First! I had a little miracle moment! And it showed me something about myself which I will delve into first before I talk about the little miracle. I am giving, and not expecting or demanding anything back.
I think of a mother who was lamenting that while she was talking to her autistic child, he was lying on the floor playing with the dog and not paying attention to her.
How would she know? If she can multi task, why can’t he? Who said he wasn’t paying attention? It’s similar to the concerns my teens had when I told them I want us to start using ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate with our girl so that hopefully she too would communicate with us one day.
The immediate response was, “But she doesn’t look at us!” So I made my son look ahead while in front but to the side of him, I made the ‘thank you’ sign. I asked if he had seen it. Of course he had! So I told him that we don’t have tunnel vision. Just because she’s not looking directly at us doesn’t mean she’s not seeing us. Something about the mom’s anger rubbed me the wrong way. And so what if the child was not paying attention THIS time? What if next time, he does? Why give up so quickly just because he’s not behaving the way SHE wants him to behave?
Alright, I’m off my soapbox!
Today, my youngest autistic angel used sign language to communicate! When I gave her milk last year, she did once sign milk, but it was in response to seeing it. This time, she ASKED for something using Sign! Her brother was taking too long feeding her twin and she wanted another spoonful of her food so she took his hand and with her other hand, made the sign for eat!
Like with spoken communication, I don’t know if it was a once-off, or if it’s the start of something new. But wow, we were both excited and happy! Go, baby girl!
My little miracle… After her bath, I went into her room. I tapped her knee and said knee, three times, then suddenly moved to her toes where I happily shouted “toes!” and gave them a tiny squeeze.
She put her hands to her toes and GIGGLED!
My girl giggled in response to my playing with her! First time ever! And this is why I say I don’t do thinks to get a a response. I do them because she deserves them. I was not expecting nor wanting any reaction whatsoever, because I never get one. I was just reminding her of her body parts in a way that’s fun for me. And seemingly fun for her too. I wish I could have bottled that giggle up.
The title of this post. My eldest is going to be assessed next month by a psychiatrist. He and his siblings know that I blog and post about them. I often tell them what I wrote about them, or ask if I can share something. He said that he isn’t sure that he will want the results of his assessment known by a bunch of strangers.
I told him that my readers are lovely people who only want the best for us. I told him that I want to be a blessing through my family and I know that those living in the daily trenches of special needs parenting need to know they aren’t alone, but that his desires will be more important. His exact phrasing was, “But I’ll decide how much of it I want on social media after the results.”
A young lady who I highly suspect has her own fair share of needs said she too would keep her diagnosis private should she ever pursue one.
It made me think back to the overwhelmed mom who said my honesty was a breath of fresh air and she felt seen and understood. That she felt like everybody judged her for not going to church with her autistic son but that my posts encourage her to do what is right for them both. It reminded me of the young mom who reached out asking if I thought her little one was developing in a typical way as her husband made her think she was imagining autistic traits.
I post to bless. And I know that with my honesty, my openness, one soul is blessed.
But I’ll not violate my son’s privacy.
It made me think of the brave souls who share. My friend Nomzamo who shared about her Bipolar disorder, the actually autistics, the ADHDers, the adults with FASD who write blogs, post on instagram, do videos on YouTube… They are BRAVE! It takes a lot to be vulnerable, to say, “This is what autism means to me.” It’s brave to speak about the limits it places in you. Like the ones who say they can’t drive because of it. It takes a lot to be an activist too. To tell the neurotypical world that you’re a living soul behind that label and that you want to be respected and heard.
Because of those who write, I got to diagnose my daughter. I write to bless. They write to educate, entertain, vent and advocate.
And they write to bless me. They just don’t know it.
Thank you for your vulnerability and bravery. It really IS brave to share the things you share with us total strangers. May you always find compassion and understanding to make up for the trolls who will always be there. You’re my super heroes. Thanks to you, I know what to expect, I understand how my children feel, and you encourage me to trust my gut.
You are my guides. You are my blessings.