Thursday, September 1, 2011

Update part 2/3: Holland

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
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©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley.


July of this year our son Asher was diagnosed Autistic. It was at his 18 month check up that his pediatrician recommended we have him screened at the Melmed Center here in Arizona.  I have two amazing nephews with Autism so when I heard the words Melmed Center I knew the direction this was headed. I am not going to lie, I love my nephews so much and wouldn't change a thing about them, but there is nothing worse than hearing those words. I cried for a couple days - trading between anger, depression, relief, uncertainty. All I wanted to do was hold Asher and tell him over and over how much I loved him. Lucky for me, Asher is a snuggler! Autism being a spectrum disorder every kid is different. The social and developmental delays associated vary in severity but where he is completely on track in some areas he is severely delayed in others. It's been really eye opening to see Griffin pass him up in some developmental areas. Asher is still not talking, no mama, no dada. But he does make sounds. He has a wide variety of sounds, some quite hilarious! We have also learned that his beloved Yo Gabba Gabba is a comfort mechanism for Asher. Watching the show lets him kind of create this tunnel vision type bubble allowing him to block out things that may be overwhelming him. We are just beginning his therapies so we don't know the extent of his sensory issues but we're working on it! So far he goes to Occupational Therapy once a week and will start speech soon. So far he is adjusting to OT very well and making progress faster than I had even hoped for! Asher also qualifies for a home worker and we will be arranging that soon too. We are taking it step by step, day by day and doing the best we can. We plan to be very proactive in combating this disorder. I want living with Autism to be as easy as possible for Asher. I want to give him every possible tool I can. 

So that is update #2. That's what we're dealing with over here in the Avery house. I'll be posting updates on here every once and a while and would love to hear from any mom's out there going through the same or similar. We love our little boy so much and know that even though this is not the journey we planned on we  will embrace it. I also know there is still a lot of hard days ahead. I often find myself in moments of weakness where I get angry or sad at the hand he's been dealt and know those days will come and go and I'll just do the best I can. At this point, it's really all I can do.
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Char @ Crap I've Made said...

My 5 year old has Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorder (and some anxiety thrown in for good measure), so I get it. I want to tell you that I am 100% certain I agreed to this before this life. I KNOW that even when I'm at my lowest and things aren't going so well that I've got the skills/gifts/whatever that I need to get through it. And guess what? You do too. I can't say that it gets easier, but I promise you you're stronger than you think.

Dana M. said...

My son has Asperger's and PDD-NOS. I cried for days when we received the diagnosis. But the OT and SLP help have been wonderful. I don't know about the states, but I am in Northern BC, Canada and the support up here has been AMAZING. If you want, pop over to my family blog and you can read of some of our experiences there. i believe I have them labeled as Autism.
Also, there is a wonderful article in the Ensign just recently about autism.
Know that you have many people behind you, praying for you and that you are not alone. There is a great community of people out there that get it. And our Father in Heaven knows what you need.
Sending many hugs

Elisabeth said...

Just thought I'd leave a note to send love and prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

You know that you and Asher have always had our love and support, but I thought that I would chime in with a reminder: we're always here for you!

Mom C said...

Such a special couple you are, Mommy & Daddy, Daughter & Son-In-Law, Sister & Brother-in-law, soul mates. Your two boys are very lucky to have been blessed into your lives and you them. You are ALL very special and loved more than you can imagine. XOXOXO

Heidi Will said...

Wow, Jax, I had no idea. I can imagine that it's both relieving to understand what's going on but terrifying to know what a difficult journey is ahead. I love the Holland/Italy illustration. What a great way to look at it. I know how much you and Stuart love Asher; he is a blessed kiddo to have such great parents! Hang in there!!

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