May 20, 2010

Just the way I like you.

We got the diagnosis.
Harry is Autistic.
Even though we suspected it, it is still a shock, a shock to my very core, to hear the words to come from somebody elses mouth.  A confirmation of my fears and worrying.

Yesterday he had yet another evaluation, this time from a Physcholgist.  She comfirmed what I already suspected for months, that he was Autistc.  She did say she wasn't ready to make an exact diagnosis as to where he was on the spectrum, but he was there....floating around somewhere. (Sad face.)  She was the first person that ever said the words OUT LOUD.  I hate her a little, why couldn't she just let me be in denial a little bit longer.  

We talked about switching his diet.  We talked about a couple of new programs we are going to enroll him in.  We talked about all the things she would've done, but can't now because WE ARE MOVING.  One good/great thing, she is signing us up with a group that will ensure we have all the resources we need in our new area, and if they don't have the programs/resources we need, they will find a better place for us to live (amazing).

Yesterday I was sad.  I cried.  I wallowed.  I complained.  I tried to think of when things went wrong, what I did and didn't do to get to this point.  It was bad.  But, after a long talk with my Dad I feel MUCH better.  (Thanks Papa, your phone call was inspired, and you said exactly all the things I needed to hear.)  I had my moment to mourn all the things I thought I wanted for Harry, and came to realize all the things he still could have, and MORE actually.  I took the afternoon to challenge my thinking, on what is normal...  What is normal anyway?  Who is to say my normal is any better or worse than yours?  I like my normal, I love it.  I gave myself one day, but I am done now.  I don't want to feel like that again, the doom and hopelessness, it is futile and TOTALLY unnecessary.

I know Harry is going to be okay, more than okay.  We all are.  I KNOW IT!   I have seen first hand how early intervention can work miracles, just look at my nephew Gavin, he is a little genius, and such a delight to be around.  Harry has a Speech Therapist, a Special Education therapist, and an Occupational Therapist.  We have our bases covered.  I am not afraid anymore, I am not sad.  I am ready to be put to work, to accept and conquer this new challenge.

Already in the past month, since Clark has been in school, Harry has made some improvements.  He is thriving on the one on one time.  He shows his happiness better, and comes out of his shell more (instead of always vegging out).  He does this cute little thing where he hops and skips when he is excited.  For instance, when we walk in the mall he will be so excited he will take a couple steps, then hop a couple steps (I think it is adorable), even at home when he is happy he will hop across the living room.  He smiles more readily at me and I don't have to work so hard for it.  Also, I swear last night when he was hurt and crying he said maaaa, not the normal repetitive mamamamamamama that he does for hours, monotone, and for no reason, but maaa at me, beacause he was sad and hurt, and he wanted me.  Progress, slow but steady, progress.

I think the only thing I still hate about it, the diagnosis, is the label.  I hate labels.  Even in high school I never want to be pinned down as anything.  I tried my whole life not be what anyone expected, even to this day I am still a little rebellious (a boring type of rebellious, but still).  I didn't want Harry to be labeled as anything, especially something that is still looked down upon by some poeple.  I know Autism is more main stream these says, but there are still some people -people I know- that will look down on him because of it.  And selfishly I didn't want the label either, the Mom of that Autistic kid.  I know I am horrible for even thinking about it, but yes it did cross my mind.  But I am OVER it, label me all you want... I am a Mom, a sister, daughter, wife.  I am chubby, happy, sassy, hopeful, nerdy (oh my, am I ever so nerdy).  I am a million things everyday, and yes I am the Mom of that Autistic kid, that adorable little Harry.  And I am fine with that, MORE than fine.  I feel blessed because of it, and privileged that he is my Son.  I thank God for him, and I wouldn't want it any other way, honestly.  I love him just the way he is, wholeheartedly 100%. 


Emma and Cody said...

I love you sister! And I love my fatty Harry too! That smiley picture always makes me so happy when I see it! I secretly hope that McKinleyville doesn't have the resources that Harry needs and you will get to go somewhere closer to me. I know that is hard cause you have to be on the coast, but it is secretly my wish. And I am going to keep on wishing it!

Travis said...

Hi April, First off I have to say your two boys are such cuties!! Travis and I are taking this class for our Counseling program now on children with exceptionalities. I am so grateful that we live in a time when a child needs a little extra assistance there are a lot of resources out there to help the child and the families. Your children are blessed to have you as a Mom. You will be their advocate when times get tough. Our prayers are with you and Jason :) Take care, Kristy Oh and that's amazing that they will move you to a better area if the services where you are stationed are not sufficient.

Jenni said...

April, I'm so proud of you. You are being Harry's voice when right now he has none. He is so lucky to have you as his mom :)

I am amazed at all of the support you'll have and that they'll move you if they need to! Wow. Simply amazing. You are truly blessed.

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Hang in there--You can do this!

Much love.

Andrea said...

normal, what is normal? ive been asking myself that since i was a teenager. everyone has their own normal and you make it your own. my normal isnt your normal, and yours isnt mine.

your very lucky to have so much great help with this situation many cant afford and arent as priveledged to have so many resources. so you are really lucky.

good luck with everything im sure it will all work out as planned.

Granny said...

GOD brings us to it and HE helps us thru it. I am so proud of you April. I know you will do a good job for all your family. Can't wait to see you all Much love.

Dan and Sharon said...

The Lord only send the most sepical children to families that have the most loving and caring parents

Rachael Grotegut said...

Oh April! I love you guys! I just want to say that first. I love you guys and I am so sorry this is happening to Harry too. He is so lucky to have you though. Children with autism need parents that advocate for them. That don't just give up on them because they've been labeled with the nasty A word. I know you are Jay are two parents that will do so much for Harry.
I wallowed for a long time with Gavin. Hell even to this day I cry when I think about what he's had to overcome. I want you to know that although this really suck right now. There are so many lights down so many tunnels you will pass through. And the greatness of each one will overwhelm you. You find different joys. For me it was every new word Gavin had. The first time he noticed rain. The first time he said his name when he someone asked him. The first time he initiated a hug. Its those things that will sustain you through it all.
You're right, its just a label. It doesn't change Harry. He is still the same, he was never anyone different then who he is now. And I know that he is going to kick autism's ass just like Gavin has. No matter what he is going to be fine, I promise you that.
If you guys ever need to talk just give me a call. Or chat me up on facebook. Tell Jay I am sorry I always miss his calls. I go to bed too early these days :).

Jen said...

I cry a little for you. Your outlook & attitude are amazing. My heart tells me that he will turn out better than kids that dont have the specialized attention (like Gavin). A part of me ponders the number of autistic children there are this a disability or is evolution? Are these children actually superior in some way? Look at what a genius Gavin is. You asked the right question "what IS normal?". I look at his amazingly gorgeous face & smile & I know something incredibly positive is going on there. You must be the super Mom I thought you were for God to give you this special child.
Screw the labels...he's an exceptional me the word exceptional means great.

Anonymous said...

Love you things work out for the best. And right now anybody that does something a little different is Autictic used to be adhd. Now autsm we all will be fine. Remember prayer scriptures fasting attending church temple I know preachy but it all helps us all get thru the the tough times. I love you can't wait for you to come I wish you wre staying here the whole time but I understand about visiting everyone else love mom