Friday, January 25, 2008

Article from BeliefNet

I get an email daily from BeliefNet.com. I usually just like to read the little inspirational quote. Some I like enough to share with others. Typically, I don't read the articles, but I always read everything I can about Autism. This is very close to what we have with Connor. He's a little more advanced than her son, but you get the drift.



What They Forgot to Mention
Although I was expecting hardship, I found surprising joy in my autistic son.
By Sandy Sotzen


I remember the day of my son’s diagnosis of autism as if it were yesterday. The tone of the doctor's voice, the silence in the room, the words “lifelong disability, no cure, I’m sorry” still sting when I allow myself to reflect on that day. But I have paused on occasions too numerous to count and thought, Someone should've mentioned that this would be part of the package when my child was diagnosed with autism.


Someone forgot to mention that I would listen to my child's simple utterances or attempted approximations as if he was a world leader giving the speech of a lifetime. I could never have imagined the worth of a single word despite the fact that I may never hear it again.


Someone forgot to mention that when my son was finally potty-trained at age nine, there would be few people who could understand the significance of such an accomplishment, and even fewer with whom I could actually share it. Accomplishments of any size, their true worth known only to me, would bring quiet celebrations between my son and me.

Someone should've mentioned that autism is messy! Wallpaper's meant to be shredded, bathrooms are designed to be flooded, walls are bare in order to smear stuff on them, washable paint really isn’t, and more food will actually be crushed and dropped than eaten.


I wish someone would've mentioned that autism is extremely expensive! Doctors, therapists, medications, supplements, conferences, and sensory equipment are only the tip of the iceberg. I could not have guessed that my child's disability would allow people to cross our path in life who otherwise would not have, and that such people would willingly respond to a child in need.


Someone should have mentioned that each time a child with autism initiates or engages in a reciprocal hug, that feeling that you had when you held him for the first time comes back time and time again.And they forgot to mention the day my son was diagnosed with autism that the triumphs over this disability would far outweigh the tears, that laughter would eventually ease the sense of loss, and that sheer faith would allow me and millions of other parents to fall into bed exhausted each night, only to get up the next day eager to discover what else they forgot to mention.

4 comments:

NorskimoDad said...

This is our son Logan. He is the enigma, wrapped in a paradox inside a piece of pizza or whatever is his very specific food item of choice for the day. The world only sees a small sliver of the wonders of autism...good and bad. But this says it all...we are richer for having him...as expensive as it is.

keeka said...

wow, that is a cool article. It is amazing to see the progress that each year makes when we see Connor! He may not change that much day to day, but we usually see a pretty big change everytime we come up to visit! He is sweet and lovable, and most of the time, very very happy!
Give him a hug from Tante Keeka!

Daniel W. said...

Impaired kids make me laugh...

Thursday morning, i pulled into the south medford parking lot, got out and was walking to my first class. other cars were pulling in and the special-ed bus drives past. in the window i see a kid with a smile, just like Conner's, staring out the window. he sees me and proceeds to take a purple ice pack, one of those gelatin ones, and shove it all over his face... and cracks up laughing with a huge smile on his face... I began to laugh and i gave him a nice wave back...

It's always amazing to see what kind of simple things can make someone happy...

I've always enjoyed visiting your guys' house and one of my favorite things is waking up to Conner's amazing amount of noise (innocent noise) coming from the bathroom (can be a little unnerving) and watching as he does his routine of turning on certain lights, going into the kitchen, coming back and usually playing "Lego Star Wars" on the TV and just watching HOW he does all of these things can make me feel awake and cheerful.

Watching him is so foreign, yet so simple and... dynamic.

Tina said...

I like his happy little squeal. It's just a high-pitched "Nnnn-hhnn!" that he does when he's really enjoying something, whether he's jumping on his mini-tram, playing a game, or playing "come-get-me."

It's freezing outside today & rainy. So where is Connor? Out in the backyard (he followed directions to put on heavy socks, mud boots, a coat and gloves) and he went to find all the ice chunks he could so he could smash them. What's more fun than that?