Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 6

Today is a special day. You see, today is the 15th anniversary of the day I married the man of my dreams, the love of my life. There were those who said we wouldn’t make it this far. At first that was because we were BOTH Active duty Military, and the divorce rates for Military marriages are staggering, even more so for Dual Military. Then, when our son was diagnosed with Autism, we started hearing THOSE Divorce statistics. It has not been an easy road, we have had our ups and downs.  Marraige is work, It is a COMMITMENT! Sure there may be moments when we don’t “Like” each other, but we LOVE each other, and made a commitment to each other.

That being said, today’s collection of photos are dedicated to my Husband. I can remember watching Him struggle with our son’s diagnosis. I remember the pain in His eyes when our son would not Hug him, and usually ignored Him. I saw my son meltdown when Daddy was gone for training, or other Military related stuff. He DID want Daddy around, got upset when Daddy was gone, just didn’t show it well.

Alot has happened between the moment we heard “You son has Autism” and today as I sit typing this post. I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Happy Anniversary my love,

You continue to be my rock , my best friend, and my defender as we walk this journey. I love You.

To Fatherhood…..

*Before we knew…12 years ago*

 

*The door begins to open…Letting Daddy in*

*They formed an annual Birthday ritual…*

*Sitting still for Daddy to paint His face up as a clown for Halloween*

(This is a HUGE accomplishment on SO Many levels!!)

*This is a Favorite of mine*

*BASEBALL!!!!*

*Learning to Ride a Bike*

*a Father’s Love, a son’s Smile*

I could not get through the bad days without my husband by my side. He knows when to step in so I can take a break. He sees my tears, and understands the heartache. He comforts me when I have had a day where I feel as though nothing I do helps, nothing I do can stop the meltdowns. He reminds me that it is ok, that we are in this together. He swept me off my feet 15 years ago, and I can honestly say that the bumps and mountains in our road have made our love stronger…..

This song says it ALL….

*~*”….And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise was for
That’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I lose loves chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith
to the end of all my days
when I forget my name, remind me…”*~*

Autism Does Not Define My son

As I was wandering through the  vast village of fellow Mommy bloggers, reading all the stories, and posts on what Autism Awareness month means to them, I came across a poem that JUMPED off the screen at me.  I am in the process of  a month long series of posts of what Autism Awareness means to me. I have LONG said Autism does NOT define my son, and am grateful to the people in his life who see PAST the diagnosis, who see the CHILD. He is a Precious Gift, He is Different but NOT Less.  He was Fearfully and wonderfully made, and God does NOT make Mistakes!

Psalm 139: 13,14

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

*********************************************************

Autism Does Not Define Me – A Poem by Karen Krejcha

(Posted with permission)
Accept me for who I am,
Understand that I may not always get what you’re saying.
Trust that God has me here for a reason;
I am an amazing human being.
Socially, I might not fit in with society’s expectations.
Mentoring can help me along the way.

Don’t forget that I have feelings even if I don’t express them.
Opportunities for my happiness are indeed possible.
Educate and encourage me without prejudice.
Show patience and kindness along the way.

Never give up trying to “get” me
Ostracizing me will just shut me down.
Take time to try and come into my world.

Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities.
Emerging talents may arise when you least expect them.
Friendship and honesty is valued to me more than you can imagine.
I am in need of love and tenderness too.
Never let me give up, especially when you see my mood shift.
Expect the unexpected and watch me enrich your life.

Many people will read this and I pray millions will act.
Embrace and empower someone with Autism today.

Autism Does Not Define Me

Written 4/8/2010, copyright 2010, Karen Krejcha
Karen’s Blog:  Aspierations – Come as you are… Let your light shine!

Karen’s original Posting of the Poem

Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 5

Having a rough morning this morning. It STORMED here last night, Thunder, Lighting, wind, Rain…the works. My son does NOT handle this type of weather well…so needless to say, it was a sleepless night. Getting Him up for school this morning was a fight. He Cried all the way into school. when I asked what was wrong He said ” I Crying” When I asked why, He said ” I sad” when I tried to find out what was making Him sad he said “I crying”…..and round and round we went. Upon arrival at His classroom, He continued to cry, but His teacher took over, coaxing Him to stay, telling Him how much fun was planned for the day, His tears continued to flow, and it took everything in me to walk back to the parking lot, leaving Him there. I cried all the way home, my heart hurt, but I know school is important, so here I sit.

I say all this because todays focus is on the teachers, the people who love our kids when we send them off away from home, to school….we trust our precious gifts to them and they give SO much! They have a classroom of kids with special needs, and still they give, they know each child’s quirks, they deal with meltdowns, show compassion, and take the time to call on both good days and bad days. I dread those bad day phone calls, but the “He had a good day today” calls and notes, the “Guess what He did today?!” notes…

These are people who “Get it”

They understand the value of  every small accomplishment, from a complete sentence, to potty training, Hugs and eye contact, to making it through a whole day without a meltdown.

 

They plan Christmas parties, and play games….

They take time out of their Saturdays to come watch a Baseball game ,

and get how special it is to watch Him play ball….

They give Hugs, and High fives…

(and I know I have more Photos somewhere…..but if you could see the Stack of discs sitting next to me on my desk, or if you know me you KNOW how much i like to take photos , so…yeah. LOL)

Here is to the teachers in my son’s world, who with your commitment, patience and care, have helped me open a window into His world. When he started school at the age of three, almost 9 years ago, he was completely non verbal, eye contact was non existent, and hugs? FORGET it! His social skills were non existent, and His sense of danger was no where to be found. With the help of some amazing teachers, He is now talking, yes, there is a lot of echolalia, and sometimes He seems to be speaking His own language, but its SOMETHING! I can now let Him out in the yard to play with His siblings and friends ( yes I said FRIENDS!) and he will LISTEN and not take off into the street ( Most days)

THANK YOU!