I am an avid blog reader. I follow 30ish blogs and read the updates faithfully everyday. Some blogs I read are happy and uplifting and they're so much fun to read. Others make you think and the few that are left are the ones that are having hard times-whether it's an ill child or spouse or the author is losing their house and lost their job. Reading other peoples good times and struggles has really given me a new view point about what is going on with CJ.
CJ had his first appointment yesterday for the Autism screening. I was going around telling people it was "just a speech eval". We had been through one before, I thought I knew what to expect. CJ and I arrived at Childrens Hospital and I was just hit with something telling me that it could be so much worse, but all I wanted to think about was how "bad" CJ had it. This hospital was such a welcoming place....there were windows everywhere, the staff were overly beyond friendly and the hospital was very much made for kids.
Mary Kay was our speech pathologist. At first I didn't really like her. She seemed rigid and I wondered why she had picked a field with children. After getting through the initial testing (concepts, comprehension, articulation and vocabulary) CJ was able to play and all three of us relaxed. Little did I know the play was part of the evaluation.
Sitting in the room watching my son was hard but not so hard that I thought I was going to lose it. It was difficult to watch him not understand concepts he should or not understand what she was saying. This was expected but I didn't know to what level.
After play time she started talking to me, asking me questions about his personality, social skills, etc. She was writing so fast! LOL She asked me to play with CJ to watch him interact with a familiar adult and then we just let him play. During the play time this is when the news came.
I feel blessed to have Mary Kay. She knew exactly what to say to me and how to put it. She said that some of the behaviors and lack of development CJ showed her were definitely on the Autism Spectrum as others were just him not developing at the average rate. She gave me a lot of recommendations and a lot of information. The words she spoke to me were expected, but actually hearing them was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
I held it together until I got onto the freeway. I hid my face from CJ. I don't ever want him to think there is something wrong with him. I didn't want him to know that I was crying.
Today I was over at Kelly's Korner. I love her blogs. She had posted a video and it was a tear jerker. I then read the story of the family in the video and it really got me thinking. Yes, Autism isn't easy. The therapies are not cheap and taking care of a "special needs" child takes a lot of time. What I was looking at was how much I have. I have been blessed with my son. I get to hug him and listen to him and play with him whenever I want-even sometimes when I don't want too :)-while other people spend their days praying that their child will make it. Other parents may be grieving over the loss of a child.
Everyday is a day to be thankful for. Life is tough and full of trying times. You have to remember that you have been given this life and you have to live so why not make it a good one?