Sunday, June 1, 2008

Life without my son today's thoughts

As I promised, my daily post on autism.

To tell you the truth, autism takes very strong people to care for the disabled person. As any disability, it is time consuming. You need to be patient and really think before you speak, as the person with autism might not (and many times won't) understand what you said in the way you presented it. That makes it really difficult! Always having to think about if it is being said in the appropriate manner.

One thing that we recently learned is that it is better for the person with autism to read your words rather than you speak them. Somehow the brain transforms them into a more understandable way for the person to understand, even if you write them in the same order that you would have said them. It is odd, but it really does work. Well, at least I can say it works for our son.

As a mom, I feel such mixed emotions over this disability. I feel blessed that God has chosen me to care for this young man, and that He blessed me with this AWESOME child and nothing will change that ever. However, there are times that I just think... GOD.... no more on my plate please, as this is quite enough... yet, life will continue happening, and He will give me strength to get through each and every day. I trust in that. He promised me that. Living in Oregon, we all know, that there are no rainbows with no rain! Plain and simple.

I also feel scared. I guess scared sometimes takes over. Where will my son be in 10 years. Of course my expectations for him and my expectations for my girls are totally different, however some stand strong for all of them. As long as they each try their hardest, even if they fail, I am okay with that! Who can try harder than their hardest? Doesn't really make sense does it? I don't expect Taylor to get the grades the girls are capable of. I don't expect him to like age appropriate things as he is not in the mind set of a 17 year old young man. He is more of the mind set of a 10 or 11 year old, and in some aspects of his life, even younger. However, there are some parts of him that are totally a 17 year old boy. Example, loves hip hop and rap music. He really likes cars and is so eager to get his license. He likes girls on his unit. He is there to get help and he wants to make a date. I get afraid of who will take care of our son when it time for Gordy and I to leave this earth. It can be forever from now, or it can be tomorrow. It scares me. I know my girls will love and look out after him, but will he really understand us and a part of life is dying or will he think that we abandoned him? It is sad for me to think about.

I am sad that he will never, most likely, vote. More disturbing for me to think about is that he won't understand the issues at hand to vote for. He will never have that ability to understand and let his voice be heard. It could be on gay marriage, or taxes, or health care, he won't understand.

I am disheartened by the fact that he may never understand love. He loves us and I know that. He is very protective of us. If he finds out someone made his mom, or one of his sisters cry, he gets very angry. When he hugs his dad and sobs, we know he loves us. When he calls his sister and is shaking telling her how much he misses her and misses home, we knows he loves us. However, that feeling that you get when you know someone loves you, just this feeling of you can get through anything in life with that love, he doesn't get that. Most girls will reject him. They initially like him, as he is handsome, yet, when they start talking to him, and realize that he is different in his thinking and processes, not only do they not like him, but are often mean to him and tease him. I know that there are days when all I want to do is run home and be near my husband and feel safe and secure in our life and in our love for one another. Will my son ever get to experience that? Once again, we pray for miracles.

I get MAD!!!! I get so mad. I walk down the hall and pass his room. There is no noise coming from it. There is no loud music. There is no t.v. on, nor is a video game playing. I don't hear the door open when it is time for him to come home from school and I am MAD! Sounds silly, but I can't help it. I am mad that my son has this disorder and he doesn't deserve it. Does anyone deserve it? No, certainly not, yet right now, all I can think about is my son. That is enough to worry about.

I don't leave my house much now due to some medical issues at hand, yet when I do, I hear people complaining about how much gas costs, or how much milk costs. I certainly am not in disagreement with them, yet, I get so upset with them. Don't they understand? Don't they get it? There is a part of me that is just fighting to stay close with my son who is slipping into this disability at rapid speeds. Do they not understand that there is so much more at stake than the price of gas? I know it is not their fault. I know that it is the stress in life, yet for me, it is all to real.

I know my family will make it through this one. As odd as it sounds, I would much rather my cancer be back and let me battle something I know I can win. With this, I fear if I can't win. I don't know how to fight this fairly as this is my son, not a game, not me where I can take really risky moves as it is only me at stake, THIS IS MY SON! It isn't like a game of monopoly that you can put all the pieces away when you are done. This is life. I don't want to lose this battle. I want to stay strong. I want my son to stay strong. I want my family to stay strong. It sounds so easy, yet, there are days, that it is the toughest thing to do. They say it takes more muscles to frown that to smile. I want to smile, but sometimes I just can't.

For now, I wait for my meds to work so I can return to work and feel encouraged by my team and the people that mean so much to me there. I wait to see my daughters and husband so I can laugh or cry or yell. What I really look forward to is having all three of my kids in one room, with my husband and I. That is when I feel whole.

Autism Tip of the day: Many times when people have the disability of autism, they will have a sensory disorder. My son can listen to music loud, and nothing is odd to him. I can talk to him, or his dad can talk to him, and ask him how his day was or to brush his teeth (examples), and he will think that our voice is yelling or raised. It is when he has to engage in conversation in the real world that the noise seems to be more than he can bare. Not just voices, but noises, such as the vacuum cleaner, or the dryer running, anything like that.

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