Autism plays a part in our lives, but autism doesn’t define my son.
For the past six months I have been a bit scatterbrained.
Spread too thin.
A hot mess.
And often I do jump from topic to topic, child to child (I have three, ya know) and it’s rare for me to hold a thought for longer than a minute or so.
I am aware.
Sometimes in life you have busy seasons, right? Then things calm down and you get to relax.
Not so much when you’re the parent of a child with autism.
See, when God gave me the gift of Nathan, he also bestowed upon me an enormous responsibility that calls for me to always be “on”.
On the road.
On the laptop searching for new therapies, therapists, treatments, supplements, programs…
The list goes on and on.
I lay awake at night praying that one of these will be the key that opens the door for him to communicate with us.
And by communicate, I mean, tell me when his ear aches, tummy hurts, or if someone hurt him.
Sure, I want more, so much more, but that would be a great start.
I sometimes long for the days of typical parent worries and complaints.
Homework: Oh My Gosh, Why is this teacher punishing my perfectly able minded child with extra assignments to engage her brain?
Dance Class: Seriously? My talented daughter must practice…at home? You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Ball Teams: The world will come to an end if my resilient daughter strikes out twice, so I’m going to CURSE out the official that calls it!
Ok, so I’ve never freaked out at the ball park, but we all know it happens…
Looking back, I’m ashamed that I let trivial matters like these occupy any of my time in light of what I am going through now.
Funny how that works.
Not that I don’t have any concern for my two typically developing children, my daughters; I love them dearly, and I want the very best for them both.
I just know how to put things in perspective now, that’s all.
So, if you ever find yourself wondering what’s going on in this head of mine, I want you to be aware.
April is Autism Awareness Month.
Instead of listing off statistics and numbers, I’d like to share a little about my son, Nathan.
He has big blue eyes that remind me of my grandmother, but my husband takes credit for them. Mostly because the boy looks exactly like he did as a child- down to the light blond hair that slightly curls on the ends. His smile melts my heart and always results in him getting the extra cookie he requests.
Excuse me, “wookie.”
He loves to climb, swing, and ride in his Daddy’s Bronco or any off road vehicle. Recently, he has developed a love for puzzles and art.
Oh, and he does enjoy a good YouTube video every now and then.
Riding anywhere on the backs of his sisters is also a favorite.
At night, he likes to cuddle and pretend to read.
He’s a five year old boy, healthy in every way, who also happens to have autism. He occasionally has meltdowns because right now he doesn’t have a way say,
“I hate this” or “Stop” or “Lylah Kate won’t stop talking!” so he cries.
I would too.
I tell you this because I want you to know Nathan.
He is so much more than the autism diagnosis.
There is a saying,
“If you know one kid with autism, you know one kid with autism.”
Today I wanted to introduce mine.