It will be a year February 15th since your diagnosis. There is so much I want to say to you.
I am not sure you will ever fully understand your diagnosis… I am not sure I will fully understand. The one thing I do understand about autism – for me on a personal note – it has made me a better mother. Before your diagnosis – I took for granted the little things… how important the little things truly are. When you were diagnosed it was a wake up call for me. My heart broke – my heart ached – I blamed myself – I worried that things would never be “normal” for you… I doubted your ability – I doubted my ability – I doubted society too.
I got over my pitty party and looked at the big picture. You are my son – no matter what happens – you will always be my son and I will forever love you for who you are.
We were told your fine motor skills were not very good – so your daddy and I gave you colors, pencils, scissors and glue and let you have the freedom to do what you wanted – in hopes this would help you in that area. Little did we know what a wonderful idea this was. In a matter of months your flourished in your fine motor skills. You blow people away with your coloring and artistic ability – and your cutting skills are better than children several years older than you. Your handwriting is absolutely beautiful for a six year old.
You have made strides to understand feelings. I use to tell people “You would not pee on them if they were on fire” – generally speaking – you didn’t understand they were hurting. Now – you understand if you have hurt someone… you give hugs to people that are sad… you try to make me laugh when I have had a bad day… you say “I’m sorry” when you have done something wrong… a year ago you never did this. I am so proud of you.
The terrible tantrums you would throw for no reason… Let me rephrase that sentence – the terrible tantrums you would throw – to me, your dad, your brother and society thought were for no reason – were big reasons to you. The tantrums are not every day like they use to be – now you may have one once every few months… which is HUGE. You are controlling them – again, I am extremely proud.
You use to chew on things – you didn’t mean to destroy your toys or your brothers toys… you didn’t understand that chewing on them would break them. For 4 months now – you have not chewed on anything. We talked with you several times about chewing on things and how it destroys them. One day you came to me and said “Mommy, I didn’t chew on Bowser because if I did it would hurt it and I wouldn’t get to play with it anymore.” It finally clicked… another milestone WON!
You are blessed to have the support that you do from your teachers, your classmates, your family and friends. Everyone loves you for you, Carter! No one, to my knowledge, has judged you or belittled you – everyone has been understanding and better yet, everyone has come on board to TEAM CARTER and have tried to educate themselves a little or a lot. Maybe that is the great thing about living in a small town… you AMAZE everyone that comes in contact with you and they want to know more about you and autism.
On your really good days – sometimes I wonder if all the doctors misdiagnosed you… then on your not so good days – I know that they are right. You see, a mother always wants the world to be perfect for their child. A mother never wants to see their child struggle. A mother wants their child to be treated normal. A mother always hopes that the doctors were wrong. I have come to realize that my wants are just that wants – and if I want this so much for you… then I have to continue to help you on your autism journey.
I know that one day you are going to do extraordinary things… I am not just saying this because you are my son – I am saying this because I am already seeing a determination in you that I can’t say I have seen in many “normal” children. You are smart – you are handsome – you are unique – you are an artist – you never give up – you always take pride in everything you do – you are simply DETERMINED
Yes, our life would be easier if autism was not in the picture. But who says that easy is the best way of life. The life we have – even with autism – I wouldn’t have any other way.
I love you bigger than the moon, bigger than the sun, bigger than the sky – I love you to infinity and beyond.
Mild autism can give you a genius like Einstein. If you have severe autism, you could remain nonverbal. You don’t want people to be on the severe end of the spectrum. But if you got rid of all the autism genetics, you wouldn’t have science or art. All you would have is a bunch of social ‘yak yaks.’ ~ Temple Grandin
To my readers – April is Autism Awareness month. April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day. Please keep this date on your calendars. I have a special treat for everyone that sends pics to me wearing blue (autism awareness color) on this day or lighting their home up blue on this day… more to come on this soon!