April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day! Please take a moment and educate yourself on Autism!
This past year we have been on a journey with Autism. Let me rewind time and go back to the day the OB Doctor told me I should have certain screenings done so that I could make the right decision about my pregnancy. I’ve said it before and I will say it over and over again, this family always chooses life! Plus those screenings would not have told me what I know today, and even if they could we would’ve still chosen life! That of course happened during my pregnancy with Tedy and I chose to not see that doctor again during my pregnancy – of course as fate would have it that’s the doctor that ended up delivering Tedy.
So how’d we get to this point? I honestly do not know – like the puzzle piece symbol of Autism we are still trying to piece it together. All I know is that we love Tedy for the exceptional child he is (like we love all of our children). Yet I will say there’s always been something special about him…when he was an infant he became sick with RSV and I am so thankful that he is still with us today. I am thankful that I was able to breastfeed him for 18 months and thankful that my husband supported me when I decided to quit working because of the health issues Tedy had been facing. For me Tedy was my wake up call – my smack in the face that my job wasn’t the most important thing in my life and that I needed to get it together because my priorities were way out of whack!
Yet I confess this journey has not been all sunshine and roses – there have been many tears and many frustrations and many screams out to God asking WHY? Why me? Why my son? Why – why – WHY??? Yet through it all I know that God has truly blessed me with all of our children and He wouldn’t have blessed is with this exceptional boy if we couldn’t handle it.
There are still many mysteries behind Autism, especially in our case. We go to countless appointments with a variety of doctors every single week. It took a toll on Sophia’s homeschooling and she chose to go to school. She does an amazing job and truly loves her brother. Even Ceci for as little as she is has an amazing connection with Tedy and adores him!
I might be biased but Tedy’s a pretty amazing boy – he’s entertaining and always keeps me on my toes! He is a dare devil though and with that being said let me give you a piece of advice – don’t always be so quick to judge and please drive carefully around neighborhoods with children. Tedy has escaped before and it’s broken my heart every time! Now that he’s getting older people don’t understand as much and that’s because they don’t know. People assume it’s the parents fault when in actual reality in the amount of time it takes to quickly go to the bathroom that child has broken through a baby gate, torn off the “baby proof” (need a baby proof object tested – give it to Tedy he typically figures it out in a few days at most) door knob, unlocked the door, opened it, opened the screen door and ran down the street! This is why we’ve now ordered an interactive road id bracelet for Tedy to wear in case of emergency.
April is Autism Awareness month – please take the time to educate yourself! Please take the time to think twice when you see a child wearing a back pack leash or you hear a child randomly yell out or melt down. The judging looks I get in public cut deep and though my skin is pretty thick it still hurts because sometimes I don’t know how to help him and I don’t know why he suddenly is melting down. Some days it hurts because he’s over 3 years old now and can’t tell me his name and worst of all, to me, has never said “I love you” though I know that he really does love me – ask people that know us they’ll tell you Tedy is a Mamas boy. Yet still take a moment and think – if a child ignores yours on the playground, that child isn’t necessarily rude, (and please don’t smother him because that will typically lead to lashing out ) sometimes it’s tough for a child with autism to interact with others. Also if the child doesn’t respond don’t keep shouting at him and please educate your children – He knows very few people’s names – he can’t tell you the name of his sister let alone his own name . So again, please educate your children as well because sadly at such a young age Tedy’s already been bullied at the playground – pushed down and called names.
I know that one day I will look back at all the late nights/early mornings of my energizer bunny and laugh but now that and lots of other things that Tedy does can be tough to deal with, but we are getting there. We are learning how to enter into his world!
To my son: never lose your sweet smile and sparkle in your eye! Most importantly always know that we love you!