Do you have a support group? I don't belong to any kind of support group for parents with autistic kids and actually I haven't really thought about joining one or trying to find one until now. Last night I was at a girls night hanging out with some friends when the topic of special needs and children with delays came up. One very sweet lady was talking about her 21 month old son and his speech delay and when I asked her questions that would point to autism like "does he point, does he understand what you are saying?" she said yes and that she knew it wasn't autism. As I listened to her display distress about not knowing what was going on with her child I couldn't help but to think about Jacob. I tried and tried to change my focus, but the tears started pouring out as if I just realized that my son, who was 31 months can't point and can't understand us. He hardly understands anything that we say. I know he is beginning to understand simple nouns like shoe, kiss, or his name, but anything beyond that is totally unknown to him. I left the room in total and utter embarrassment for crying about my child as she was pouring her heart out about her child. I don't know what happened. Its like a flood of emotions came over me. I was weeping in the corner of a room, wondering what the heck I was crying so hard about. Its not like I just realized he was autistic. I think I have been bottling up some sadness and just focusing on information and school and not talking about his autism. I don't know if I need an attitude change, heart change, or just a hug, but I do know that I need to be talking about this much more so that I don't explode in tears during a random conversation that isn't even about Jacob.
Can you relate? I know that I need some help with these emotions. I don't know that I will ever in my life be able to completely get over the sadness that comes with having a child that is disabled. Yes, I hear many people say that autism is a gift and that it is wrong to want to change him, but I am sorry I don't want my baby to have a difficult life. He is beautiful. He is absolutely a gift from God. I will always love him no matter how delayed or disabled he is and I do accept him. But as my friend Allison wrote in one of her journal articles (paraphrased)...you would love your child that has any other illness or delay or disability, but that shouldn't stop you from wanting to help make their life better or easier. I don't want him to have to struggle with saying my name, or asking for milk, or making friends. I don't people to make fun of him. I don't want him to have to go through hours and hours of therapy to just learn how to sit down. Its sad. Its incredibly sad to watch him spinning and slapping himself and jerking his head back and forth. But, fortunately for me and for Jacob we have a God that is so much bigger than our struggles. A friend later reminded me that. God can miraculously heal Jacob in an instant if that is what will bring Him glory. If not, although sad, I must trust that this is what's best for us. So, I am going to try and deal with some of these emotions and feelings. I need to at least be talking about them with someone every once and while. I am sure there are moms out there that can relate to me and that understand what an emotional toll raising a child with a disability can be. I want to encourage you to find a group of ladies or a friend to just be able to call and cry with or talk to. Try to find someone that can pray with you and give you Christian advise and encouragement. I am so thankful for my friend who also reminded me that it was ok to still have hope that Jacob will one day be able to do all the things that I dream for him and to defy the odds. She sent me a little video to remind me how big of God we serve. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p3tM-rBfkQ&sns=em I am constantly praying for parents who are parenting a disabled child right now. I pray that if you do not know the Lord that you will come to have a saving relationship with Jesus. Please email me if you'd like me to specifically pray for you.
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