Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweet sweet little guy

video
Jacob has really been learning so much in therapy lately.  It amazes us how far he has come with only 4.5 hours of therapy per week.  It really makes me wonder how much he would be learning if he had full time ABA.
Earlier today I was looking back at previous blog postings and found some posts in which I believed Jacob had autism at around 10-11 months! For some reason I had forgotten that it was that early.  I always tell people that I realized it around 15-18 months.  You know, this gives me a lot of hope. If the early warning signs can be shared with as many people as possible, then intervention can begin as young as 1 year old.  Research shows that early intervention is key.  No longer is it ok to take the wait and see approach.  Early intervention cannot hurt a typical child.  It will help anyone, including typically developing children.  I just wanted to encourage you to always share early warning signs and red flags with anyone who may suspect autism.  If we hadn't begun early intervention when we did, there is a significant chance that Jacob would still be non-verbal and not gaining the critical skills that he has learned through therapy.  Jacob is still considered severe, but I am so incredibly thankful to God for how far he has come. 






We had family pictures taken by a sweet friend.  She is so talented and able to capture the cutest pics of Jacob, even with him moving and running around at 90 mph.  She chases after him and catches the sweetest smiles.  Of course, my other two are naturals.
Today I am making it a point to pray and thank God for our many blessings.  Of all of those blessings I am so so thankful for a such a lovable little guy.  I am thankful for his sweet nature.  I am so thankful that he snuggles and hugs and kisses.  Praying today for those families with autistic children that do not like to be held.  I can only imagine how you must feel.  I pray that your little one can learn to show you how much they love you in their own special way.  How about today we all take a moment and pray with full thanksgiving in our hearts to the Lord and Creator of our children, for everything they are and for his perfect plan in our lives.  Let's give thanks for our special children, our typical children and our children in heaven. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWJLy3-iRQo
Matt Redman

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Much to consider



WOW! A lot has been happening lately.  Jacob has begun special education.  So far, it is going really well.  Every day I pick him up and he is humming or trying to sing the songs that he has learned in school.  His verbal imitation is really improving.  He will imitate most anything you ask him to say and some common phrases.  I have attached a video of him trying to say "I love you, Mommy" with my husband prompting him by not letting him flip until he says it.  It is so precious to hear these words.  I can't wait until he knows what he is saying and actually says it to ME! They have begun potty training him at school and are currently working on getting him to sit still for a short amount of time during his school work or lunch at a desk.  We are also still receiving ABA 3 times a week, which of course is amazing for him.  I am hoping that somehow we can get him more ABA soon.
video

Man, I have had a lot on my mind lately with all the new changes.  With Jacob beginning special ed and his stimming increasing it's all seeming a little more real... I don't know why, but sometimes I feel like I am on a emotional roller coaster regarding Jacob's needs.  Sometimes my heart (my emotions) seem to take over what I know to be truth.  The other day I was thinking about when Jacob was an infant and everything I did (or didn't do).  I was considering things that I should have done differently and once again I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach.  There's absolutely nothing like it.  It's an absolute desperation to just go back in time.  If I only had those infant years back.  It literally made me feel ill.  I was telling my mom about it and just started crying.  What I wouldn't do to help my little guy.  Why didn't I realize then that something was wrong?  Why was I sleeping so much?  Why didn't I try to force eye contact, etc?  I hear this a lot from special needs moms.  There is a guilt that sometimes takes over, even when you know you couldn't change the outcome.  But I realize I have to be really careful when these thoughts arise.  I keep condemning myself.  Over and over in my life I struggle with who I was or what I have done.  A person like me, with my past, has a lot that can creep up to haunt me.  What I could have done differently with Jacob is no exception.  Sometimes thoughts of my past keep me up at night.  As I was reading in one of my Bible Studies I came across a verse...

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him, for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20

When I surrendered my life to the Lord he forgave me.  All of my past is forgiven.  All of it, and he knows everything.  If you asked the Lord to rule over your life and repented, then all of your past is forgiven.  Whatever you may have done, could have done or should have done does not need to burden you.  You don't need to even forgive yourself, because the Holy creator of the universe already knows all and has forgiven you.  Its so wonderful to know that no matter how strong my emotions can be, God is stronger.  That's amazing to remember when I get down on myself.  I trust that God's word is TRUTH and because I do I need to trust that all is forgiven.  Obviously, learning from mistakes is important.  Living in the past, however, is not productive or helpful.  

Again, in a similar way, I sometimes find myself praying so hard for the Lord to heal Jacob.  I pray while crying out to God to heal my baby.  I pray for Jacob to have the ability to learn like other kids, to speak like other kids, to play like other kids, to eventually be able to live on his own or to get married.  I pray for God to take this cup from him, from us.  But again, I read in his word that there are things that are bigger than us and our comfort of living.  I remember I need to be praying that if its in Gods will that he heal Jacob, but if not, if God can use Jacob's autism for something that could enhance HIS kingdom then to guide me and use us for spreading HIS good news and love.  If Jacob's autism can be used by God to glorify himself than I pray that God will use it and continue to forever.  How incredibly hard it is to keep reminding myself that my will may not align with Gods.  I have to surrender my will and trust HIM.  God has a better plan for us than I ever could.  I need to be in constant prayer that I can see Gods will for us and the path he wants us on instead of constantly focusing on prayer to heal Jakey.  I will continue to educate myself and to help him learn in all the ways that I can, but I want to clearly see what God would have for us and that is done through reading Scripture, prayer, and fasting.  Have you considered asking God how he can use your child and your situation for His glory?  God is so mighty and so just and so loving.  

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing;  now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  
Isaiah 43:19-20

God will make a way for you, even when it seems so hard and painful, God will make a path and quench your thirst.