Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcome to my Adventures in Autism

When you are little, and you think about what your life will be like, there are just some things you would never plan for.  Little girls might dream about their wedding, maybe a glamourous job as an actress, maybe being a doctor or a lawyer or a writer.  Little boys may dream of being a superhero, or a football player, a cowboy or a policeman.  Later on, when they get a bit older, they may start to plan on houses and real jobs and raising a family.  But sometimes life takes a funny twist.  For some it may be a death in the family.  For some, children aren't possible for one reason or another.  There are many life-changing events and "plan-changing" events that can stop everything in it's tracks.  For me, it was Autism.

I was home one day with my 3 daughters, watching my middle girl interact with her teacher that the school district had sent over.  She had not started talking by age 2, and after rounds of testing, was receiving play therapy weekly.  We didn't know specifically what was "wrong" with her, until that cold day in February, when the teacher spoke the word for the first time.  "I think Katie has autism".  Game over, plans over, normal life over.  Just like that.  What followed next was a whirlwind nightmare of doctors and therapists and testing and fear and uncertainty.  She was only 2 years old, had a 4 year old sister and a newborn sister.  This wasn't in the plan.  I had plans for double prom dates and sleepovers and fighting over Barbie dolls and boyfriends.  I didn't plan for EEG's and medication and diagnoses that I didn't understand.  I didn't plan for the silence that was coming from my Katie.  She didn't look up when I called her name.  She didn't play with her sisters or cousins.  My husband and I were quickly indocternated into a whole new world.  Along the way, we drew on the strength of our faith, our families, and our friends.  And we learned to hold on tight, because the Adventures in Autism can be a bumpy ride.

1 comment: