Monday, November 4, 2013

What I Signed Up For


Welcome to Motherhood Monday. Today Trish Turner of Superlittletales shares her story about the realities of raising a child on the Autism Spectrum. Trish is one of two very proud and devoted mom's to a big one and two littles.
Laughs will be shared, perhaps some tears will be shed but no matter the situation, their capes fly high. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and follow their journey at Superlittletales~Telling super tales of amazing littles.

What I Signed Up For

Nobody really knows what they're getting themselves into when they start a family. Sure they may have an idea about the late night feedings, the booboos, the first day of school jitters, dating worries, etc.
The truth about it all, is that until you've been up at 2am, 3am, 4am, and 5am only to start your day at 6am, there is no concept of what 'late night feedings' can mean. That only comes when you're right smack in the middle of the nightmare. The same goes for any other parenting challenge.

Our family was not immune to hopes and dreams.

Dream
-The plan was for me to stay home with the kids until they were 3 and slowly I would gain hours at home, alone... ALONE!
Reality
-I may never be allowed hours in my home alone... EVER!
Sending our son to preschool is a dream of the past. When he went, our already chaotic lives became completely unmanageable and worse yet, it broke our little boys spirit. We'll try again but for now we're concentrating on improving his motor function and anxiety in the safety and comfort of our home.

Dream
-Sip coffee and write while the children play nicely with one another, or while napping.
Reality
-
The coffee I love so much, that brews in one minute, will always go cold and be forced to suffer multiple zapping’s in the microwave.
-Writing will happen while standing at the kitchen counter, making dinner, listening to the 2 year old say "gimme back dolly" and the 4 year old say, "you can't catch me".
Momma TT to the rescue in 3... 2... 1...
-Naps? Ha! Mr. Munchkin gave up on those years ago. In fact, sleep does not come easily for him at any point. We're holding out hope that for the little one. She still naps a couple times a week.

Dream
-Sitting on a park bench feeling care-free, discussing life with other mommy's while the youngsters play with friends.
Reality
-Standing frantically along the sidelines of the play structure critiquing his every move, analyzing his facial cues and body language to decipher if intervention will be necessary. Picking up broken conversations with mothers while on play dates. Always on alert. The park is not a care-free zone for us.

Dream
-The only visit to hospitals or doctors would be for well-child checkups or stitches
Reality
-Occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory play group, developmental evaluations... and on and on and on. Most of our week is spent getting treatment for something or another in the hopes that our son will eventually be able to regulate himself.

Our daily life with a child on the Autism Spectrum is unpredictable. This journey has brought us sadness, anger and frustration. Those feelings all get replaced with double the amount of joy, acceptance and patience. In accepting the unique individual that we have been blessed with and the challenges he faces, we are now open to create new dreams for the future. We are learning to accept his growth at his pace.

Sure I didn't sign up for this... nobody does.

Who would say, "I hope that my child has a hard time learning to walk, or talk, or interact with peers"? Nobody would want that for their child but if development wasn't happening on a typical scale, whatever needs to be done, gets done.
As parents we signed up to do anything necessary. We put all we have into providing for our children- physically, emotionally and spiritually.

We try to predict outcomes.
We falter and learn.
We adjust and try again.

I want to believe with everything in me that our son will learn to regulate his sensory needs. That his development will eventually match those of his age. That all the interventions lining his path will be enough to help him achieve physical, emotional, and educational success. That he will be able to avoid seclusion by his peers. That he won't become the target of bullies who will try to dim the brilliant light that burns in him.

As parents, we thought we knew what we signed up for but the guesswork is inconceivable. No matter what hopes or dreams or wild fantasies we have for our children, our love helps them achieve success. We love them the same, or differently, or more, or whatever way they need to be loved at any particular minute because that is what we are to them... love and acceptance.
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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