There is a considerable amount of free-flowing information on the internet, in the papers and on the television regarding the spike in the rate of diagnosed cases of Autism.
An Autism diagnosis does change the entire landscape of the family. From my own personal experience, receiving the diagnoses for our eldest son approximately 15 years ago was nothing less than getting hit by a freight train. The freight train that hits you is travelling full speed, at night, in the dark and in total silence. We never saw it coming. Most parents, grandparents and caregivers in our generation never saw it coming. In our “day”, it was 1 in 10,000…..now; sadly 1 in 88 is the official number. Again, I reiterate, it has only been 15 years since our son’s diagnosis.
While the debate churns and turns even nastier regarding the cause of Autism, we do know deep in our heart what happened and how our son became so ill. We instinctively did what we felt we needed to do for our son to get him back to “well”. We will always be skeptical of all statements, studies, suppositions or rehash on the subject. However, regardless of how I feel and what I know, I am standing HERE, on this blog in neutrality – and choose to only educate those who read this simple blog, on my simple page about my complicated life with the same wry twist that has saved our sinking souls.
You see, we honor our sons, both the “astronaut” and his “heroic brother”. While we never saw the train coming, we did ultimately jump off the tracks in the attempt keep our sanity. It was necessary, but it was not easy, and the scars are still red welts, bleeding and miserable. We ultimately went off the grid, did the fringe therapies that were emerging science at the time, and have never second guessed ourselves then or now.
It really is surreal, sensing your son was mugged and robbed of his childhood on so many levels left sick, scared and seemingly left behind to ultimately be sent to a group home or institution when he turns 18.
Well, he’s 18 now. He’s healthier and stronger BECAUSE he’s had to prove himself every day since he was diagnosed. He now walks tall, he didn’t die, and he has transformed his life and ours – paving the way to excellence in his own way.
That little boy didn’t have much of an early childhood beyond therapies, medicines, treatments, procedures, surgeries and the like. But now, right now and into his future lays a bright and beautiful landscape. In our thoughts, those years should have been full of the wonders and delights kids experience when they are young and learning about the world. We feel the same type of years that were stripped from our son is now in front of us. So, we GET to flip forward and continue to parent our son after his majority year, does it really matter that much if we do? No, it doesn’t matter because he is now much healthier, engaged and driven to succeed. He is actually enjoying the idea of continuing his education in the subjects of his choosing….and thankfully; he’s letting us come along for the ride.
As the debates escalate, parties divide and research is conducted regarding the Autism debacle, feel free to visit here at Juggling the Astronaut. I will strive to offer up some humorous, side-ways stories, thoughts and ponderings. Even though I will never underestimate the healing ability of humor – I can’t promise to always be funny here every time, all the time……all I can do is try. ~ Wendy Frye
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~ Havelock Ellis