And Then It Happened… | Autism Awareness
Photo by Ebony Forte Johnson
It was the mother of all meltdowns. He wasn’t tired, he wasn’t hungry. I couldn’t blame it on anything other than Autism. It started with trying to get him out of the car. He wasn’t having it, not any part of it. After physically taking him out of the car, while his sister was strapped to my chest, then came Christian’s Last Stand…or at least it felt like it. I was excited to get out and shoot a bit with some of my fellow photogs, but he simply wasn’t having it. About halfway down the dirt path to the shoot site, carrying him…with his sister still strapped to me, I realized there probably would be no shooting in the cards for me today, and that was okay. One of my friends congratulated me on getting out and about, and she was right. It was good for all of us to be out, Spidermonkey included. He has done so exceptionally well these past few weeks, it had made the Big “A” diagnosis seem like nothing more than an unpleasant dream. He’s so loving and he’s doing so well in therapy, maybe they were wrong. Maybe, just maybe, I was still a tad in denial.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked my tail off trying to make sure I reclaimed my child from any hint of Autism. However, deep in the recesses, I think I still was trying to “normalize” him. Today humbled me. I was torn between keeping him in an environment uncomfortable to him to help him work through the tension and waiving the white flag and letting him have this one. The little superhero and I found a compromise. As long as he could stay physically attached to me, he seemed to at least tolerate the visit. He and his sister swapped fussy periods and eventually, we made our way back to the car with the help of friends. I didn’t take a single photo, and that was okay. We both needed this day. I needed the realization of the challenges we will likely face and he needed to be out of his safe little world for a bit. Of course he wows us all at home, it is his sanctuary of normal. It is what he is accustomed to. That isn’t where the journey of life ends though. The true adventure is where life takes us outside of the warmth and safety of home. It’s great to do the hard work at home, but at some point, you have to get out and apply it in the great big world.
Photo by: Vanessa Rogers of ZayMarie Photography
So, along with speech, play and ABA therapy, I’m putting on a cape of my own to embark on real world therapy. ~cue the supermom music~ Seriously though, I would love for him to share his new found speech with play buddies. I would be tickled to death to hear him tell a playmate “cookie” or “circle”. I have all of the faith in the world in him. It may be a struggle of knowing when to hold em and when to fold em, but I think we will do just fine…in time. ;o)