Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autism- The Beginning Of Our Story

Hey there friends, 
You know on this blog I share my crafts, my life...the good the bad and the ugly. 
So today I wanted to share our Autism story as it lies so far.

I am not a writer- nothing eloquent here for sure, but I figured 
since I have shared my story of childhood abuse, rape, and journey
to self worth, my story of being abused in marriage- having my back
broken, my wheelchair life and beyond- sharing our newest life
journey of Autism is the obvious next step. 
This is my son Gage- he has Autism. 
He is the LOVE of my life (well one because I have 4 loves).
He is 9 years old right now and the sweetest kid with a heart of gold. 

When he was born at 10 pounds 1 oz I fell in love with this kid. 
He came out screaming and has ever since but he is the most amazing
kid I have ever met. He is so smart, and such a joy to be around. 
When he was 3 family told me something was wrong with him. 

I said "NO he is wonderful and everyone is different, we EMBRACE
being different he is wonderful". 
When he was 4 he would ask me to tell him how to spell words,
he would sit on the floor and FILL a page with words. 
One day it was food...I would list off Grapes, Bananas, Bread, Cheese...
whatever word he wanted, he would make a list of 100 words a day. 
I thought (still do) he was a genius!
He had terrible Asthma- we were in the hospital so often they knew us. 
Gage had a tender soul, he cried alot- he screamed alot because
he could not find or understand the right words. 

That's ok because everyone struggles in areas and he was amazing.
So I taught him different ways. We wrote, we sang, we played. 
He was a wonderful addition to our quirky family and life. 
Beautiful big eyes, heart so soft, and never a mean word. 

Finally it came time for him to go to school. It was  a sad
time for both of us- he was so special but I knew not everyone
would understand that and I was scared for him. I  knew
from day one I would have to fight the world for him. 
So I walked in with my mental sword and shield and the battle began that FIRST DAY.

When he was in kindergarten the teacher told me she didn't want
to deal with him- and I should keep him home because after all
who cares about kindergarten? Would it matter when he was in college? 
I said "NO, you are awful! Why don't you care?? My son is just as important
as anyone else in this school!" to which she replied "I have too many boys
in my class I cannot stand one more who is crying, it's too much work".
Of course that was not right so we found
another teacher for him after fighting with the principal of that school.
That teacher was amazing she was a sweet kind hearted teacher
who was clearly meant to teach forever. Ms Hollandsworth. 
Best teacher ever! Gage still talks about the impact she had on him. 
Oh to bottle that kind of love up and place it in all teachers hearts. 

As a family we learned that Gage needed structure and loved video games
and was a whiz at math and numbers. When he was 6/7 yrs old he could tell me
any day of any year- if I said "Gage what was November 6th 2007" he would know 
what day of the week it fell on. 
After a year that went away but I was so amazed by his mind. 
We moved from that school and into our own home. 
Modest/small and in the country- his first year we had a great teacher.
Never said anything about Gage being different, embraced him like her
own and was fantastic. The year went by with peace. 

Gage adjusted happily, then we hit second grade, once again great
teacher but she kept telling me "I think Gage has Autism, please have him tested"
No, no I didn't want to label him and put him in a box and keep 
him there trapped when in my mind he was just creative and 
different and if people didn't see that then fuck them!

What I didn't understand was -the simple black and white truth
people don't understand- they don't embrace difference. 
I have learned a hard lesson the last year- people hate difference, 
they make fun of that which they do not understand. People are
simply minded and cruel at times. Not only children but adults. 

So it wasn't Gage who sent me on this Autistic journey- it was the
cruelty and people around us who sent me on a mission to find out
which label I needed to protect Gage. 

Now this year we finally have a diagnosis and I don't think of it
as a label. So any of you mom's who are afraid to get your child diagnosed
don't see it as a label as I did. See it as a SHIELD to wrap and protect your child
with, something to use against those who are set out to squash creativity and difference. 

We are 2 weeks into having a physical diagnosis in hand. 
We are 2 years into fighting for the diagnosis and fighting adult bullies
that make fun of my child at the schools. 
Yes, I am new and I do't have the knowledge of the pros
BUT I will, I am educating myself, I am empowering myself
the same way I did when I was raped and abused. 

I will fight for my son like I fought for myself. Because
being amazing is not a crime but a GIFT- being Autistic is a GIFT
and I am so very blessed to have this gift in my life!!!!

For those who tell me I used my abuse to get attention and tell me I 
am using my son's Autism to get attention. That's fine- I am sad for you
because you are so lucky to have lead a wonderfully easy life. 
My life is different and amazing and I experience new things every day that
make me a better person full of knowledge and awareness. 
My mind is open and my heart is FILLED with incredible love- 

I hope you all find someone that has a special need in your life to love
it will change you forever!!!
Sometimes all you need in life is LOVE and UNDERSTANDING. 


Anam_Kihaku said...

walk softly but carry a big stick. I agree with the shield comment - any diagnosis makes it easy to fight against those who want to tear people down rather than build them up. too many people out there are so negative and have lost the joy in being that little bit different. and yes, i find adults are the worst child bullies.

Drayia said...

Beautifully written Pinky, since I was 6 years old I have embrace children who are gifted. I was lucky enough to attend schools that had special children integrated into my classes. When you think of the late 70's and early 80's that was a novel concept but I believe it did us all a world of good. I have always had a special place in my heart for God's special children. I believe they are some of his strongest spirits and he has sent them here to help us be more Christ like. They have such a unique spirit about them and find joy in the littlest things that the rest of us tend to forget about. You are an amazing mom and also very blessed by the Lord to be intrusted with one of His very unique, strong and special children, you are doing an amazing job! I look forward to reading more of your incredible journey with Gage.

~amy~ said...

wonderful post Pinky...you hang in there!

Mommy's Crafty Creations said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. My daughter is a child with special needs and I totally understand how you feel. It's not always easy but I wouldn't have it any other way. She is showing me to look at life in a different way. I don't worry about the little dumb thing anymore. She always has a smile on her face and that smile just makes me realize that everything will be o.k. I wish you and your son the best.


Teresa Godines #6857 said...

Great story. I totally understand why you did not want to label your precious boy. But at least knowing what his challenges are you can help him succeed without using the "label" as a crutch. We have gone through the same thing with Teachers say's my child has ADHD. We finally did go through some testing and only to discover all those teachers were wrong. What I got out of the classes I attended was ways to help my son grow even thought he is not ADHD. One of the best pieces of advice I received was that there will be some teachers that just will not work together with my child. And we understand that and will move forward. I think you are a very strong woman and your children, no matter what challenges they face, will be strong just like their Mom.

Scrapfaire said...

Hugs and speak on!

Esther said...

My son has Austim too and now that he is nearly 15, I find I almost forget how hard the early years were.

The best advice I ever received, with regards to a diagnosis was "Don't look on it as a label, look on it as a ticket to resources."

Be safe in the knowledge that the love you give to Gage will be returned to you 10-fold.

Sending you big hugs and as much mental strength as I can spare.

Esther (New Zealand) xoxo

Chelle (PhotoArt/MaybeCreative) said...

My friends son has autism. She didn't want him to have that label either. The doctors convinced her that the label would actually make things easier and it did. She is a member at the Niagara Chapter of Autism canada. They give so much support. The label makes it easier at school to get him a educational assistant that he needs. Yes it can be a label but use it to YOURS and GAGES advantage!