Friday, August 20, 2010

A BIG Mommy Post

Last night I went up to my monthly Autism meeting on NAU campus in Flagstaff.  This group has saved me since we got our diagnosis done early last spring.  They've helped me have some direction in finding the therapies, learning how to work with the DDD system, and just getting to meet adults with Autism; something I haven't really done before.  It's been fun making new friends at the group; other families who are plowing through the same kinds of things.  It's been so helpful to rub shoulders with people like Susan Marks and Kathleen Collins and their endless knowledge and connections in the autism world.  A world I never thought I'd be a part of...
But here I am now a part of the this world; and I'm embracing it.  I have to because I love my son.  And more than anything, I want him to love himself.  I want him to be the best he can be.  And I'm growing too;  I'm stronger because of this journey.  I'm learning to stay calm, which if you know me, has often been hard to do because I let my emotions just take over!  I'm going to be starting another blog (though it will be private) on this emotional roller-coaster ride it has been for me.  And really not just since we got the diagnosis done, but since I felt he had autism, which has been a few years.  It's going to be private (so I'll be keeping up two blogs!), because even now, posting this, I feel so vulnerable because I'm just putting these tender feelings out there on the web. But people need to read them. 
Race has what is called High Functioning Autism, or as Temple Grandin describes in her book, "Thinking in Pictures", Kanner's syndrome.  It is not considered Asperger's because he has a speech delay; though as an adult Kanner's and Asperger's often look very similar.  Though it isn't severe, it's enough to make life for Race hard and confusing at times. 
I have to be totally honest; some days I am embracing it, and some days I find myself still fighting the truth.   This happens when he has hard days or moments.  Which are definitely becoming fewer and farther between, but he still has them, like we all do.  It's on those days that I'm asking Heavenly Father (even though I already know the answer)  why?  Why does everything have to be so hard for Race, and so easy for Witt?  It just doesn't seem fair!!  And every time, in my heart, I hear through my cries, Him whispering, "Race is here with you to teach you and the world how to love more."  It's then I feel calm...until I'm asking the question again, and my faith is weak again. 
So here I am in this world with my son.  And not just with Race but with my sweet husband (who's the best daddy in the world), and with Witt and Lane, and everyone else who is connected to our family.  Mostly I have my Heavenly Father who I'm always turning to, so I can be the best mom I can be.  And when I think of that, I don't feel so alone or as overwhelmed in this task that I've been blessed to embrace.    And really, I wouldn't change things for anything.  Race is Race, he's my Superman.


Tar Heel Freemans said...

such a sweet post. race is such a sweetheart---i could feel it radiate from him when we were there.
so i've been reading a book i've been meaning to tell you about. it's called right-brained children in a left-brained world by jeffrey freed. it's geared towards ADD kids but he says the same techniques will work for autism because they are both right brained. anyway he goes through every school subject and helps you to teach the child to train themselves to use their amazing visual strengthes to be successful in each subject. i really recommend it! so i read recently that they believe albert einstein and bill gates has autism.
so, much potential locked up inside of race!

Dustin said...

I really loved this post Teddy. I know Heavenly Father will help and comfort you through all of this. What would mothers do without His comfort?! Keep your head up, you are doing a great job and you are a great mom!

Brooke said...

I think you are amazing! Love ya Teddy!

Melis said...

You have such a great way with words. I am touched by your feelings. I admire your ambition to meet this challenge head on. You are doing everything you can to make Race's life the best it can be. That makes you an amazing Mother AND person! Through our trials we become stronger. You are an inspiration.

Erin said...

Isn't the gospel such a wonderful blessing? I wonder how we would be able to deal with the challenges in our lives without the eternal understanding that the gospel gives us. You are doing a great job!