This month’s story comes from Meridith D. of Scoot a Doot. You can check out her wonderful blog here and follow them on Facebook at Scoot a Doot. I had the pleasure of meeting Meridith last year when we both were invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference On-The-Road in NYC. Little did I know how much we would have in common. Besides finding out her husband and I went to the same high school together, I also found we had an even bigger bond, we are both Autism Moms. I spoke with her about her son and she listened to me ramble on about mine. I always love meeting other people and especially when we share this one thing that I consider such a huge thing, having a child with Autism. In this post Meridith wrote, she talks about when her son was first diagnosed to right now. I loved reading this and I know you will all enjoy it too. Thanks Meridith for sharing this story with us & a bigger thanks for becoming a friend! I hope you all enjoy her story.
Then to Now – thoughts on the “A” word
“The past couple of days have been emotionally trying, to say the least. My littlest boy was diagnosed yesterday with a word. Autism. Now, this doesn’t come as a complete surprise. He’s been in early intervention since just after his second birthday. He’s very visually focused, fantastic at his letters, numbers, shapes, colors but there’s an emotive connection that’s lacking. We’re already taking all the proper steps but yesterday we were finally able to have our appointment at CHOP (which yes, took 8 months to acquire) and now there’s a word connected to my son. And I know that it doesn’t define him. And I know that it doesn’t CHANGE him in the slightest. And I have a lot of support and love, as does he. But it’s difficult because while I have all of this, I have information coming at me from every direction and it’s overwhelming. My insides don’t know what to focus on so they are grabbing at everything – it feels disjointed and unnatural.”
These are the words I wrote on January 25, 2012 via an online journal, prior to my days of writing about health and fitness at Scoot a Doot.
It was a time of confusion and unease. I wrote those words not knowing where we would land, not knowing what to expect, and not sure where this journey would take us.
I’m happy to say that it’s taken us places I never thought that it would and, for the most part, it’s been pretty incredible. Being the parent of an Autistic child has taught me to look at things from a different angle, from his angle, and truthfully, I find his perspective refreshing, honest, and interesting.
Yes, there are things that are challenging, most from a health standpoint. Taking medicine is always a struggle. Eating anything that hasn’t been processed or that has any nutritional content is not what he’d prefer, due in large part to textures of food. But we’re working on things and constantly striving to make good choices. He’s come a long way and he’s a work in progress, as are we all.
Day by day, we move forward. A year ago I wrote this in honor of Autism month. It still holds true and I think it sums up quite nicely where we are at this point.
“Nearly four years ago, my world was rocked when I heard the words “high functioning autism” used to describe my youngest son.
Since then I’ve been truly astounded at the love, guidance, and unconditional support he gets, or should I say, WE get through early intervention, in our school district, and our knowledgeable friends.
Our teachers (the word is all encompassing) are incredible and while they’re able to reach him, they are teaching us along the way as well. No matter the child, parenting is always a learning process, and I’m grateful to have the community that we do.
We have it good. We have it SO GOOD with Gabriel. Growing up is difficult and as a parent, you only want the best for your child. While he has his struggles, he has more successes than failures. He’s bright, silly, and the “squiggliest” kid around. He rocks my world and I’m so grateful he’s my son.”