As April (Autism Awareness Month) comes to an end, I cannot help but sit and reflect on how much I have learned since my son's diagnosis. As I mentioned in previous posts, I had planned on writing much more on the topic this month, but since we have been visiting family all month, I haven't found the time, but really I think we need to be aware every day, not just through the month of April, so today I give you the first of potentially several posts on what Autism has taught me. The first, and perhaps one of the most important: count your blessings.
Oftentimes, I find myself watching my little man with his trains, or spelling words, etc and I can't help but wonder how I was so lucky to be blessed with such an amazing child. Perhaps that sounds strange to some...a child with autism a blessing? Of course, no parent ever wants to hear those words. "Your child has Autism." But looking back, it is amazing he is even here. With the health issues I was going through at his conception, many would think it would never happen. I have shared several times I am sure, that when I found out that baby Shaun was on the way, in the same breath, the doctor told us they were fairly sure it was an ectopic pregnancy and he would not be born. We mourned for him before we even knew him. I thank God that he proved those doctors wrong. Just a little over halfway through my pregnancy, I started having preterm labor symptoms, that continued through the end...but he made his appearance at 38 weeks, full term. He gave us many scares before he even made his arrival, to say the least. But he is here, and he is healthy. How can I not consider myself blessed?
I get to hear Shaun call me mommy daily. It was a learning process to get there, he was probably at least 2.5 years old, but he got it and it is the most wonderful sound. I am sure many reading this don't see this as such a big deal, it's something many take for granted. But there are still many out there that might never hear their child call them mommy, or say 'I love you' or even just speak in general. Oh yes, I am extremely blessed.
He has such an amazing mind and is truly soooo smart. I am in awe of how his little mind works. He has his struggles and of course is behind his peers in many ways, but in so many ways, he is my little genius. I could sit here and dwell on his shortcomings, but that would accomplish nothing. Instead I choose to work on them in the best ways we can, but also celebrate his triumphs, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. As I have stated many times before, he is an amazing boy and I know that God has an amazing plan for him and I could not be more blessed to have been chosen to be his mommy.