When my oldest son Franklin was diagnosed with Autism a little over 2 years ago, it felt for a few weeks (probably still does) that I was kicked in the gut and the wind was knocked out of me and my husband. You get your bearings back and start to plow through the fields of minutia that are required to advocate for your child.
Our family is considered an "at risk" family for Autism so my youngest son started his evaluations at about a year old. When he was not talking and babbling regularly at 18 months therapy was ordered for him just like it was for Franklin when he was 2 years old. Jackson the youngest has been get 12 hours a week of ABA therapy and speech and has made some improvements but not quite the strides we all would have liked. So after a 3 month wait for an appointment at the pediatric neurologist Jackson received a diagnosis for Autism as well. WHAT THE FUCK!!!!
I realize the diagnosis helps my kids get much needed school services and additional therapies that will do nothing but help them. That stuff I am grateful for and am glad the services are available. But my mind goes to the bigger picture and I look at their lives long term and how hard they are going to have it growing up, and frankly it pisses me off.
I went through the I must be a shitty mom because I obviously am not teaching them something as infants that they need and blah blah blah bullshit. I had a friend of mine tell me once when Jackson was getting speech therapy, why don't you just talk to him, it can't be that hard to get them to talk to you. I wanted to die, but ignorance is bliss and she lives a very blissful life.
These are not the dreams I had for my kids, this isn't the life I wanted for them, I will fight, and advocate, and cuss, and cry and laugh and be amazed at the strides they make everyday. And sometimes I won't want to hear about how your kids are doing and about soccer, and baseball and birthday parties and vacations. Those are things that are so challenging for children with Autism and I'm aggravated and I feel my kids are cheated. But I will work and make sure that these kids have the best life that is possible for them.
I will get back on the road running tomorrow morning, getting ready for more races, the running clears my head, I can cry in peace, and even if I have a crappy run I still feel good at about when I'm done. My boys need to see a happy mom and I need to get my sweat on regularly to keep my attitude and actions healthy. So today no more crying, no more whining, no more margaritas, no more junk food, and I'm getting that sweat on no matter what. The other options do not help the kids at all. So for the kids I will run and work and eat right and advocate, and help them be the most productive people they are able to be. I am now a Real Mom of 2 boys with Autism, and we're running with it.