Grateful for every day

Your eyes do not deceive you.  Yes, me.  I'm grateful for every day of my sometimes miserable, sometimes wonderful, always beautiful existence on this place we call earth.  It came to me last night.  Lansdowne (our therapy joint) held an IBI Christmas concert.  Sitting in a metal folding chair with my younger daughter Casey, waiting nervously for what I thought was going to be a crapshoot.  Twelve ASD children singing Christmas carols.....hmph.  I was very wrong.  It turned out to be an enormous wake up call.  In came the first group of teen/young adult carolers.  I saw my young son in all of their faces.  I saw joy and gravity and incredible happiness.  Until I tasted them, I had no idea tears were falling from my eyes.........(get to know me better, I seem to cry a lot)

This is what I wanted for Timothy.
  Peace and happiness.  Only I hadn't known it until that moment.

In they came.  I was searching for him through the shoulders in front of me for a few minutes until he came walking in, with two therapists and walked right out.  Aha!  I get it.  Its too much to sit there. Some smart cookies they are.  A few minutes later he came back and was able to sit and jingle a little bell to the last song.  I had to hold back my sobs.  These were happy sobs though, not from sadness.  I was so damn proud of him!  He didn't know all the words but that was the best freaking Jingle Bells I had ever heard!

It was over before I knew it and Santa was coming...............and we were going.  Timothy was done and trying to escape, anywhere.  Sensory overload had taken over and he was spinning like a little tornado looking for his house, his sanctuary.  I grabbed the other kids and off we went.
This was a successful evening for us.  We took a little detour and checked out the Christmas lights in the neighbourhood before steering for home.  He has come such a long way in just a year.

I'm so grateful for every moment like this.....a kid of 6.5 years old would have been in several concerts, assemblies or productions by now.  Not him.  Sitting for thirty seconds in a room full of people is a success.  Following a three word directive is success.  Hell, peeing on the toilet with cueing is a success to me. 

You see, the specials want what everyone else wants.  To be happy.  To be included.  To be loved.

Its my job as a mother to make sure my son can feel these things to the best of his ability.  Maybe he won't be able to but I"ll sure as hell try.

All the best to you and yours this holiday season and in 2015~


The day I stopped caring what other people thought of my son

Yesterday when we left therapy, Timothy lost it.

Usually after an IBI session, there is a protocol.  It involves a checklist, a visual board and two therapists that have faded out to just one and myself.  You see, visual boards have become a major piece of my pie of life in every aspect.  Nevertheless, yesterday was no different.  We left his cubby area, one of his hands in one of each of ours.  He was dressed, singing one of his usual tunes.  Through one set of doors and then the next.  Something changed when I opened the car door.  To me, the interior looked the same as it always does, his booster seat in its right place by the child-locked door and a small white basket of books beside it.  The usual powder from his jelly donuts and scuffs from boots on the back of the passenger side seat.  For Timothy, something inside him became unhinged.

Fight or flight kicked in and he leapt towards the door.  Prior experiences have quickened my reflexes and luckily I grabbed him by the back of his pants and held as he tried to pull away.  The therapist went to stand at the other door in case he got away from me.  In the meantime, I calmly coached him to sit down and offered quiet reassurance.  He lashed out.  Hard.  Head butted me in the temple and for a second I saw stars.  Hot tears sprung to my eyes as I continued to hold him in his chair.  I kept talking.  It was only yesterday but for the death of me I have no idea what I said to him....
I noticed several onlookers outside my car.  You have to realize at this point it was quite a scene because all the while young sir was screaming "no no no" at the top of his lungs and trying to hit his own head off of the car door.  Then the clothes came off.  First coat and hat, then boots, then pants and he was in my car in the dead of winter in his ninja turtle underwear cool as a cucumber.

The gawkers were still gawking, I had tears running down my face and sweat on my brow.  But we had made it through the weeds and he was safely in his seat.  I smiled through my tears and waved out my window as I drove off.  I don't know when it was that I stopped caring about how others saw me or my son.  All that matters is how we see ourselves.  Perfectly imperfect.  My life has become so unorthodox because of autism and my confidence so great in myself and in my children.  I have faith in all of us that we can get through just about anything these days and we will.........fully dressed or not.


                                                    tHe BoOk Of TiMoThY oN fAcEbOoK