I’m worn…


If you know me at all, you know I am very open about a lot of things in my life. I don’t like a silent struggle I want to be open so others know what is going on. I don’t like that I’ve had to struggle silently lately about many things. I am ready to be open about one, my depression.

Depression is different for a lot of people, I know that. My depression can get to the point where it is debilitating. I don’t even want to get up in the morning. My body hurts, I’m tired but I can’t sleep, and I’m not hungry. The only reason I get out of bed is because of the kids, I know that their lives depend on me. I have to pull myself up to do therapy for the boys that they need to live normal lives. I have to pull myself up so that I can get the girls to whatever extra curricular activity they need to get to. I need to pull myself up because my family needs me, but sometimes it can be so hard. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry. When I’m this far into my depression I sit on the couch a lot. It hurts to sit because of an injury to my back but it hurts to stand as well so I sit. I tend to watch TV, it is a good way to get myself out of my current reality and into the world, but I know it is not the world. Things get blurry, not in a seeing sense but in my mind things that I was pretty sure I did, I didn’t. Papers that I thought I signed and sent back to school are still sitting on the counter and I can’t even find them when they are out in the open. I don’t remember things as I should, dates get mixed up and most times I can’t even tell you what day of the week or month it is. I have to spend most of my energy just in trying to remember certain things that I need to. I can’t concentrate on what I need to do most times.

I have a cadence in my head. A cadence of negative comments that tend to get louder and louder each passing day. It has my ex-husband telling me that if I was going to be the mom he didn’t want kids, him telling me I was ugly, stupid and fat. It has what kids used to say to me in elementary, middle school and high school. It has things that my parents have said when they were disappointed in me for some reason. It has the feelings that come with it when I have let someone I care about down, the feeling I get when I have broken a rule, a really sinking feeling. My oldest brother used to make fun of me constantly and my parents told me that was his way of showing his love, it probably was but it hurt when all I would hear at school was hurtful things as well. The cadence reminds me of painful times like when my best friend got mad at me in High School. It reminds me of when I goofed up two years ago at a performance and froze in front of a room full of people not being able to properly pronounce a name that I had practiced time and time again. It reminds me of every time I have screwed up, of every time I have made a mistake and it repeats how useless I am. I was an atheist for a lot of my life simply because I felt like if God knew who I really was he would reject me so to save myself from the heart ache I rejected that he even existed. I couldn’t believe that God could love me just simply for being me when there was nothing whatsoever to love about me. After I found God I talked about Him all the time because I felt like to one person I was perfect, but the world has a funny way of taking that security. I was made fun of so I stopped talking about God and in doing so I felt like I disappointed Him, only adding to the cadence. But in a weird way the pain from those close to me making fun of me was more than the grief of disappointing God- I know a “of this world” problem that I failed, adding to my cadence. The days where my cadence is strong I can’t do much, I have trouble even finding the energy to go to the store for diapers. I will make any excuse not to go anywhere and only do what I have to do. I don’t feel like doing anything at all, but I will make myself do things I need to.

I long for acceptance, for approval. My depression and low self worth bring me into a very vulnerable place. I don’t know why but all of my life people haven’t thought I ever needed approval. I haven’t had many people being my cheerleader through life, even when I needed it. I’m always searching for constant approval. I search for how others react so that I know how I’m suppose to react. I feel like I will fail if I have an original thought, if I had an original idea. I drain those close to me because I am always asking for acceptance. I don’t usually open up completely to many people and after I do I back off because I know I am a person of many needs and I can get very overwhelming. But sometimes I long for that person that can actually handle me that doesn’t get overwhelmed. I felt so loved by the man who raped me, that was my reason for going back. That was the one time in my life where I felt completely loved he complimented me constantly and knew exactly what to say to a depressed teenage girl. He sent me flowers on Valentines day, he constantly told me how beautiful I was or how smart, etc. What a warped sense of love but I craved that, I wanted that feeling that someone loved me even if I was overwhelming. I don’t even get that feeling of love from my current husband. It is not his fault, looking at it from a psychological stand point my husband would be diagnosed with aspergers in a heart beat if it still existed. He doesn’t give me approval because he doesn’t understand how anyone would need it. He does find me overwhelming because I’m emotional and he doesn’t understand why I am. He is about as emotional as a 2×4 and it isn’t his fault but it doesn’t help my situation. For 11 years I have sat back and tried to warp myself into what he though I should be and that has only added to my issues because I have lost part of myself. But my husband is trying to understand and that helps in a way.

I feel for Robin Williams, the cadence can get pretty loud at times and no matter how many people you help or how many people tell you they like you or admire you there are still equal numbers to how many people tell you you are doing everything wrong even when they are saying it in love the cadence picks it up and repeats it back. I don’t know what exactly he went through, I can’t pretend to know. But if it was anything like I go through on a daily basis I feel for him.

Medicine doesn’t help it only covers up a few symptoms. Stress adds to the strength of the cadence and it is pretty strong lately. Not sleeping adds to the strength of the cadence. When someone says something negative towards me the cadence gets stronger and harder to ignore. The positive I get every once in a while gets completely drown out by the cadence. Sometimes it just comes out of no where as you are sitting with your kids feeling pretty good about yourself and what you have accomplished reminding you of everything you have done wrong of all the things you aren’t and never will be.

It is extremely difficult to talk about my depression, it is difficult to know I just put all this out into the world honest, open and raw so that others can see it especially when I’m right in the deep dark depths of depression. It seems like a very dangerous weapon to just hand out knowing others can hurt me with it. But I know this is not a battle I face alone, nor is it a battle I can win alone because I’m worn. But I know it is a battle that can be won,

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Being a Christian


I’m going to step away from autism for a minute and discuss something also near and dear to my heart. Christianity, or maybe lack thereof.

I was not raised in an overly Christian home. My father was raised in the Pentecostal faith, my mother was a Methodist. My dad felt churches were just out for money. My parents would take me to vacation Bible school if I wanted to go. I was even in some kind of bee program at the Methodist church one year, I don’t remember what it was called (busy bees?). Point is I had a taste of God in my younger years. In my teenage years I got a little closer to God. I even went through the ritual of asking Jesus into my heart, but I wasn’t really saved, I did it for show. I didn’t honestly believe.

Than an unthinkable happened. At 16 I was raped by a 30 year old. There was one person I told, a Christian. They told me it was God’s way of getting my attention back on Him. I needed to turn my life fully to Him. So I turned fully away from Him. If that is how God gets your attention I’m not falling for that. I became an atheist. I didn’t believe in God, I wouldn’t tell people they were wrong for believing or not believing. I just didn’t believe, but I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe in this being that would have loved me no matter what, but that obviously wasn’t God. A few years later I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of cervical cancer.

9-11 happened. That Sunday I lost all love I had for any supreme being as a Pastor got up in front of the congregation and said God allowed 9-11 to happen because of all the abortion and all of the gays and because of all the non-believer atheist. I was made to go to church by my then fiance and now I was just listed as one of the causes for 9-11. I felt like God was a dictator and I didn’t believe in Him at all.

Cue the wedding bells for my first wedding. I wanted to believe in God, I even read “The Case for Christ”. I was sucked in. I was enamored with this being that wanted me just the way I was. My husband at the time didn’t even want me the way I was, my friends didn’t want me the way I was. I was a horrible person according to people. One Pastor touched my life and I felt close to God. Then another unthinkable happened and on the day after Christmas I went searching for a lawyer to represent me in my divorce. Once again I guessed this “god” everyone talked about was out to get me.

I got into a physically violent relationship during my divorce and I wondered if this was seriously what my life was going to be. I cursed God, I told Him to leave me be.

That’s when Adam walked into my life. He was a Christian but he didn’t insist that I believe. He kept saying I want to be with you forever, even in heaven but you have to make your own decisions. A church told us we were committing a sin because my divorce wasn’t finalized. The papers weren’t signed by the judge but they were signed by my ex husband and myself. Technically I was having an affair and Adam was breaking the rules. Adam was told he needed to choose being involved in an affair or being involved in the church. He chose me. We got married and when I was pregnant with our second child I accepted Christ. I signed the “contract” with my heart fully aware of what I was doing.

A few times since then, okay so a lot of times since I have failed at my faith. I have been broken and molded to be a person who loves God especially during the difficult times. But I have noticed lately I’m once again letting “Christians” get in the way of my relationship with God. I have said time and time again lately that I’m giving up. Christians in general have gone bonkers, okay well maybe just most of the ones around me. They have lost the heart of the relationship. They don’t care about heart they care about rules! But the great thing is that with the invent of social networking I can watch people post quotes from the Bible calling other Christians out for doing wrong things and less than an hour later break another rule about 10 verses away from the one they quoted. Most Christians are completely nuts! When someone has a different idea we flip out, we start throwing Bible verses out. When, by the way, I will let you in on a big secret… atheist don’t believe in the Bible. I know it is a huge pill to swallow. But when you quote the Bible to an atheist you are wasting your breath. You might as well quote a Dr. Suess book, in fact it might make more sense. Christians make themselves look like idiots all the time. And look at it this way, I’m a devoted Christian and I want to walk away from Christianity because of the people in the group. There is no love, there are only rules and by God if you are breaking one I’m going to call you out, don’t care how many skeletons are in my closet. If I’m a believer and I don’t want to be associated with Christians where does that leave those searching for a faith? Where does that leave those who want someone to love them the way they are? Not looking towards God, I can guarantee you that much, remember I was that 16 year old girl. I was that 18 year old with cancer. I was that 20 year old signing my divorce papers. I am now that 30 year old that is saying if that is what God truly is I want no part. If God is the person who tears another person down, I want no part. If God truly has unblessed our nation like so many think He has, I want no part. I’m not a Christian then.

I watched an atheist get torn apart this week for having an opinion opposite popular Christian belief. An actual Christian tore into this woman who has done more for the good of the world than most Christians do in their lives. An actual living breathing Christian felt the need to unleash hate. You know what, I’m sure the atheist is totally going to turn to God now especially because now she knows who’s in His camp.

So go ahead, exercise your first amendment right to tear apart an atheist for not believing. Go ahead tear homosexuals down and rip them to shreds because of “the rules”. I will say a prayer for you and hopefully give them a glimpse of the other side and even though your free speech may turn them from God all their lives by God you have the right to speak the truth. I’m sure your God will have no problem with that. It’s not like loving your neighbor as yourself was ever mentioned in the Bible once. I’m not saying don’t follow the rules, but I’m saying don’t expect everyone to follow the rules when you aren’t even following them. Let he who is among you without sin cast the first stone, something like that. Live a life where you don’t have to walk around straightening people out, live a life where people look up to you and want to be like you. Live a life where people look at you and go “wow, I want whatever s/he’s got”.

I have felt God. I know the power He has. I know He is so much more than what Christians make Him out to be. I have a deep relationship with my God. I call my God “Papa”. And my God will and does love anyone no matter what. My God doesn’t point out others sin. My God doesn’t hate, my God loves a love that covers all hate. My God loves no matter what and that’s a promise. So if you question your faith come join my team. I’m not a Christian, I’m cutting ties with that, I simply believe in my God. I’m not living my life on the shores telling people what they should do, I’m going to try my hand on walking on water because that’s what I’m called to do. Please excuse me while I step away from the world and try to save the drowning people that Christians are throwing under the boat.

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine.”

Oceans- Hillsong

Come what may


It’s always those little things you say that come back to bite you. I said earlier in my blog Adam and my relationship was built on solid ground and although lots of marriages split up because of the stress of having an autistic child ours wouldn’t. Truth be told our foundation has started a crumble. We are still honest and talk about things before they become huge but we aren’t agreeing. I said a while ago we are going to start mailboxes and put something positive in everyone’s mailbox once a week. We did, until Izaiah came along. Now the mailboxes sit. We were going to write in a notebook love letters back and forth between Adam and I. I wrote a grand total of 1/2 a love letter. We failed at the goal I had for our family.

Now don’t get me wrong Adam and I are still together and will continue to be. Does that mean I agree with things he’s done recently, no. Does that mean he agrees with what I’ve done recently, no.

I have been to two weddings recently. And no the irony of going to two weddings one week from each other while Adam and I were having marital problems is not lost on me. As a friend of mine said recently it’s easy to stay married during all the pomp and circumstance. When you actually feel like there is no one else in the world. While the birds are still singing and you are still in your fairytale. I had a fairytale but like I also said in a blog I know enough about my life to know there is always a calm before the storm. Well the storm has come. It’s hard to stay married and deeply, passionately in love with you can’t even stand the person next to you. When you feel betrayed (not that Adam has cheated on me dear Lord don’t think that). It’s easy to stay married when it’s all sunshine and roses but what happens when life hits? What happens when proverbial poop hits the fan and you feel like your drowning?

I am a big fan of marriage but I also know divorce is real, it happens. I am previously divorced. I know sometimes two people just shouldn’t be together. So don’t get me wrong in what I’m about to say.

So what happens when you feel like your drowning? That’s when love steps in. That’s when you look back and realize that you said “forever”. That’s when the tiny little phrase “come what may” seems like such a huge statement. “What may” just might be 4 children. “What may” just might be lonely nights when someone is working or grocery shopping and you have to do it by yourself. “What may” just might be trying to juggle laundry, babies, diapers, autism, cleaning, meals and bottles. “What may” just might be not getting a shower or to brush your teeth or to go to the bathroom by yourself for 8 years and counting. “What may” just might be not having a conversation about anything but kids for weeks. “What may” just might be wanting to cry and go all girly brain. But I really feel those “what may” moments should be what strengthens our marriage not tear it apart.

I love my husband. He makes sacrifices unknown to myself or our children for us to be happy. I’m sorry I’m not a better wife because he deserves someone who has the time to pamper him. But I deserve it too. And when you each feel like your not getting what you deserve, that’s when resentment likes to step in.

We are in a “what may” moment. I’m sorry if you think this is airing our dirty laundry. For me honestly it’s a way to get rid of some of my thoughts and to be honest. I want to be honest. I feel like we hide things too often. We don’t talk about things that hurt us but could help others because we are ashamed of people thinking we aren’t perfect. Well newsflash, I’m not perfect and I will be the first one to admit that, but I guess if outing myself in my own struggle helps someone else than I’ve done what I needed to do.

Adam and I do have an open, honest relationship. I do believe our relationship is stronger than some others. But we have our problems as well, we have our “what may” moments. Does that mean we don’t love each other, no. That means at this moment we are simply living on the promise of “come what may” that we gave to each other. Come what may no matter what the “what may” is.

A lot of talk


A lot of people talk. A lot of people like the sound of their own voice. We have heard a lot of people talk and give their own opinion. I love parenting advice!! Our kids are going to die because they got vaccinations but they are going to die if they don’t get vaccinations! They are going to die if we don’t follow extended rear face them in the car seat until they are 9! They are going to get so many food allergies if we feed them to young! They are going to get autism because I ate that piece of wheat toast when I was pregnant (true story not even making up that article)! Since I couldn’t nurse my first child (because my milk never came in) she won’t be as smart as a breastfed baby! Oh let’s forget she is a third grader that is at a 6th grade level in math, science, and reading. Yup she’s apparently not that smart!

From the beginning I have gotten tons of parenting advice. I take every piece with a grain of salt. Now with the invent of social networking there is no happy medium on anything. Everyone gives their opinion like it matters. Everyone is expected to do what everyone else wants them to and if someone wants to go against the grain they have to shut up about it because so many people have the chance to attack them that disagree. I have heard several conversations with parents of autistic children that choose to cut themselves off from society than share a diagnosis with them because they don’t want the advice. So on a side note it sounds like if you have a child with autism you are stuck on autism island.

But back to the issue at hand people like to talk too much and there isn’t much listening going on. Myself included. I like to talk/ write a lot and tonight when I was writing a long note to someone about how vaccinations don’t cause autism David grabbed my face and looked at me. Without saying anything he was telling me “Mom be done with it! Look at me! I’m here right now! Write the alphabet for me for the 1,000 time today because I love it when you do that! Stop talking and listen to me!” And I stopped writing and picked up the chalk and had a moment with my son. A moment that will forever stick in my memory. A moment that in his own little way my son taught me a lesson. A moment when my “A” wasn’t perfectly made and he erased my “mistake” and made me do it again. I would have missed that moment if I didn’t choose to stop talking and listen and I wish more people would do that. Not everyone is going to fit into the “perfect” mold you expect them to. Listen and stop talking.

James 1:19

Happy Birthday David!!


This day three years ago my world changed forever. Three years ago July 7th I gave birth to David. Adam and I had prayed for almost a year for another child. Shortly after we found out I was pregnant the doctor told me he wasn’t sure the pregnancy was “viable” and wanted to do an ultrasound. It was scheduled a few days away. Those few days were heart wrenching. I prayed and prayed and finally God answered and said “You trust me with your soul but not this child?” Looking back now I completely understand far beyond what I thought He meant then. The pregnancy was hard on my body. His birth was hard and every moment from his first breath were difficult. I now know why he never seemed happy. David wasn’t a typical baby he cried a good solid 80% of all awake time. Nothing ever seemed to comfort him. He tested my patients. Adam didn’t want to be left alone with him. We tried to figure out what caused him so much distress for the first two years of his life. We knew something was different, now we have a diagnosis that tells us what is different.

If I could have David any other way I wouldn’t. I mean I want his life to be the best it can be. I wish things would be easier for him. I would love to see the real David daily instead of feeling like I only get part of him each time we tear down a wall. David is a beautiful soul and I would never in a million years want to change that.

Three years ago (well technically longer than that) I was chosen to raise a child that was going to change the world around him. A child who would teach me more than my 27 years had. I was chosen to be “Mama”! God has big plans for him, I know it because I trust Him. I trust Him with my child. Although the path will twist and turn. Although at times it’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Although many times I have wondered how I will ever make it through. God chose me for this specific task, and I feel so honored that He put me in charge of raising such an awesome little boy!

Happy Birthday David! You are a blessing far beyond what you will ever know! Mama loves you!!

We need a revamp…


We need a revamp. Things need to change for the better. My house needs cleaned, I need to do laundry. I spent the weekend working on stuff that I wanted to work on instead of what I needed to work on. Adam was a wonderful spouse this weekend helping with the kids, but it is Monday again which means he gets a break from Autism Island and I’m left to face it alone. David has regressed a lot. This weekend David got upset because Adam didn’t line stuff up on the counter the way he wanted it. It has been a long time since he had done that. He is having meltdowns constantly. And that is making me fear July 9th so much more. We need to revamp the system. What was working isn’t working now we need to change but how?
I’m going to start with our visual schedule. We haven’t been using it much because other than getting dressed, brushing hair, and brushing teeth we really have nothing on the schedule until bedtime.
Now let me fill you in on a secret. I HATE schedules! I love going with the flow. This new detailed schedule would do nothing but annoy me that things have to happen. Kim (David’s Early Childhood Teacher) reassures me we can change the schedule on the fly to go with the flow of life. I’m sure we can but even having a plan is a guarantee it will get blown out of the water. Okay so I will pull up my big girl pants and do what needs done. For my son and to battle this.
I need to make more PECS and find more time. I wish there could be more than 24 hours in a day. I wish I could buy more time. I wish I could break down these walls. I wish I had the answers! I wish I could make things better for him. I feel like I’m losing him again. What progress we had made is almost gone. But once again even though I feel like the world is falling apart I know there is one who holds my world and He will lead me through. These challenges aren’t put in place for me to fold to the defeat I’m feeling. No these challenges are put in my place and if I let Him help me these challenges will give me strength.
Psalm 46:1-3

We are broken


Autism isn’t pretty and the process is long and difficult. Here in a couple of weeks we will be celebrating David’s 3rd birthday so 3 years of fighting this battle. The first two years were hard because we didn’t know what was going on, why David was different. The last year has been hard but the stress caused by David is considerably less. What has hurt my spirit the most through this process is people. To be brutally honest it’s things friends and family say that you aren’t expecting that hurts the most. If you think we have been exempt from the pain of this you are wrong.

The worst pain is when the people hurt you that you care for. When a family member calls your child a spoiled brat. When you hear a conversation that has happened behind your back because a child who was privy to the conversation decides to repeat it. You build your own walls and get really anxious being around certain people. You are careful about what you say knowing what people will say behind your back about it. You don’t want people over at your house for fear of what they will see or hear that will give them ammunition for their fight against you. People start excluding you from functions you should be invited to. The pain of that is worse than I ever expected. It’s one thing to be given parenting advice by some helpful person at Walmart but when family and friends who have watched you face this battle turn against you it hurts more. Because of things that have been said about David this last year Adam and I have built our own walls around our children that are even higher than before. David is our gift from God and we will protect him no matter what the cost. Adam has been hurt one to many times by certain people and I see the pain even if he doesn’t talk about it. That hurts me as well.

Looking back I wish we had gotten a diagnosis a year ago so we didn’t have to go through the emotions involved in it twice. We wouldn’t have such raw emotions at this time. The wound wouldn’t have just been ripped open again. We wouldn’t be going through the grieving process again. It wouldn’t hurt as much when a close friend says something hurtful.

We are experiencing difficulties in our marriage. Like I said we know enough about each other and can sit down and talk through issues before they become major but we are each dealing with the diagnosis in our own way. Outside stresses aren’t helping us through this process. Feeling like we have to be guarded around almost everyone we talk to gets old.

We just need time to heal and try to figure this out. There are lots of changes coming up for us and we need people who understand and care. If you can’t than at least keep your comments to yourself for a while.

We are barely moving but we are still alive. We are weary from battle but we are still fighting. We are broken but we are not dead and as long as there is breath in my body this battle will continue with me on the front lines.

Therapists


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David’s therapists will work with him until he is three years old. Since he turns three right after they have a week off they are able to see him until July 9th. July 9th will be the last day David has therapy until he starts preschool the last of August. Today will be the last time we will see our original speech pathologist Susan because we are getting a new one who will work with David until July 9th and then will begin to work with him again at preschool. We will most likely see his original therapists when he reaches elementary age so they will not be gone from our lives forever, just for now. I took a picture of David with all three of them today so that we can forever remember the original team.

These people are awesome! They single handedly saved our family. The stress we had as a family was drastically cut once the therapists entered our lives. Honestly I didn’t want to do it anymore, I wanted to run away, well worse than run away but I don’t need to go into that. These women saved us, I will leave it at that! These women made their way into our lives and I will be extremely sad when they are officially done with their early access services with David.

We were thrown into this battle against autism unknowingly. Who assumes when they have a child that the child will be special needs? Children are a handful, special needs children are two times if not more of a handful. I’m not saying that as a bad thing just being honest. We were thrown in unexpectedly but have to face this battle because he’s our child. These therapists chose to help special needs children. These women chose to fight with us on the front lines! They gave us weapons for the battle and stuck beside us even when times were tough. We saw Kim his early childhood teacher every week. We saw Susan his speech pathologist twice a month and we saw Kathy his occupational therapist once a month. They were a huge part of our lives. We have seen them more than we have seen most people since beginning therapy. These women have been a huge part of David’s life and I never want him to forget them! They accepted him the way he was as soon as they met him.

I am afraid of what will happen after July 9th. That is 6 weeks away! This is not a good count down! I know we will continue to receive wonderful therapy. But they were the first people to give us stability after 2 years of searching for it. David has a hard time with transitions, this is going to be one transition I’m going to want to have a meltdown with! I know I am capable of dealing with this battle on my own for a while, they have equipped me, but I don’t want to be on the front lines by myself!

Honestly these women deserve far more than I can ever give them. I can never say or do enough to pay them back for what they have given us. They deserve medals! They truly are unsung heroes. Saying thank you isn’t enough. The best I can do is continue to pray for God’s blessings in their lives. They gave us understanding, people to vent to, and our family back. They gave us our lives back, even if it has to be a different life because of special needs. These women gave David a fighting chance for a normal life because they didn’t deny what was going on they knew what he had and they started in on therapy that will help him. They gave me my son, something I would have never had without them. I am forever in debt to these women!

Matthew 25:40 NIV

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The weight/ 1 in 50


Our day today started with a bang literally. Okay well a clap of thunder. We spent our drive to Iowa City discussing the weather and when we would officially be out of the rain.

We arrived in university of Iowa center for disability and development at 8:15 this morning. Instantly David fell in love what I will call the ball machine. It takes ping pong balls and they move through various places making various bells go off etc. It was awesome! Our first stop was getting his temperature, weight, height and head circumference. What can I say he has lost weight but he is still a big boy. He had a hard time with this. We were lead into another room where we waited for the doctor. David was anxious you could tell.

She came in and talked to us for 45 minutes and watched David play and communicate with us. We told her all about David as an infant and toddler. We told her how far he has come with therapy. She mentioned things that he did really well I smiled knowing it was because of the almost one year of therapy. Towards the end of the appointment she looked at us and said it says in the paperwork you have questions about autism. We expressed our concerns. She then said “I have no doubt that he is on the spectrum”. I cried and thanked her. I don’t think she normally hears that kind of response. She said we would have more appointments and she would be surprised if the therapists didn’t agree with her. I told her thank you for finally saying what I refer to as the “dirty A word”. I was so relieved. I knew that the pieces fit, I knew what the therapists had said but somewhere in the bottom of my mind I had started believing maybe I was crazy. It was like a weight had been lifted! There was no doubt about it anymore!!! She walked out of the room and brought in more paperwork to look through and just like that we were diagnosed. There was no “if” after being with David a medical doctor trained to spot autism said without a doubt he had it. We will be going back to see a psychologist to see where he is on the spectrum but we have the diagnosis. The cdc said March of this year 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed with autism. We are 1 in 50.

Our next appointment was with his social worker. She explained more about waivers and the benefits to them. It sounds like David will have LOTS of benefits for having the waiver!! It was definitely a surprise as to what benefits he has having a disability. She said that we are lucky we live in Iowa. We will have a lot more opportunities for help since we live in Iowa. We can get him private therapy and insurance to pay for it so the $40,000+ a year parents of autistic children pay for private therapy we won’t have to pay!!! Praise Papa!!! There are also other opportunities like getting a fence in the back yard so that it’s secure and he can’t wonder like we’ve seen in the news lately. And of course respite care. Yea! I can finally go grocery shopping!

Our next visit was with a speech/ language pathologist. She also observed David for about an hour and came to the same conclusion that David was autistic. She said what we have been working on is great and gave us a few pointers. She said not only was David lacking verbally but she noticed a lot of social things as well. She listen to us answer her questions but did lots of observation. When the iPad came out David was all excited even pushed her hands away so he could do what he wanted! 🙂

Our next stop was in audiology. We did two separate tests and both came back that he can in fact hear the range of pitch that makes up speech. We were told his hearing was fine and if he did have hearing loss it would be so minor that it most definitely would not affect his development. The same story we had heard before.

So we walked away with an ASD diagnosis, the therapists were right. And doors opened to get David more help. And I am feeling more grateful than ever. Finally I know I’m not crazy! He isn’t stupid, in fact far from it. He’s got a special mind and we need to nurture it. He can do great things and this is one of the first steps to that path. I feel overwhelmed with emotion because it is finally done. Someone has confirmed that I am not crazy. They have confirmed that we are doing the right things with therapy and completely back what the therapists have said. There is no more “what if’s”, like what if he really is just a brat. Those thought have been blown out of water!

Through this whole process Papa has been beside us and I am grateful. I know He has a great purpose for David. We might not understand, it may be a long and difficult time. We will have fears of the unknown in David’s life but I know Papa will be with us through it all. We are blessed to have such a blessing of a child he is labeled 1 in 50!!!

Psalm 13:6