March 11th, 2010 is a date I will never forget. Much like the date someone is born, or the date you lose someone dear to you.
Here is the heading and one of my first thoughts from the care page we started way back then in an effort not to have to "talk" while crying about it to our family, or to have to tell the story of our concerns about Brady that lead us to taking him in to be evaluated over and over. This heading pretty much sums up exactly how we were feeling, and to some extent still feel today. (April 21st, 2017)
Working my way through the grieving process. Denial, check. Anger, BIG check check. Feeling sad for my baby boy...I WISH I could bargain all of this away...and avoid acceptance all together.
On March 11th, 2010 after multiple appointments throughout February and March, we got the news that confirmed our fears. Brady was diagnosed with Autism. I started this page to let all my friends and family know of Brady's progress, and what we are learning to help him overcome this thing. If you visit, please leave us a little note from time to time as any and all words of encouragement will help us all get through this difficult time. It is going to be a long road, and as the developmental disability case manager suggested, we need to "fasten our seat belts". Brady is very smart, we feel his case is not severe, and we are confident he will do really well, so hopefully it won't be too bumpy of a ride. Please visit us often, check on our progress, leave any words of encouragement...or just say hi to let us know you cared enough to visit. Thanks! Brady is a very special loving lil man, who's favorite spot in the world is on Mommy or Daddy's lap.
The day we got our diagnosis it did feel like someone died. I know that is a bit morbid...but it is true, It is real, and it is how we felt. For anyone who HAS lost a child and is reading this, I mean no dis-respect and PLEASE do not comment that we are not allowed to feel this way. If you do not have anything nice to share...please keep your comments to yourself. This blog is a place for us to organize how WE feel, and all the things we have overcome, not to challenge anyone else feelings. Thank you for respecting that.
Plus, maybe...just maybe our trials and tribulations, and the documentation of everything we have been through as a family will help another family.
Ok, now on to how we immediately felt in the days and weeks following that fateful day.
We were in shock, disbelief, and a thousand thoughts were running through our minds. We were lost. We didn't know how to move forward with our new reality.
We didn't lose our son that day...but we did lose many of the hopes and dreams that we had for him. Simple things, like daddy always wanted a boy to play football in school. Will he be able to do that? Not likely if he can not communicate enough to understand the game. Will he learn to read? Will he graduate from high school? Will he go to college? Will kids tease and bully him because he is different? Will he be able to hold down a job someday? Will he be independent when he grows up? Will he be able to take care of himself? Will he fall in love? Will he get married? Will he have kids of his own someday? AND if none of that will be possible...will he live with us for the rest of his life?.....scratch that, for the rest of ours?? OMG?!?! What will happen to him when we are gone?? Who will take care of him? Plus a MILLION more what if's??? So overwhelming and SCARY!!
Skip to today, and don't get me wrong...we have NEVER lost hope, and will never give up hope that he will grow, and that by putting all the puzzle pieces (multiple interventions) together that this monster called "autism" can, and WILL be defeated!
Back in January of 2017 I saw this post on Facebook and had to comment:
Why I gave up hope as an Autism Mom.This is Brady's school picture from fall of 2016:
Here is my response.
Ok I get most of this, and I am not judging this mom for what she wrote...but for us...I will never give up HOPE. It is at the center of who I am. Autism has shaped all 5 of us. It has become a part of all of our identities. Autism is a struggle, but it comes with many hidden blessings. Piper is more tolerant and understanding of her peers with "quirks". She is kind and loving and loves her brother with all her heart. Hayden likes to help Brady by modeling the things we do and say to try and help his brother learn and grow. We all are healthier as a result of our dietary and other changes around the home to minimize Brady's exposure to the toxic chemicals in our environment. There are many things we never thought Brady would ever be able to do. Play with his brother, check. Feed himself, check. Brush his own teeth, check. Get himself dressed, check (most days). Be fully potty trained, HUGE check! (Summer of 2015, Age 8 while in Hawaii, Thank God!) sleep through the night, check (with a little help from melatonin). Speaking one word at a time, check. Smiling for pictures!! Check! These simple things are things most parents take for granted. All of these things we feared might never happen for him, but they have. All in HIS OWN time. Just because he is on his own milestone schedule, why on earth would we ever give up hoping that maybe just maybe someday he can speak in sentences, support himself and live on his own, fall in love, get married, and have babies of his own? We love him for who is is today, but we will never give up hope that he will be better tomorrow then he is today, and so on, and so on. We love you Brady and we will never give up HOPE.
We never thought we would get a good school picture with Brady looking at the camera, and smiling...but we have! Everything in his OWN TIME!! NEVER give up hope!
Disclaimer: The information on this blog is NOT intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified licensed healthcare provider. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective. However, since USE of any information provided herein by others is beyond the control of Michelle Bacon, RN, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effectiveness of this information can be given nor liability taken.