + Syringomyelia diagnosis. But in the midst of this unknown I’ve seen the beauty that lies within these events. The fact that my son is such a wonderful boy, so beautiful, so sweet or the fact that after my diagnosis, I’m finally learning to slow down. It’s through life’s unprecedented events that I’ve seen my own strength. I’ve also seen the beauty that comes after the storm has passed, like when my two youngest babies were discharged from NICU – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. What a joyous day that was, to have seen them going in so tiny and fragile, and then come out victorious.
The world has too many things to offer that will never fill a void in the heart. There have been too many times when I’ve attempted to do that, given in to the worlds offerings, only to be disappointed. When I’ve finally led with my heart, my heart is full – satisfied and content. As I read the quote below by Helen Keller, I could only remember something I’d heard a while ago ….
This post here in was full of truth. I’ve always thought that often times, I am my own worst critic. I live with chronic pain which in return is followed by self-doubt. I try not to blame others for my physical pain and diagnosis, you know, answer with an attitude or be harsh, after all it’s no one’s fault as to what I’m feeling. I’ve also seen that when I want to start something new, have an idea for something, I am quick to have reasons as to why I can’t do it – before it even begins. I begin to write up a list in my mind as to why I can’t reach things, won’t achieve them and in turn my ideas go to waste, the opportunity slips away. This mountain that is often full of pain and anger, it’s full of negativity, of self doubt and unaccomplished things. Maybe it’s due to my diagnosis, or my son’s autism diagnosis or just a combination of many things. Nonetheless, this is the mountain that I always try to move for myself – daily. It has to be done, otherwise, this mountain can turn into depression, anxiety, and instead of climbing it, I can fall from it. This is a mountain that often goes unseen by others, but that I feel deep in my soul.
Fortunately, with age comes wisdom, faith and hope. The wisdom to know when I need to stop the negative thinking, the faith of knowing that all things can be done through Him, and the hope of knowing that there will always be light, as long as I’m willing to see it.
Do you have mountains, how do you move them?
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali Ever felt like a failure? Worthless? Lonely being redemption, broken beyond repair. A waste of time? Ever felt that it just doesn’t matter? Ever felt like you couldn’t do something because it was too difficult? […]
World Autism Awareness Day 2018 was April 2nd, however April is still National Awareness Month. It is my hope that I can help spread awareness by sharing my experience with my son – my second oldest, whom was diagnosed with Autism in 2016 at the age of 6. I will attempt here and try to give you some tools that will help you or someone you know, learn the possible signs of Autism. Please keep in mind like everything, everyone’s journey is different.
There is no doubt that each child begins to do things at a different time, starts to hit milestones at a different pace. But know that pediatricians do want some milestones to be met, otherwise it may be a sign that the child needs further evaluation to know if there’s an underlying issue. You can visit Autism Speaks to know what specific signs to look for in babies and toddlers or any age, to be able to go from concern to action. I’ve had the privilege to still be seeing the same pediatrician – it’s been almost 11 years. He helped me see that my son at 14 months old wasn’t properly developing and immediately sent me to the right specialists. Maybe it’s because of my own health but I am a firm believer that it is best to know and act, then not to act at all.
My son’s journey began when he was 14 months old, when aside from being developmentally delayed, he was diagnosed with speech delay because he wasn’t babbling, pointing, no gestures, among other things. So, by the 20 month mark he was placed with a phenomenal speech and occupational therapist that would come to our home to give him therapy. He was released from at-home therapy at 3 years old to attend a school that offered inclusion classrooms. At this time we also began an IEP for him. What is an inclusion classroom? Well, this is a classroom that allows a child with a disability or special education to learn with other children that are non-disabled. This has been beneficial for my son, at home he has his siblings but at school he also gets to see things he has not yet mastered in other kids, so he may get motivated or curious and attempt to imitate. Whether that is in PE, like jumping rope, etc. What is an IEP? An IEP (Individualized Education Program) is a program developed by the public school system for each child that needs special education. This IEP is put together by a team at the school and the meeting includes us – the parents, and it’s reviewed at the beginning and towards the end of each school year. We’ve also been fortunate enough to live near a school that offers these programs that can accommodate children like my son that need speech and/or occupational therapy. The therapy is done in the school and during school hours. These programs have been removed in schools that once offered them, due to budgeting. If parents can’t find a school near them, they are then directed to take the child outside for private therapy.
So, let’s fast forward to today, he is now in the 2nd grade, is almost 8 years old and continues to have an IEP in school. Although my son was released last year from occupational therapy, he continues to be in speech therapy. I can’t tell you that anything drastically changed in our home with him since his diagnosis in 2016, aside from finally getting answers to behaviors he was demonstrating. The sense of relief was overwhelming, it’s not something any parent wants to hear, but it’s a reminder for me to continue to see that this particular son of mine, just needs a little extra love and patience. That’s all. His diagnosis was ‘mild Autism.’ What is ‘mild Autism’? While we were told he has ‘mild Autism’ by his neurologist, there is no official ‘mild Autism’ diagnosis, doctors will still categorize ‘mild Autism’ as Autism because it all falls under one umbrella. So, as to not confuse anyone, we don’t call it ‘mild.’ It’s extremely difficult to describe this ‘mild’ thing because he is academically doing great, the extra help he receives in the classroom is helping him a lot. However, symptoms will be seen, for instance loud sounds will make him scream and he falls apart. Our continued love for Disney World as a vacation destination for our family has helped him, he’s familiar with the park and he’s become aware of what’s going to happen next. He’s done great there. If you have a child with noise sensitivity say, they’re scared of fireworks or loud noise in general try these children’s earmuff’s/headphones. He has no ability to sense another persons body language, emotions or when another child is being mean to him. He shows repetitive behavior such has rocking, flaps his hands and jumps when he gets excited or nervous, also may even hit or push when he laughs. Also, when he has an interest in something, it’s intense. I’m going to be honest, the environment makes all the difference in his behavior, so his behavior and actions vary. He’s at times sensitive to the touch, at times not wanting to be touched at all, doesn’t like to eat certain textured foods, mushy foods like the tomato, avocado, etc., which many can confuse as him being picky. He can not watch a couple of movies, like ET and Willy Wonka because he will start to scream and cry uncontrollably. His teachers have a list of these to prevent them from showing these in his presence. He likes routine, doesn’t like certain types of clothing materials, has trouble climbing or going up and down stairs or even at times walking too much – hence the only ‘C’ grade he has is in PE, this can appear as if he were clumsy. This may give you clearer answers to sensory questions for children with Autism and any developmental disabilities. Aside from all this that many may think is ‘bad’, remember these children don’t know that any of this can be considered out of the norm. They are happy children and so smart. My son is incredibly caring, compassionate, loves hugs from Mom and Dad, loves his siblings, all things Lego and Minecraft and has an interest in numbers. I’ve said this before, this is one of those unseen disabilities because on the outside he looks like any other 8 year old boy. So, when a symptom arises anyone whom doesn’t know his diagnosis can easily mistaken him for behaving badly. So, it’s not only about Autism Awareness, it’s also about Autism Acceptance, acceptance to all children and adults with any kind of disability.
Also, before I go, let me tell you about two amazing groups and/or organization that I have found to be making a world of difference in the Autism community. I do not have Facebook – I know, but if you do or don’t, either way, go and see what Autism Barbers Assemble, ‘Jim the Trim’ and a group of great barbers are doing in the UK. Their main focus is to cut Autistic children’s hair. They are changing the way we treat kids with Autism while changing lives. So, if you’re asking, what’s the big deal, it’s just a hair cut? No! Autistic kids have a hard time getting a hair cut because they think getting a hair cut hurts. If you can, take some time out of your busy day and watch on their Facebook page, ‘Jim the Trim’ cutting an Autistic child’s hair – holy moly, this man is nothing short of amazing! Lastly, Elmo has a new friend on Sesame Street and her name is Julia. She is a sweet, four year old girl with Autism. If you haven’t seen her debut that aired on April 10, 2017, meet Julia here. This first episode was wonderful and in my opinion I think they accurately captured the behavior and essence of a child with Autism.
Happy Autism Awareness Month, if I’ve opened your eyes even just a tad bit on this topic, then I’ve done my job. I’m in no way a doctor, and my opinions all come from my experiences in living with my son – that I would not change for the world.
And ‘D’ if you read this one day in the years to come, when you’re grown and I’m gray, know that God created you perfect in every way. I appreciate everything about you and I am honored to be your mami, I love you Gordo.