Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 29

Today’s post is one that I feel needs to be said. It will not contain any cute snapshots of my son, but it is a very real part of awareness, of life.  On Wednesday, April 27,2011, my state was devastated by Tornadoes from a storm system that left a Path of destruction from Arkansas to Virginia.  The storm swept through eight states, and by early Saturday morning, emergency management officials tallied 250 deaths in Alabama, 34 in Tennessee, 33 in Mississippi, 15 in Georgia, 14 in Arkansas, five in Virginia, two in Louisiana and one in Kentucky for a total of  more than 350 lives lost.

Entire Communities have been devastated. People have lost everything. Homes can be re-built, Belongings can be replaced, but the lives lost breaks my heart. those lives , someone’s mother, Father, sister, brother, child. I find myself Counting my blessings.

I find myself thankful that the tornadoes stayed away from where I live, yet crying tears for those in the northern part of my state. I had a HUGE moment of eye opening overwhelming thankfulness brought to my attention by my youngest child. My Husband is currently away for His 2 weeks of National Guard annual training. USUALLY this occurs in North Alabama, but this year, they went out of state. As we watched the News, and the devestation unfold Thursday here at home, praying, my youngest burst into tears asking if Daddy was Ok. They know he USUALLY does His 2 weeks training in North Alabama. Thankfully He is Safe, in Iowa, though I wish He was Home, I am thankful I was able to tell my child Daddy is safe and sound.

As I struggled with Dak, and with meltdown after Meltdown this past few days, I found myself praying for Families effected by the Tornadoes who have special needs children, who have lost everything, for whom Routines have been shattered, and all sense of calm has been swept away. I find myself thankful that even though we miss Daddy, and our routine is not as it usually is, it has not been completely shattered, Dak still has his comfort zone to run to, His Favorite toys to curl up with, His treasured blanket and weighted blanket to help calm Him down, His medications, His Family. My heart breaks for the families, living with Autism, whose lives have been turned upside down by this natural disaster.

With a thankful, yet broken heart, I ask you this; How does one restore a sense of calm, of security, of routine to a family with special needs who has just had it all swept away by Nature’s Fury? How can we help the special needs children who may have lost that one treasured comfort item? I know for Dak, there are certain items that are well loved, that strange as it may sound, Can never be replaced. It is with a heavy, yet thankful heart I pray for them all.

Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 28

There was a time when Dak’s play consisted of lining things up for HOURS on end…

when I wondered if we would EVER see any sort of “Imaginative ” play…

then one day, the most precious thing happened….

I was on the computer, and Shawna and Dak were playing contently in the other room. All of the sudden Shawna starts yelling as they both come running into the living room. She was yelling ” MOM! Tell Him I am NOT Evil!!” and Dak was Hot on her heels, His Lightsaber in hand, “I Dak-man, I Battle Evil!”

It took EVERYTHING I had NOT to burst out laughing as I explained to Dak that His sister was, in fact, NOT Evil, yet my heart was about to explode with joy. He was using His Imagination!!!

The nickname “Dak-man” started when He was very small, and it stuck.  He even has His Own theme song. I have a REALLY cute Vid clip of Him singing it, but I can’t figure out how to add it here.

My Prince….one of the first glimpses of Him playing Dress up

Rock Star!!

To Imaginative play….

even when it means Nerf sword fights with Daddy in the living room( in spite of Mommy’s Protests!)