As I sit here spending my day in Terre Haute, I really do a lot of thinking about you. ( I am talking about the disorder not my boys.) My boys aren't autism. They are two beautiful boys who were perfectly normal until you crept in so slowly and took that away.
Thanks to you, Trenton is primarily non-verbal and Andrew's speech is very limited. Therefore, I spend many hours of my day racking my brain trying to figure out what Trenton wants. Do you know how awful that would be to know what you want but have no way of expressing it?
Thanks to you, their brains don't allow them "wait" or have "patience" which leads to unwanted stares from people who think I just don't know how to discipline. In hindsight, if I can't figure out what Trenton is trying to communicate to me then the meltdowns begin.
Yes, thanks to you, I deal with a lot of tantrums and meltdowns. You took away their ability to control their behavior.....HOW DARE YOU! Do you know what that does to a person????? Do you know the impact that kind of stress and anxiety does to a parent over time when they spend day in and day out with their children who have no control over their actions and are unable to communicate?!?!?!?!?
Thanks to you, Trenton can't feel his body in space, has supersensitive hearing and smell.
Thanks to you, Andrew has a very difficult time transitioning off of his normal schedule on some days.
Thanks to you, Andrew's life is focused on "objects" that he is obsessed with. I just want to hear Andrew say, "Mommy" first thing in the morning instead of "bear and dinosaur" or "planes", or "cars".
Thanks to you, I can never lay my head down on my pillow at night and have full confidence that the boys and I will sleep till morning.
Thanks to you, Trenton is 4 and we are no where near being potty trained. Do you know how difficult it is to change a big 4 year old boy in a public restroom???? Public restrooms are not equipped for 4 year olds who are not potty trained. Andrew will soon be 3 and the act of trying to potty train him sends him into a frenzy...you see going on the potty is "different" and Andrew has a hard time of accepting "different".
Thanks to you I can't simply put either boy in their bed at night and tell them good night. It takes MAJOR time and patience to get the boys in the bed.....which is Trenton pacing up and down our house for several hours until he has settled his body down. If Trenton's not pacing, he is swinging for hours on end and Andrew is rocking with Mommy.
Thanks to you, Trenton is unable to sit and control himself in a restaurant. He can't filter out his surroundings that are so ever loud to him. With that said, we have never had a family dinner out. Do you know how that takes a toll on a family?
Thanks to you Trenton can't even look at his mother in the eye. Do you know how hard that is on a mother?!?!?!?
My list could go on and on of my sarcastic "thank yous" to you Autism. However, I do have a lot to be grateful because of you Autism.
You have made me realize what is really important in life.
You have made me a much better child of God.
You have made me celebrate milestones that I would have never celebrated before.
You have introduced to me to some of the most fantastic autism and special needs moms. I never would have met them without you.
You have made me a much more caring person.
You have made me a super patient person.
You have taught me what "love" is all about.
You have taught me the true meaning of being a parent and the depths a parent will go and do for their children.
You taught me the true meaning of "empathy".
You sure have taught me a lot about the neurotypical mankind.
Therefore, if you would ask me Autism if I would take you away from my children, my answer would be yes. I'm not sure what parent wouldn't take away their children's disability if they could. However, my boys are pretty special angels that were sent to me. I love them just the way they are! So if anything, I really do have a lot to be truly grateful because of you Autism.
A really tired autism Mommy
For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance