Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Perfect provision

Perfect provision.  
We are beginning yet another new chapter in our autism journey.  As I am sure most of you can relate, we have basically run out of money for ABA therapy.  It costs us thousands per month and we are not rich so we have prayed and prayed regarding decisions for Jacob.  After seeing his progression with ABA there is no way we could pull him out of it.  So, after much prayer, we have decided to sell our home to use the equity for therapy this next year.  I realize there are so many ASD families that go through this very thing.  Its been a hard change, but we know that it is the very best decision for our family. As I sit here reflecting on what this means for us, I can't help but to see God's perfect provision for our family.  This home is a means of providing the treatment for Jacob that he needs.  This journey is pushing us to realize what is and what is not truly important.  I have to keep reminding myself that its just stuff.  My house, my furniture, it is all just stuff.  In God's eyes, I want to be an example of a woman seeking Him and not materialism.  Its been a hard lesson for me that I am still trying to fight at times, but I am very thankful for all that He will do in our family through this.  I am very thankful to have a new home to move in to and I feel that having a smaller space may just bring us all even closer together and I look forward to that sweet time.  God is so good.  Please continue to pray for us, that the closing will go as planned for May 28th.  Please be in prayer for all the families selling their home and belongings for their children's needs.  Thank you God for these precious children and all the real joy they bring to our lives.  Thank you for the lessons we can learn through them. 

1 Timothy 6:6-10

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and[a] we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why we "Light It Up Blue"

I held him in my arms smiling and trying to get his attention.  This precious gift, this tiny baby that I longed to make a connection with. He wouldn't look at me.  No matter what I did, he refused to smile back at me or at anyone for that matter.  He wouldn't play with his image in the mirror.  All my babies loved that, why didn't he?  He was quiet.  Most people would consider him a "good" baby.  No tantrums, no screaming, mostly just quiet.  
Deep down I knew something was wrong.  I watched him grow.  I carefully took note of things that just didn't seem right.  He didn't point at things he wanted or look at what I would point at.  He wouldn't sit up until 11 months, why wasn't he sitting up?  He would throw his head back and forth and flap his hands.  He made some sounds, but wasn't really babbling a lot.  No words like "Mommy" or "Daddy".  Just silence.  So I researched a little.  Just curious, not sure, but wondering...Could it be the A word?  Was it too soon to even consider the thought.  Many people thought so.  Many people say boys just take a long time to develop.  "Don't worry, he is such a good baby" they said.  But I knew better.  I knew something wasn't right.
At 15 months I did something about it.  I wrote everything down that I could remember and I took him in for an evaluation with the pediatrician.  She sent us to the Neurologist where it was confirmed that Jacob had autism.  It was the most terrifying day of my life.  Hearing those words.  I cried harder than I ever had.  I was clueless about what to do next. 
Since then, though, I have learned a lot.  I looked up information on the Autism Speaks website.  I learned about early intervention and ABA therapy.  I realized autism doesn't have to be as scary as it seems.  Parts of autism are beautiful.  The way he sees the world, the joy and laughter he brings to our family. Its priceless.  He is so much more than his autism.  He is a little boy who loves trains and puzzles and playing on the ground with his Daddy.  He loves lining up his toys so they make sense to him.  He loves doors and cabinets and the way they move.  He loves being outside and he loves music.
On the other hand, he can't tell us how he is feeling.  He can't tell us what he wants to play or explain that when he says he wants milk, sometimes he actually wants water.  He can't tell me no.  All questions are answered with a yes, even when he is trying with all of his heart to say no.  He can't stand when a door is left open, it seems like it physically hurts him.  Sometimes he has repetitive movements that hurt him, he wants to stop, but I can see that he just doesn't know how.  When he hears a dog bark, he covers his ears and cries even when its far away.  He bolts.  The minute he has a chance he runs in any direction as fast as he can. 
What is autism?  Why does he have it?  What can I do to help him become more independent?  
These are the questions that every mom of an autistic child asks herself.  These are the reasons why our family is involved in "Light It Up Blue".  We want to help find answers.  I specifically want to show people how important it is to learn all of the early warning signs of autism so that they can begin getting their children help as soon as possible.  The brain has more plasticity when a child is under the age of 5 years.  This is the best time to get intensive early intervention.  This gives autistic children their best chances of independence in life.  Help spread awareness to help autistic children.  Its so important.  Help children like Jacob learn to speak and learn to live a more independent life.  
Light It Up Blue tomorrow by wearing blue or purchasing a blue light bulb from the hardware store to show your support.  Visit autismspeaks.org to learn the early warning signs.

If you'd like to donate to Jacob's Team: Hunting For A Cure please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/houston/cretandallison Your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to Autism Speaks to help fund the needed research for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum.