Hi everyone! I’m Terry, and I post all kids of crafts, decorating, furniture re-do’s, cooking, recipes and lots of other stuff at Moss and Clover. When Heidi asked for volunteers to help her out by guest posting, I couldn’t say no! As a mom to 4 kiddos and a pretty active family, I know how life can roll over us sometimes. And that’s exactly why I’m here today!
I have an almost 4 year old little girl and 8 year old triplets (2 boys and one girl). The first thing we hear when people find out that we have triplets is:
Crazy Cute, aren’t they?!?! ;o)
When the kids were a little over 2 years old, we noticed that one of the boys was behaving a little differently than his siblings. We didn’t really think too much of it at the time. We thought maybe this was one of those “unique developments” that happened to multiples. And it wasn’t anything unusual, really. He played alone quite a bit, didn’t really speak much, but with 2 siblings who talked non-stop, how could he get a word in anyway?? He was sweet, kind, smart, funny and a beautiful child.
After the triplets started preschool, things started escalating. His teachers had no idea how to deal with him. He was so B O R E D in class!!!!! There was no challenge in preschool and no rewards for good behaviour. I spent many days with him at home instead of in school. It was frustrating, heartbreaking and honestly, I felt so angry.
We decided to have him tested for some speech issues he had, and at that assessment they saw his humor, his brilliant mind, his playfullness and also his need for special services. He was immediately moved to a new preschool with teachers who were able to help him and work with him in a much more caring environment. After one week of preschool classes, my son was talking a LOT!!! He was telling stories and coming to us with questions, information and requests! This was HUGE! It was also the beginning of our journey.
Over the next 2 years, we met with more physicians, went through additional testing, and finally received a diagnosis:
I started doing a ton of research and I found that PDD-NOS is on the spectrum for autism. My son…my beautiful boy…has autism spectrum disorder. I was devastated! I didn’t want to believe it, but there it was, staring me in the face. As my hubby and I struggled to wrap out brains around what we had learned, our sons behaviour was still amping up. We decided to medicate him for the ADHD.
Sometimes I sit and cry, and I mourn the loss of a “normal” life. I mourn for my son, and for how hard he has to work to do things that come so easily to his siblings. I mourn for his brother and his sisters, and all the things they don’t get to do, because it’s too hard for their brother to deal with. I mourn for my husband and for me, and for the loss of what we had always dreamed we would have.
- I cry and I get angry when his sisters and brother have more friends to play with than they do time to play, but he has no one asking him for a play date.
- I cry and I get angry when I hear other children say that he’s strange, because he doesn’t act like they do.
- I cry and I get angry when people give us dirty looks in the store; if only they realized that he’s trying so hard to be good!
- I cry and I get angry because I feel that time moves too slowly, and when they find a cure, or a treatment, it will be too late for my boy. For my family.
This is what it’s like to be a family with Autism. Because Autism doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care who it takes. It is random and fickle and you never know it’s coming. And there is NOTHING you can do to stop it. We’re working on finding a cure, a treatment, a way to best this beast. But for now, all we can do is try to slip in, past the guards. Helping kids where we can, in whatever way we can.
April is Autism Awareness month; a chance to open up communication about what Autism is, how it affects everyone, and what each of us can do. And it’s not just about educating people who are unfamiliar with autism, but it’s also about helping families who have recently received an autism diagnosis**.
But, I can’t leave you thinking that it’s all gloom and doom at our home. Not in a million years. For you see, my baby also has an AMAZING sense of humor, an amazing heart, and he is -plain and simple- a funny, FUNNY kid!
I will leave you with one of my favorite stories.
One day, when I was passing out goodnight kisses, my little man started kissing me over and over and over! I was laughing, and asked him what was up with all these amazing kisses? His answer:
**Autism Speaks is a great place to go to learn more about Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Thanks so much for your post Terry! You are an amazing mom!