Friday, 2 November 2012


When I take a chance in my life, when I allow myself to be vulnerable, I feel naked.  Frankly some of my posts on this blog have been so personal that I would have felt less exposed if I were naked.  And that's saying something.  There have been many times when I have been terrified to hit the "publish" button, afraid of mean comments, too much bad advice, you know, negativity.  It's never happened.  Never.  I have been in relationships in my life where I have felt constantly judged, never good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not shallow enough to be accepted.  I never feel any of those things here.  I actually don't feel any of those things in the autism community in general.  Walking this road has taught me a lot about not judging others, their parenting, etc.  But it has also taught me quite a bit about feeling accepted myself.  It has brought me to a point where I will accept nothing less.  That's what I deserve, and that's what everyone deserves, including our children.  I feel surrounded by loving and supportive people- enough so that if someone isn't able to see me as a person of value, someone worth knowing, then I don't want to know them.  My previous tendency was to try even harder with people who didn't seem to "get" me.  Insecurity central.  And it backfired every time.  I don't have ongoing relationships with any of those people today.  If someone chooses to push my friendship away, hey, they must not want it!  How about that- simple concept, difficult execution. 

Anyway, there is a point to this.  I am incredibly grateful for all of the support, GOOD advice, and general discussions that this blog has generated.  I have enough readers at this point that someone responds to every post- and quite often makes a really good point, or offers support that I didn't know was available. 

My class with Nathan is turning out to be a similar experience.  I am really coming to look forward to Fridays for a whole new reason- I love learning new methods for communicating with Nathan, I always leave feeling incredibly uplifted and motivated.  And the other parents- that's the best part for me.  We are all very different- different ages, backgrounds, etc- but we have such a strong common bond.  As the weeks pass we are all opening up about our children, our families, our experiences with the autism community, different doctors, therapists, etc.  It's a whole new type of education.  There is one mom, whose son is in Nate's ABA class, who I chat with quite a bit.  The group was having a discussion about evaluations, genetic testing and other diagnostic tools and she revealed that her pediatrician told her that she needs to have her 6 month old son evaluated; that he is showing developmental delays already.  This doctor has not even met her older son who goes to a specialist, and was not aware that he is on the spectrum.  She welled up just talking about it.  I seriously wanted to wrap my arms around this woman who I barely know.  If finding out that one of your children has challenges is painful, finding out that another child is affected is excruciating.  All of the thoughts that run through a parent's head- how can I possibly get another child to all of these appointments, how can I possibly afford all of these appointments, what does this mean for my family?  And my heart just broke for her.  She then said that she wants to wait a few months and see if he catches up- my first inclination then was to jump across the table, shake her and say do it now!!!!  The earlier the better right?  But every parent has to go through this period- before they even know for sure that something is amiss- of mourning, of accepting what may be coming.  And I get that.  So all I said was, it won't hurt a thing, or cost a thing to have the school system evaluate him.  And early intervention won't cause him harm.  If they are willing to offer it, we should grab onto that right?  I hope she calls.  I don't know what they would do for a baby that is 6 months old- all I could think of was that if she doesn't call now, and he ends up having issues, she will beat herself up later, or at least I would.  What a huge thing to discuss with virtual strangers- but in that setting, we're not strangers at all.  We are very likely the only people who understand the magnitude of what she is saying.  The only ones who won't say things like "I'm sure he's fine".  Because we all know that statements like that will not make her feel better- nothing will make her feel better except hearing someone with credentials say that her baby is developing typically.  So I am saying some prayers for her and her family tonight, and I hope that you will too.  Pray for her little bambino and the best possible outcome for him.  And thank God that his mom is already so well connected within this community, she knows what to do for him.  While I'm at it, thank God for other parents with similar experiences, and thank God for all of you, who make "baring" it all much less intimidating.  I can't tell you how much it is appreciated. 

1 comment:

  1. I get it- because my mom went through that phase before understanding that it was best for me to get tested. For her, it was like a little over two DECADES!

    The reason I said two decades because she suspected I had issues when I was 2 or 3. So, she took me to a pediatrician at age 4. However, when the pediatrician said I was just fine. She never followed through. Sure, I turned out great, as you know. But for every positive story like mine, there are lots of not-so-good stories... where the individuals are getting penalized for their parents not getting them their right support early.