Testimony from a mother
Just wanted to be sure everyone saw this remarkable testimony from a mother of a son with autism:
I believe it is people's perceptions and thoughts that need to be healed and not the "special needs" child.
As a mother of a developmentally delayed, autistic son I spent many years worrying and crying about my son's development, or lack there of. I sought out therapists, read articles, searched the web and generally did everything I could think of in the hopes that someday he would be "normal". From the time he was 7 months old he saw at first two and then 3 different therapists several times a week. I spent many hours at home engaging him in therapeutic activities as well. He had numerous sensory issues including oral sensitivities. Getting him to eat a meal could take up to three hours, with many sessions ending with him falling asleep at the table. I did everything each therapist recommended with the hope that one day he would catch up with other children his age and be "normal".
Before he turned three we were told his delays were caused by a genetic difference. I was crushed by this diagnosis. To me this meant he was "unfixable"... he would always be different. Over the next year, after crying many tears, I had a healing... not fixing my son, but fixing my preconceived notions of who he should be or become. I began to accept my son for who he was... a happy, bright, loving child who would never knowingly harm a soul. I stopped trying to make him into our world's generally accepted idea of who a person should be or what they should be able to do at a particular milestone in their life. I began to think of myself as blessed for having such a wonderful loving boy who would shower me with hugs and proclamations of love and gratitude.
Shortly after he turned three he was diagnosed as autistic. This time I was hardly fazed. I didn't care what label doctors gave him; he was still the same child with the same unique characteristics. In fact, I welcomed the label as it made him eligible for the extra help he needed in school and allowed him to participate in programs where he met other amazing out of the norm children. He played on soccer and little league teams comprised of children with autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Watching him or one of his teammates score a goal or hit the ball and run to first base was awesome! Their joy at their accomplishment was overwhelming and contagious. They were so thrilled with themselves for every achievement, no matter how great or small. If only we all could celebrate ourselves as easily and confidently.
Of course I pray that my son will someday be independent and able to care for himself, but my husband and I are planning financially and emotionally in case he is unable. We have instilled in all three of our children a sense of family and loyalty, and know that they will look out for each other after we are gone.
That's my very bestest friend, and I love her. I'm amazed at her faithful motherhood. She's been true to her boy throughout in ways I don't know if I ever could.
When you see love like that in action, you can only stand in awe of it. It is divine Love breaking through in our lives. Sometimes we need to see it like that rather than only in perfectly manicured lives with no ripples. Love heals the messiness of life by showing us something higher than we ever imagined possible.
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