Ever feel like you're working so hard at something, you're really focused, driven, and determined?
I once felt like that about autism and being an advocate for my now 11 year old son, Caleb.
But somewhere along the way I lost traction.....I lost sight of what I was doing with him. It happened by accident because he had a period of time in his life a few years ago where he was doing so well. He was excelling in so much, and I relaxed and took my eyes off the target.
In these last few months though, Caleb has suddenly become a different young man. I point to pre-puberty as the main cause, but whatever it is, I quickly saw that I had fallen asleep behind the wheel and was about to crash. Caleb was suddenly being difficult, he wasn't doing so great at school, he had hit a plateau. and I had unknowingly let him get there.
When Caleb was young, I had him connected to therapists, social workers, & play groups. We had special toys and books for him, and decided to put him on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. We fought for him everywhere he went--church, school, the mall, the grocery store! We were autism advocates on a mission! The mission was to create awareness, promote inclusion, and to set up a solid foundation for Caleb that would help him grow into a mature, responsible and contributing member of society.
These days I feel lost.
These days I feel him slipping from my grasp. I see him getting lost inside his head, zoning out, then acting out.
I find myself angry and frustrated with him daily. Daily! I know it sounds terrible to be upset with a special needs child, but gosh-darnit he's stubborn, and struggling, and challenging!
And I wish I could pinpoint the moment I let my focus go, because I would go back there, slap myself upside the head and say, "you CAN"T loose focus! He needs you! You are his advocate, his support, his Mother!"
Last week we had a meeting at his school. It came about because everyone involved in his life there was concerned about the new (and troubling) behaviours he was exhibiting.
Sitting in that meeting though, and hearing all those people who care for Caleb, and genuinely want the best for him, talk about their concerns, as well as their hopes for Caleb's future made me realize something; all is not lost.
Where I was feeling alone in my hopelessness of the direction Caleb was heading in, I realized there were many other people who saw this path he was taking, and wanted to stop him, and set him right. Where I was stuck, and had no clue what to do with him, his amazing team hashed out ideas, and came up with a list of a few new things we could try to help Caleb in this strange new place in his life.
I left feeling so encouraged, but more importantly, more focused than I've been in a long time. Focused on Caleb and what he needs, & what will set him up for success.
Caleb is changing, and that is a little scary! But he's here, he's mine to nurture, to lead and guide. It's hard. I cry a lot. I fret and worry. But Caleb is worth it!
April is autism awareness month.
I want to share this month about my Caleb, about his autism, and about his struggles and successes.
I hope you'll join me, support me, and support the efforts of autism awareness this month. You can show support by changing your Facebook profile picture to an autism badge, ribbon, or even Caleb's face if you want (just save and use any of the photos above!)! You can purchase shirts, pins, hats, all sorts of things. You can donate your time or money to a local autism support branch (even the smallest towns often have them!), or you could show support by asking a family you may know who is dealing with autism if there is something, anything, you can do to help them. And if the family says there isn't anything, it's because they are probably feeling overwhelmed and don't even know where to start asking for help! So, in that case, bring them a gift card for a coffee shop!!!
I want to use this month to really help get my focus back. To "talk" my problems and thoughts out loud, which more often than not lead me to revelation about my circumstance!
Please join me this month! I'll be writing at least every Thursday and would love to hear from you!
3/31/2016 02:10:36 pm
It's so normal to relax when things are goi well. Every human does it - medically fragile kids or special needs kids. Short story short - Caleb is an awesome kid, through troubled times and good times. I'll change my pic (tomorrow!) and look forward to reading/sharing your insights on Autism xox
4/2/2016 09:12:16 am
Thanks dear :) xoxo
3/31/2016 06:08:03 pm
You are the bestest mother any child could ask for. You are always there for them, try to do your best for them and you love them! That is the most anyone can do. I pray for you and your family daily.
4/2/2016 09:13:07 am
Haha, the "bestest". You're a goon! Thanks for your encouragement Val!
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Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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