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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A matter of perspective...

Hi everyone! This week has been one of major celebrations at our humble little home. These are not the things most families would celebrate, but for us they are MAJOR!

Our first accomplishment was that Nathan went (and stayed) in Sunday school ALL BY HIMSELF for the first time since last spring!!! I PERSONALLY walked him to the classroom and left him there with the teacher in charge! First of all, just the fact that I got to drop him off is a miracle all on its own. Secondly, the fact that he stayed and I got to sit by myself and enjoy the sermon... well, that's just unheard of! You see, the special needs Sunday school ministry has not been working for Nathan. I'm pretty sure it's because he sees me working with other children and it's just too hard for him to leave me so I can "play with other kids." As you all have been reading, I have been praying for months for this to happen. I even wrote a post about this being my prayer for the new year... I just can't believe how amazing God is and how fast He came through on this prayer request! I give Him the top credit, I give Nathan second credit for being such a big boy and I HAVE to give credit to an amazing Sunday school teacher, Gabriela, who just absorbed him into the group and never looked back.

Our second accomplishment is that Nathan has now gone TWO DAYS using the potty instead of his diaper/pull-up! He's not even four yet!!! I just can't believe it! He's even going #1 AND #2 in the potty!!! He'll go on the grown up potty here at home and even when we're out! This week he went with my husband to visit his grandmother at the rehab hospital and my husband says Nathan pulled down his pants and pull-up and ran down the hallway yelling "pee pee in potty!" (telling his daddy that he needed to go!) To most parents that would be a terrible embarrassment, but to us, it's a cause for celebration and praise! You see, soon after Nathan's diagnosis I watched a video by Autism Speaks of moms of kids with ASD. The thing that struck me the most (something I was not expecting) was how many of the moms talked about still changing diapers after kindergarten. This was what I thought was in store for us, but God is good and Nathan is well on his way to being done with diapers!!! I give TOP credit to his teachers at school, who have been working tirelessly on this effort for over a month now! They came through, BIG TIME!!! We've had our differences in the past, but hands down, they deserve all the credit for Nathan's accomplishment in this realm!

Ironically, after this AMAZING weekend, he had one of the worst days ever later in the week... so much so that I had to call my husband to come home from work because I was quite freaked out. Well, everyone always tells me that these kids take one step back before taking one major leap forward and I am convinced that was it... plus it was his first day home for school vacation and he was getting sick (hence my joy of him using the potty). So I am thankful to our Lord in SO MANY ways today that I can't even find the words!!!

Just this week, the Autism Support Network posted a great story written by a parent about this same phenomenon I just shared. Our entire life perspectives have been changed after autism touched our families. Autism has made us "celebrate" even the smallest win, things most people would take for granted. We could choose to over-focus on all the challenges and obstacles, which are many! Instead, we choose to have a parade with each and every single small win and accomplishment! I share that story with you today. Thank you for your prayers and know that God is always in control and He will ALWAYS come through!!! Blessings! DC

Let me tell you a little about celebrating autism

Stuart Duncan

Milestones are an achievement, not just an item on a list

When I tell the average person that my son has Autism, they feel really bad for me. The fact is that there is a lot to celebrate.

When you have a child with Autism, you learn to appreciate the milestones, both big and small. Some would say that we celebrate a little too much for such little accomplishments but I’d argue that we celebrate accordingly, it’s other parents who take them for granted.
First words, learning to walk, swimming, riding a bike, reading, writing… all these things that make parents proud are far more than just steps along the way when your child has Autism… they’re cause for celebration.

Take nothing for granted
Along the same lines, but very different from milestones, is taking nothing for granted. Unless you have a child with Autism (or another disability like it), you’ll probably never know what it’s like to be lucky enough to be hugged one time a year.
Does your child look you in the eye? If your child has Autism, maybe not. Does your child give you a hug or kiss sometimes? If your child has Autism, maybe not.

You will never ever realize just how much the tiniest little things can be so extremely important until they’re not there.

Patience, more than you ever thought possible
The biggest problem with milestones is that everyone knows what they are and when they should happen so when your child is missing them, everyone says something. It’s hard, it’s oh so very hard.
After a while though, you develop a thicker skin… not just the patience required to take their “advice” a little better but also to have the patience and self confidence in knowing that if you never give up on your children, the milestones will come.
The beauty that is around us
The world around us moves pretty fast and can be so filled with sights and sounds that it turns into a bit of a blurry mess. Our mind makes it that way to keep us from becoming overwhelmed, crazy and tired. We filter through a lot of everything that goes on in our daily lives without really realizing it.
Many people, especially the children, with Autism don’t have the same filtering capabilities and often times do get overwhelmed by it all. This often results in meltdowns or even violence.
You, as the parent, become increasingly aware of the world around you because you have to, because you need to know what you are getting your child into. Loud restaurants, carnivals, movie theaters… many many places can be far too difficult for your child to be able to process and you need to be aware of that before the fact.
As you develop this ability over time, it forces you to slow down and truly appreciate the sights and smells and sounds that surround us every single day.
You go outside and there isn’t a car in the neighborhood… it’s so very peaceful. Before you likely never would have noticed, much less enjoyed that feeling of peace, because your mind builds that filter in place before you ever go out and so you don’t notice if there are cars or not.
Your child is perfect because of who they are
It isn’t until others see your child as flawed, and worse, until you start to see your own child as flawed, that you can learn what is truly important… not a disability, not a disorder, not even a gift… a child is who they are inside and who they are inside is exactly who they are supposed to be… your child.
It’s ok if no one will ever look at your child the same way you do, they’re not supposed to. Our children are amazing human beings with unlimited potential.
The difference
Celebrate the differences, not just in your child, but in yourself. For better or worse, you’ve become a better person for it, you’ve become a better parent. Your child isn’t like other children… and that seems hard to take but honestly, before your child was born, and you saw how “other children” are on the news or in movies… is that really what you wished for when you imagined having a child? For them to be like all the others?
No, none of us want our children to have it harder than anyone else, and no we don’t want our children to suffer… but many of us recognize that we can have these thoughts and these feelings while still being able to recognize and celebrate the differences.
Your child is amazing. You are amazing. Celebrate it… you’ve earned it.
Courtesy of Stuart Duncan

Read more: http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/let-me-tell-you-little-about-celebrating-autism-33899232#ixzz1nF5fzaEI


  1. I'm so glad that Nathan is using the potty!!!! That is a great acomplishment!!!!

    1. Thanks! They did a full ABA approach at school starting in mid-January 5 hours a day!!! I am convinced that he would not have gotten it any other way. Once he started being successful at school, they asked us to carry it over at home.