Eleven years ago my 13 year old son was diagnosed with autism… AUTISM, I was shaken to my core! I had many things in my life up until then that I thought were worse things that had happened, until that summer morning in the doctors office where I was handed my son, a small brochure, the words there is not much we can do, be prepared he will never speak, and he will live in an institution when he is an adult.
I dropped to my knees in the parking lot of the hospital that day and cried as I looked at my beautiful boy sitting in his car seat, not knowing what was going to be his future.
I went home and started researching and researching, and little did I know I was not alone. There were many mothers and fathers with the same story. After about a week of feeling sorry for myself, I got to work. It was hard, I looked at my son, who could not make eye contact, every morning and every night and I promised him I was going to get him better. I became a therapist, teacher, doctor, lawyer, ABA therapist, and there was many more hats I would wear in my journey to bring my son back to me. I built a team, an autism army if you will. We would go to appointments daily, hourly, never stopping for breaks. We didn’t go to ‘Chuckie Cheese’ or soccer practice. Our days, nights, and weekends were full of different therapies. Tried and true, and new therapies that you may never have heard of! When doctors told me NO those things don’t work, I worked harder. My son worked harder! He worked harder than any grown man I knew! We fought together.
I was steadfast in my fight for my son when my oldest was then also diagnosed at the age of nine with a form of Autism, Asperger syndrome. My world again stopped just for a moment and we started his plan! My youngest at the time was getting better, speaking, eating, going to school where he never was supposed to be. My oldest was fighting a battle of severe anxiety, bullying, auditory processing disorder, visual processing disorder!! What more could these babies go through! But they fought along with me! They wanted to come back to me! Autism was not going to rule our lives, we were going to make the rules for AUTISM and we did!
My youngest started advocating, talking to legislators about his journey, and why families needed help getting treatment! Not bad for the boy who was never going to speak a word! My oldest was making great gains! I fought along side some of the bravest mothers and fathers I know, to educate people about Autism and that kids and adults can lead wonderful independent lives.
This week has been so exciting for me and my family! My oldest is going to be a freshman and enjoyed a wonderful summer of camping and high adventure boundary water trip, and hanging out with his friends. My son with Autism joined the eighth grade football team and is going to be a defensive lineman… Yes I said FOOTBALL!! I wish Fight Like a Girl was around back when my boys were diagnosed years ago! But this is my mantra for all the mothers out there that will be getting the diagnose of Autism for their babies! One in 50 children are diagnosed daily and one in 34 boys. We have a lot of fighting to do!! Autism can be a gift if you learn how to open it!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.