AUTISM AWARENESS & ACCEPTANCE (OUR STORY)
Today, April 2nd is world Autism awareness day. I'd like to take it further by calling it Autism awareness and acceptance day.
This is the most vulnerable I will be on the internet. This blog post has taken me 2 years to write, not because I am afraid; but because I wasn’t sure of my emotions. I have been praying about it because I know this can help someone. So I am sharing our story.
My pregnancy with my first son was uneventful (Which is a good thing in the medical world). I had the usual symptoms and nothing else. My delivery was included because baby boy was having so much fun in my belly. I can't forget how my husband jumped up when they told us " It was a boy".
Baby was born and we did all the firsts together, then things started to change, it was my son’s 2nd birthday and he wasn’t really talking yet. He would say some words here and there but not a lot. For some strange reason his pediatrician had us come every month for “checkup” and her response was always the same. Now I know that she was just milking our insurance. We have since changed his pediatrician.
I didn’t know what to do, it got to a point where the lady at the place where I dropped my son said it was my fault that my son wasn’t talking yet ( can you believe that?). I had a feeling something was not right; I just couldn’t place my hand on it. There was a day in 2019, I will never forget, I went to my son’s school at the time and one of the staff gave me a big printout of about 200 pages on Autism (Mind you, she didn’t explain anything to me prior to giving me the printout). I remember sitting in my car in the school parking lot crying, I cried so much because I was overwhelmed by all the information I read and I didn’t know where to start. Fast forward to a couple of months later, I was in the office and was led to call a very good friend of mine and I told her what was going on. She prayed with me and she shared some resources with me and that was how I heard about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis).
Towards the end of 2019, I was at a women’s event in church; It was a praise event and I praised and I prayed, it was during my prayer the Lord told me to go an speak to our Pastor’s wife about it. At first, I was hesitant but I yielded to the Holy Spirit. I spoke to her, and she prayed for me. A month later she called me and told me that one of our church members works at a place where they have ABA therapy. Now tell me, what are the chances of that happening? It can only be divine intervention.
Now it was 2020 and through the help of our church member we were able to get Joshua evaluated. The result of the evaluation came back, and it confirmed my suspicion. Joshua was on the Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
What is Autism sepectrum disorder? ASD is a social and communication disorder that affects individuals differently ~ Kerry Magro
This is the simplest way I found that made sense to a lot of people. It is spectrum, so no two people with ASD are the same .
Finding out about the evaluation gave me mixed emotions, I was happy to finally know what was going on and sad that my son was different for other kids. This period was hard but through God and family I was able to keep going. After processing my emotions, I sprang into action. We started making plans for Joshua to start Therapy. To the glory of God my insurance from work covered and still covers 90% of the fees and the Lord has proven himself to be Jehovah Jireh to our household.
Joshua has been going to Therapy since 2020 and to the glory of God he started communicating verbally and we have seen tremendous progress. I had to wait 4 years before I hear mommy, now Joshua calls “mommy” 567 million times a day but I am not complaining.....lol
Having a kid on the spectrum is a lot of work, there are good days and not-so-good days. The good days are very good, and the not-so- good days, I rely on God and my support system. In all, God has been faithful. This life chose me and I know the Lord will continue to strengthen me as need. I will be sharing more on some resources that has helped us thrived in our journey on my next blog post.
Question of the day: Do you know someone on the spectrum, how do you support them ?
Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.