Saturday, November 21, 2015

Song of My Heart

Okay, this may sound strange, but I was in the car the other day and listening to mp3's.  (That by itself is not really strange).  I have a love of big orchestral scores and in particular soundtracks.  I was listening to Steve Jablonsky's "Arrival to Earth" from the first Transformers movie.  What was strange was that I realized in a way it reflected my feelings about our family's autism journey.

The music starts off low and quiet and a bit dark.  Like something is creeping up on you and you're not quite sure what is going on.  With Firstborn things crept up on us.  We knew he had some sensitivities, but being first-time parents, we didn't realize they were red flags.  We didn't know enough to start early interventions.  We knew Whirlwind had a short fuse and seemed a bit behind his peers emotionally, but we had no answers. 

The strings begin repeating their theme a bit frenetically.  We start learning about Firstborn's diagnosis and putting all the pieces in place.  It was a massive learning curve and really intimidating.  We hid his diagnosis from many people--including him for a long time.  Whirlwind and Lawboy were diagnosed with ADHD and we were trying to figure out the best ways to help them.   We finally find something that works for impulse control only to find that Whirlwind, and later Lawboy, are also on the spectrum and it was hidden by his ADHD.  Acroboy shows signs of being on the spectrum and we finally get evaluations and answers.

The strings change into the main theme and the main work begins.  We are working in earnest on social stories, conversations, food therapies, counseling, support groups and we no longer hide.

The music builds and voices join in.  We find we have many people on our team, though we are not opposition free.

The music continues to swell and rise.  I have hope my children, despite their disabilities, will thrive and succeed.  I have seen so much growth in them.  I am so blessed they do as well as they do.  I recently met my friend's sister, who has a 17 year-old non-verbal son.  I am lucky and I know it.

The music goes quiet with voices singing in a Gregorian-like harmony--a moment of stillness and reflection.  Then come the drums--almost like a warcall.  I will fight for my kids.  I will keep fighting battles and equipping them the best I can to fight their own as well.

The music swells and presses forward.  We will press forward and we will not give up.  Autism may be in my family, but it is not all that my family is.  My kids, my husband and my faith are my greatest blessings from God.  They each have the potential to great things in their own way and I will do everything in my power to help them achieve their goals. 

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