I try not to share a lot of really personal stuff with the internet, mostly because I don’t feel like everything belongs on the internet, but there is something that in my heart, I just feel like I really need to share. I have had many tear-filled, sleepless nights for the last few months, and this is why:
The photo above is of Aiden, the day he was born. He was a beautiful baby and is still a beautiful boy. He has been the shining light in my life for almost ten years now. Not too long ago I took Aiden to the doctor. He’s not sick, he’s perfect and healthy. I took him to get a referral to a child psychologist, to have him evaluated. I don’t cry because I’m sad, or because I mourn the loss of a normal child. He has always been normal to me, he’s the only Aiden I know. But for years it has also been evident to me that Aiden is just a little bit different, often he does not behave like the other kids. He’s special, so very special to me and everyone around him. I love him so very much that my heart usually feels as though it swells two-fold when I think of him. He is wildly imaginative, extremely sharp, and selfless almost to a fault. He has had a new invention every single day since he was only four years old. He has inventions for everything, and I can’t wait to meet the robot that will cook my breakfast and do my dishes.
I am very much a mama-bear, ready to pounce anyone who threatens my little ones. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being bite-your-head-off-if-you-give-my-kids-a-dirty-look, I am probably an 11. Aiden’s speech was delayed quite a bit and with therapy, has improved by leaps and bounds. When he was younger it was mentioned that perhaps there was something wrong and my mama-bear instinct would kick in and I’d block it out. It is so hard to hear that something might be “wrong” with your child. In the past year or so all of the pieces fell into place and it was very clear to everyone that Aiden is autistic. After thorough evaluation, the results confirmed our suspicions. I feel as though the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. It feels like a sort of closure.
Since his first time in First Grade it has been such a struggle for him and with him. We could never piece together why every single way we tried to help him didn’t actually help. If I tell you it’s been hard, I’m sugar-coating it. There were times where I just wanted to crawl into a corner and curl up into a ball. There were days where I would walk to pick him up from school and want to turn around because I worried about what the teacher might say. Did he crawl under his desk today? Did he cover his ears? Did he yell or scream at someone? I am so happy to say that in the last year we have been able to partner with Aiden’s school to get him the help he deserves and he has been thriving. I have never seen him so happy and proud of himself. He even did the monkey bars at school which is a big feat considering he still trips over his own feet.
The road ahead for Aiden may have some bumps but is still bright. We are determined to be there for him in every way we can and to support him in any endeavor he chooses. There is so much of Aiden that is Autism and Aiden wouldn’t be the Aiden we all know and love without it.
P.S. If you are interested in the best piece of writing about Autism I’ve ever read, read this.