Today is the 2 year anniversary of Sahara’s formal diagnosis of Infantile Autism.
I thought about writing about the huge accomplishments we have seen in the past 24 months… and let there be no mistake they have been huge!! We have left Catatonia in the dust!! Her speech, socialization, cognition, sensory, and every other facet of her being has exploded into this wonderful expression of life!! I am so proud of all of her hard work.
…Yes, we have come a long way, but we have an even farther way to go.
I thought about writing about the blessings I have found in the world of Autism… and let there be no mistake there are huge blessings. I have made friendships and have encountered opportunities that would have otherwise failed to exist. Read my list of blessings HERE.
…Yes, blessings are always there.
I thought about writing about the spiritual side of Autism… and let there be no mistake my daughter is more connected to God than I could ever dream of. However, I have learned to trust God more and that He trusts me even more than that.
…Yes, God is good.
I thought about writing about the fears I have endured over the past year… and let there be no mistake there are fears that I face on a daily basis; elopement, wandering, sexual predators, IEPs, civil rights, bullying, harassment…
…Yes, there are dark corners in my life.
I thought about writing about the struggles her sister has faced… and let there be no mistake that she had to face more in her short lifetime than your typical tween. She has had part of her childhood ripped away by this invisible monster called Autism that consistently puts her on the back burner.
…Yes, siblings have it rough.
I thought about writing about the strain in our marriage… and let there be no mistake there has been strain. The piles of doctor bills that insurance refuses to cover, the reduction to one income, and the never ending discussions about the never ending issues that circle our life.
…Yes, communication is key.
I thought about writing how the diagnosing psychologist was wrong is her prognosis… and let there be no mistake she was wrong! My daughter is talking, socializing and living a fulfilling life. She will go to college, have a career, a family and any other thing she so chooses to do.
…Yes, possibilities are limitless.
And as I thought about all of the things I could write, I realized that the most important thing to say today was that I would like to introduce you my daughter, Sahara Grace.
Sahara is six years old and just started kindergarten. She likes her teacher, follows directions well and declares that she loves school each time she gets off of the yellow bus. Sahara is funny, witty and even sarcastic. She loves animals, bats, watermelon, Curious George and Mr. Bean. She enjoys riding her bike, swimming and playing hide-and-go-seek. She has self determination, a sense of adventure and the patience of a saint.
Sahara’s best friend is her eleven year old sister, Emily. Not only do they share the common bond of sisterhood, they also share the passion for horses, dinosaurs, water activities, chocolate, the outdoors and just about everything else they venture to do; in fact, they are almost inseparable. Daily my daughters inspire me to be a better mother and person!
I would like to conclude by saying that if you are a parent of a child that you think may be on the autism spectrum… you are not alone! Demand that someone listen to you about your concerns so that your child can start getting the services and care she/he needs. Then find a support group so you can get the care you need.
I have found that joining Twitter and Face Book to be one of the best things I could have done for ME. It was through a sense of community and knowledge that I was able to empower myself to stand up to the plate and become my daughter’s best advocate.
Read about the Signs and Symptoms of Autism HERE