Tag Archives: autism spectrum disorder

Starting Over…Again

When this blog started it was about my son’s autism and how I attempted to deal with it all. We searched and searched for a diagnosis, then therapies, then breakthroughs. Years later, here we are. We have a six year old child who is amazingly bright, hilariously funny, and above all, happy. We have sacrificed a lot. We have given everything we could. Every single member of this family has given a lot to get to this point, and I think we can all agree that it was well worth it. Our life looks so different now, and maybe that is why I decided to start blogging again. I never imagined my life would look the way it does, and at the same time there is so much that I still need to change.

Who are we now?

We are a small town family who digs holes, hunt frogs, and seek out dirt like it’s air. We’ve added two dogs, two cats, 7 chickens, and 2 ducks to our family. My three boys all have their own unique gifts, which they use to support one another in whatever mischief they can find. We are also now homeschoolers! That’s right. We walked away from public school and started our homeschooling journey in October of last year.

And while this has been an awesome ride, I have learned a lot about my children and myself. The first thing I learned?

1. My weight is not my friend, and as I watch my boys grow, I am starting to worry about their health as well. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, and I want to empower my children to make healthy choices.

2.School is hard, but public school is nearly impossible. My children (8,6, and 4) had to deal with issues and struggles that I never would have expected them to be faced with at such a young age. Their self confidence, self worth, and creativity after just a few short years was gone. In light of those issues (and many others) we decided to homeschool. But you know what? Homeschooling is hard! Homeschooling is so hard that some days I cry in the shower because I feel like I am failing my children. But the truth of the matter is that they are happier, thriving, and growing in so many ways it is hard to track.

3. Autism is a struggle, but the payoff is amazing. We still have daily battles, but they don’t consume us like they used to. And while certain things may be harder than others, I thank God every day for this child and his gift. He sees the world in a way that no one else does, and I am lucky enough that he shares his insight with me.

4. My two other children need way more than love and attention that I thought. I’ve spent so much time over the past couple of years with therapies and drills to get Jo to progress that I sometimes forgot that I have two other children who need me just as much as he does. That’s hard. It is hard to admit that I gave one child more, but it is even harder to watch the other who fight for attention. We have come a long way with splitting up attention, but we still have so much further to go.

5. I am, and will always be, a work in progress. I am a hot mess. I’m the mom in gym shorts, a t-shirt, no make-up, and frizzy hair who spouts off dirty jokes in hushed whispers to other moms while the kids play at the playground. I read trashy romance novels just as much as I read Margaret Atwood. I will never have all my eggs in basket or row, and if I am going to be completely honest, most of my eggs are broken because my children drop them in the lawn after collecting them from the chicken coop. I’m awkward, overweight, and full of sarcasm. I am also so completely awesome. I know this to be true because my kids tell me every single day.

So, this is where we begin. This is my gift to you: our crazy homeschooling, autism, sensory seeking, weight loss, healthier lifestyle, boys will be crazy-mischief-maker journey! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Advertisements

Suspect

How many kids go to diagnostic clinic and leave without a diagnosis of autism?

That is the only question I can think about lately. My Facebook page has been lit up by the upcoming autism awareness month, and I’m feeling frantic. I can’t say my son has ASD because he is only “suspected” of having autism at this point. June 11th will bring us the answers we have been waiting for, but until then, I feel like I can’t do anything in realm of autism. I want to join support groups, find parents to connect with, enroll Jonah in special preschool programs, but I can’t, because until they diagnose him, I can’t own it.
Autism is something we have come to terms with, but not something I am comfortable owning until I am sure that is what is going on with Jonah. Suspecting that it is autism is not the same as saying it IS autism.
I know it sounds stupid, and pathetic, but I just want to belong to something, something that is supportive and has people who understand what every day life is like. Something that is real, and honest, and here. I am constantly barraged by family saying things like, “he is in so much therapy, he is only two”, “sometimes I can understand him”, and “it’s not that bad.” And they don’t see what life is really like. They don’t see the melt downs and the hitting and biting. They don’t see the grunting and finger twitching. They don’t see the running away , the hiding from people, the withdrawn eyes. They don’t see what my life is really like, and I am thankful for that because they get to see Jonah as a little boy, and not as a special needs child. But that also makes my life harder because no one understands what it is like.
I feel so alone, and even after we move, I won’t reach out to autism support groups until I know for sure because what if we get to diagnostic and they say it’s not autism? Then what?

So I need to know, how many kids go to diagnostic clinic and leave without a diagnosis of autism?