This Little Thing Called HOPE
If you have a child with special needs or specifically autism, I want you to listen…… Throughout your child’s life you are going to be told often, “he will never…..” “She isn’t capable” or “because of the autism don’t expect”. You will hear it from doctors, teachers, therapists, friends and even family. But they don’t know everything!! With hard work and lots of prayer your child can do things no one ever imagined….. Even you…..
Will Shinn is a testimony of that! We are often in situations that are uncomfortable for him. Places we cant avoid at ALL times….. Sometimes it feels the only place we find refuge is in our own home…. At other times it can feel like a prison, for us as parents, our child with autism and our other children. But all in all, we have found a way to survive some days, and others we thrive….. But the one thing we have learned on this journey is that their is always HOPE…. IF you give up on your child with autism, you give up on you, and your family…. But with HOPE…. all things are possible…. It may not be the way you thought, or imagined, or dreamed or planned….. but it can happen….. It seems like over time, your dreams change to new dreams, your thoughts turn to new thoughts and your plans…. well you just become better “planned”…… I say this as a mother of a 14 year old. A 14 year old by all accounts looks like a man at 5’8 1/2 and 198 pounds….. who is considered nonverbal….. a 14 year old we were told would be in an institution by the time he was 12, would never speak, and never survive in public school….. But as many of you know… We continued to have hope, we didn’t give up, and we kept taking steps…. Sometimes forward, sometimes back and a lot of times we didn’t go anywhere we just seemed to be walking in the same spot…… Just goes to show that you cant put limits on your kids… and that often times, HOPE can outshine, out do, and out lasts what the “professionals’s” say…..
I know how hard it is when they are younger….. The days last forever and the nights don’t include sleep. The screaming is constant and its a battle in every direction. I know…. Ive been where you are. Ive fought the dr’s, the therapist, the schools, and the crazy lady at the restaurant. I too have been so embarrassed I wanted to walk away and pretend I didn’t know him… You know the times…. when they are screaming in the middle of the store over something stupid like a hanger….. or the time at church when he screamed out “EAT” during one of the very few times it was quite in the Pentecostal service. Or how about the numerous times he got naked it public as if our family was lifetime members of the nudist colony…. Or my personal favorite, his casual peeing out the door in the line of McDonald’s…. (For more funny stories check out the previous posts)
So see, I have been there….. Ive done it all (i am certain there is more to come) and most of it I have done with a magnet on the side of my car claiming the professional of an Autism Specialist…. So despite the funny stories and the struggles we have had so many success’. Just recently Will received the language award for his class. YES, you read that correctly… the LANGUAGE award….. Who ever thought the kid who the “professionals” said would never utter a word could be capable of something so great….. We did, because we had HOPE….
If you are just beginning this journey in life called autism, I want to encourage you…. If you are walking a journey with a child of a different disability, I share in your pain, I understand….. If you feel isolated and alone, I know what it is like….. But you are NOT ALONE….. IF you are walking a path perhaps unknown to others, don’t keep it to yourself… There are others who maybe suffering there with you…. Take HOPE, and hold on to it….. One never knows what one little ounce of HOPE can do…. Sometimes that is all it takes……
Just don’t give up! God allowed your child to be the way they are. God created them in his image and they are beautiful! Its our job to show the world the beauty in our children that God sees!!!!!
Blessings your way…..