Mommys boys

Mommys boys

Saturday, January 9, 2016

When God made you...

When God made you.... 

You were inside of mommy for 10 months.... 
But before mommy and daddy even thought of you.... 

God knew what he was doing, and who he was making.

God formed you inside of mommy.

 Buggy he gave you a ring of dark brown hair around your head, you looked like a baby monk. He gave you Mommy's nose and daddy's smile. You got mommy's ears, and daddys eyes. As you grew up your hair turned blonde then back to brown. You always had so much joy. You were different, but to us you're just  our baby. 

K he gave you a head full of beautiful red hair. He gave you the most beautiful blue eyes, just like your daddy. You too got mommy's nose and daddy's smile. Your head turned blonde, just like your daddy's used to be. You have this spirit this silly ornery little spirit. You too were different, but you're just mommy and daddy baby. Our youngest. Our little baby. 

God formed you inside of mommy and he knew. He knew you, buggy, would not talk till after your third birthday. He knew your first word would be "7". He knew you would like dinosaurs. He knew you would change our world. With your little smile, and your playful ways. He knew there would be moments that would break our hearts, but he knew your smile would fix that. Sweet baby K, he knew you too. He knew you wouldn't crawl till after your first birthday. He knew when you did would be the first time you would babble "mama" so small, sweet, innocent and excited.  He knew you would complete our little family. That you would have so much personality. Particular, hardheaded and sweet, just so sweet. Your sweetness  would light up our lives.

God made you so special. God made both so beautiful, so pure, and so very kind. You have these big personalities. These big beautiful sweet nice amazing personalities. 

God planned every little thing about you. God made you focused, kind, crazy, loud, trying at times but so amazing. 

God knew... God planned it all. 

God made you autistic. 

Mommy doesn't ask God why.Mommy doesn't   need to. Mommy knows why. You needed to be autistic to be who he made you to be. To make the impact you were meant to make. To change mommy's goals, mommy's plans. To make daddy come out of his shell. To show us all a beautiful world of breakthroughs, miracles, a world that reminds us every day God is very much real. And miracles still happen. 

The miracle of a first word we never thought we would hear, of first steps, of first taste of broccoli, without throwing up  of course, the miracle of co-play, of first letters and recognizing emotions. The miracle, the beauty, the rollercoaster of the wonderful world of Autism. 

God made you autistic. You made me different, because now I know what the world of autism is. I now know how beautiful this world is and I can now be a part of it, i can help other kiddos just like you. You made me different, better, and now its just my job to help to make you good men. 

And that job, my boys, is an honor.

God formed you, and I get to teach you.

I am so glad God made you. Beautiful, fun, silly, flamboyant, fun, amazing... Autistic and perfectly... You. 




Saturday, January 2, 2016

Today I mourn; a call for change

Two years ago my eldest was diagnosed with autism. When that happened a dear friend of mine said to me "You mourn the child you thought you were going to have, Joanna, so you can embrace the child you were given." I would like to say I have done that. When buggy(my eldest) was diagnosed I was a flood of tears. I was terrified. When K(my baby) was diagnosed a year and a half later, well, I was a rock. Unshaken. Undeterred. Unafraid. My family has grown to embrace autism. We see all the beauty it entails. Don't think we are ignorant. We are not. We see and feel the struggles like every other autism family, we just choose to focus on the joy. We value their out of the box play(now that they actually play), we celebrate every milestone. We hold them to high standards we would have held them to had they been neurotypical. Manners are a battle but we are working hard on them. We are working on responsibility, so they have chorws. We are working on sharing. We are working on co-play vs. parallel play. We have never given our children the idea that there is any reason they should be favored, should be danced around, or should not be held to the same standards as everyone else. I have to say my children are fantastic. They are loving, silly, fun, flamboyant and ostentatious and... they are autistic.
But today, today is hard. Today I mourn. Today I mourn, because I am terrified for their future. Will they mainstream? Will they know love? Will they know friendship? Will the world take its head out of its rear, ignore its impossible standards and accept my children? It scares me to death. I love my children. But today I mourn, because my eldest (who knows he is autistic and will tell me he has awesome) asked me if his friends (who went on a vacation over Christmas break), left because of his awesome. "A & E bye bye cuz no like my awesome?" he asked. And no. Of course they didn't. His friends love him. He is blessed with some of the best friends. I am blessed to be friends with their mothers. But something was there to make him think that. It wasn't me. It wasn't my husband, or my friends. Like i said we have never given my children the ideas that they cannot do anything they want to. So what told my sweet 5 year old little boy that his "awesome" made him not good enough. What told him that he was not worthy of friendship. Please, someone tell me what told my kid that and how I can completely remove that from his life.... oh wait... it was the world. The world he and his brother are going to have to grow up in. Today I mourn. Today I am terrified for their future, for the future of all kids with Autism. With disabilities. Today I mourn for my children, and for my students(I am a paraprofessional in an autism specific classroom). I wonder if the world will see past the echolalia, the stemming, the need for sensory breaks, the need for routine and occasional hard time expressing emotion. I wonder if this world will grow to accept my buggy, my k, and everyone of my students. You see, I know, and you know if you have ever had a chance to love someone with autism, they are not a burden, they are a blessing. So someone please, speak out. So no one else's child has to assume that they are not worth friendship. Every single person was put on this earth with a purpose. Despite what disability they may have, or maybe because of their disability. They have something to give, they have an inherit value. And if we are to blind to see this the world will just keep getting darker. Shine for individuality, embrace and accept those with disability. Be someones friend. In 2016 make your mark on the world by making a mark on a life. Let them change you. Let them in. It will be worth it. You will be more for having done this, and the life you change with your love acceptance and friendship will not be the only life that will have been both changed for the better, but also changed for good. Today, I, a mom of 2 sweet boys, who are only 5 & 3 has to mourn, but together we can change that tomorrow. We can love, blindly, openly, and unconditionally. We can send the message that its ok to be different. That different is breathtakingly beautiful. Will you?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I am a warrior mom

I am a warrior. But what i fight is not my kids "disabilities" You see I believe that my children, my sweet boys, were made exactly how God wanted them. Even amoungst some family this isn't a popular belief, because hands down, I would not change them if I could. My sons are not a disabilities. They are not defective. They are not off, wrong, or inadequate. They are simply different Their autism isn't ugly. Their autism isn't judgemental. Their autism isn't offensive. And neither are other disabilities. This is not the war I am fighting. I am a warrior. I am a warrior, and I know my ally. My sons, autism and all are my allies. We are in this battle together. What are we fighting? We are fighting for full equality and necessary accommodation in education. We are fighting for education for our law enforcers and social workers. We are fighting for them to maintain the right to stem in public without judgement. We are fighting for ACCEPTANCE. And while most of the above people, professionals especially, will say they agree with these causes and want to see them met, they will also tell you there are always areas for improvement. I am a warrior. I battle for the child who I carried in my womb. The child I birthed, fed, sang to, stayed up days in a row with. The child I coax out of meltdowns, the child I snuggle when scared. I fight for my child. My child who has the same rights as every other child. I am not saying the world if asked "should disabled kids have the right to a equal education with accommodation" would say no. I am saying they don't ask how we can achieve a better system. What i can tell you is if we found and achieved a better system for those with disabilities all our children would be the better for it. We hide away kids with disabilities, not because we are saying they should be hidden, but because we say there is a standard for normal and we need to reach as high as we can to affect it. We don't want the Autistic kids flapping to distract the child to either side of them. But kids adjust. They can and will get used to it. It can and will become second nature to ignore it. When they do something amazing happens. You see they are becoming accepting individuals. Seeing their classmate not for their disability but for their mind and heart. Now I know kids can be shallow and they can be mean. Bullying for any reason cannot be tolerated. All life styles, belief systems, races and mental abilities must be respected. We should do all we can to encourage good character in the classroom. Character traits like: Adaption Flexibility Kindness Goodness Charity Love Acceptance Joy Friendship Openmindedness and so on. That should be the call of educators. All educators. Principles, department heads, teachers, subs, and so on all the way down to the paraprofessionals like me. In accepting and teaching our children of disabilities we are effectively killing two birds with one stone. See our future social workers, police officers, teachers, politicians and other prominent members of the community are in high school right now. If we could teach about others of all type of disabilities, of what they face, if we could encourage empathy and acceptance in our youth for such people, how much more respect would they have for their common man. For those who face big battles. And how much more empathy would there be when the "normal" people in their lives face hardships? There is no negative that cannot be over come by merging our student population with the population of disabled students. And me? This warrior mom? That's the war I am fighting for. The war for a better world for my children. The war for a better world for yours. Teaching character can and will change our world So where do we start? How about a mandatory semester paired with someone facing a disability for one class. For art, pe, or other non core classes you could choose from. Our children could learn from each other. Mine from yours, and yes yours from mine, disability and all. Extra curricular clubs with pairings like this would be amazing too. If a child cannot be put in a mainstreamed classroom we could bring main-stream children to them. Units studying different disabilities in depth and what these kids face, and how their lives still matter and they still make viable friends is another one. Now I am just listing ideas off the top of my head. Our education system has come so far, and I am proud to work for a school that really works at equality. But with how far we have come we still have further we could go. I am a warrior mom, And maybe its time for more of us to fight.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dear future daughters-in-love

II don't know who you are. 
I don't know what you believe.
I don't know where you are from.
I don't know you. 

But I know your future spouse:
That's my baby boy. 
You will one day marry either my sweet buggy (Jairmie) who is focused, funny, and friendly or my baby K (Kaiden) who is tempermental, thoughtful and tender.

You will be my daughter-in-love. 
You will be the one who my son chooses, and who chooses him. 


I want to thank you now for loving him one day. My boys have overcome a lot in their short lives. They have endured therapists, doctors, and high expectations to ensure they are the best they can be while still keeping who they are intact. Autism and all. 

You should know I litterally know nothing about you. Jairmie is 4, his world right now revolves around dinosaurs, order,  and chocolate. Kaiden is 2(almost 3) and his world is a whirlwind of trucks, grapes(his favorite food), and just not understanding why there are rules. 

But one day it will revolve around you and The Lord, I pray. 

I know some of what you will see in my boys though, because they are a lot like their daddy. Especially kaiden :) 

I know that there will be a day where your future husband will ignore your need for his interest. 

I know that your husband will sometimes get so wrapped up in life he forgets to say I love you when he hangs up the phone.

I know there will be days when it feels like he doesn't understand. Or even doesn't care.

But I know he will love you. You will take my place in his life. You will be his greatest support system, the sholder he cries on, and he will be yours. You willknow  and respect when he needs you, and when he needs space. 
My boy, who you love with all your heart, will always be my baby. 

He will be silly. Both my boys like to giggle and have fun. 

He will be loving. Both my boys love cuddle time. 

He will be cautious: encourage him to step out of his comfort zone. 

He will be kind, but in a different way. Jairmie and Kaiden are giving loving people. But sometimes they show love in weird way sometimes. They show love by random little acts. Sometimes they can't get te words out. Autism is part of them. It is likely they will not always be able to access their words te way they want. Be patient, because what they have to say will make you happy 

Please remember he will always be my baby. The baby I never knew I would have. I will do everything I can to teach him how to love a woman. How to treat her. How to respect her. I will give it everything i have. 

I will teach him to show honor and love for God by the way he loves and honors his family. 

I am asking you, my sweet daughter in love, to love my boy, with all your heart. 

I am asking him to love you the same way. 

I am asking you not to hate me. I want to be your friend. 

I am begging you to not be angry at ther differences but embrace them. 

I don't know where they will be when you meet them. I know right now I am trying so hard to help them catch up. I am working daily with them to learn to read others emotions and respect them, while still respecting their own. I hope I succeed. I hope they succeed 

Don't be mad when he can't tell you why you are upset: explain it. He is like his mommy. It's hard to understand what each different negitive emotion in each person looks like, and how to help. 
He will touch your soul, you will touch his.

I hope they love you, beautiful soul, how you deserve to be loved. 

Thank you for loving my boy. 

Forgive him when he screws up. He will. 

I pray I don't mess up raising him. I'm really trying. 

You can come to talk to me, daughter -in-love. I will listen. 

You may worry I'll just take his side cuz he is my son, but if you are the one I have prayed God will give him, the till
Death do us part kinda love, then you will be what's best for him. You can come to me, my goal will be to support your marriage, your love, your similarities and differences while being a loving ear. 

Thank you, so very much. 

Thank you for loving my boys, just as they are.

Tonight I pray for you. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Something to consider.

I have anxiety and depression.
I have special needs children.

As you can tell these two things correlate.

However if you remember your years in school correlation does not necessarily equal causation. For example, just because I have two children with disabilities doesn't mean they have to have caused my depression and anxiety.

In fact, they are not the cause. 

I have had depression anxiety since I was little. I experienced abuse, neglect, and emotional turmoil. Yeah I know boo-hoo, poor me, someone cry me a river. Okay now that that's over back to our subject matter. 

My children did not cause my anxiety and depression. In fact, they are the only thing that brings me joy when I am in a deep depressive state. Somehow though every single doctor I see seems to believe the reason why I'm depressed like solely due to the fact that I have two children with disabilities. They also seem to believe that all of my anxiety have to do with my children's future. Do not get me wrong like every other parent I worry about my childrens future. Will they have friends, will they be happy, will they find love?

Why is it that every doctor I have ever seen, since my children started showing delays, link the anxiety and depression I experience back to their delays?

Stigma.
STIGMA.


Yes there are parents of children with disabilities who did not prior to the diagnosis of their child have depression or anxiety. I'm not disputing this fact. However what is to say that these parents are depressed because of the children's disabilities? What to say they would not have been equally depressed and overwhelmed therefore anxious by a neurotypical or normal child. 

In this case is correlation truly equal causation? I would argue no, unless you are speaking in the realm of specific cases.

Why do I say this? Because majority of Americans at some point in their life will experience depression.  Depression and anxiety are both normal reaction and to some point adaptive behaviors.

We are a social species and in such we form bonds when these bonds are challenged our view on the world is in fact challenged.  
We are being affected by the views of others. 
We are being impacted by stigma. 

In short, we care about what people think. This is a natural reaction for humans. Somebody who doesn't have the background I may not experience anxiety the way I do. To an extent though we are all affected by the anxiety of what will people think of us and as an extension of ourselves: our offspring. When people disapprove of our children it hurts because we love them so fervently. This pain can blossom into depression. The isolation society puts on parents and those who have disabilities is undeniable. If we go back to our previous thought correlation does not always equal causation.

Our children are not the cause of depression and anxiety in parents special-needs children, in my humble opinion.  Now I don't have a degree in psychology but bear with me. 

Let's break this down to a basic example of where correlation does not equal causation. 
*disclaimer: I know many face medical problems that cause their obesity. It is important to recognize this while realizing most obesity is caused from poor eating habits. Btw I am fat. An American size 22. 

Obese people use spoons to eat. However not everyone who uses spoons to eat it will be obese. Why?  The answer is obvious.  Spoons don't cause people to be fat. 
What causes people to be fat? Well obviously what comes with the spoon I.e. the over abundance of sugary food. 

Examples like this are very basic but hold true for the issue at hand. The disabled child is not the cause of depression. In fact, most parents of children with disabilities will tell you their child is the light of their life.
What caused the depression is their predisposition to depression and anxiety(if applicable), the paperwork, the doctors appointments, poor support systems, ignoranance surrounding disability, lack of sleep, Ect. 
Still we hear doctors say things as ignorant as "I would be depressed too if my child were disabled". 
As parents of children with disabilities we recognize this is an effort to be sympathetic to our life and the trials that we face. However, with a little more understanding of disabilities, and better support for those facing disabilities and their families we could potentially lower the rate of depression and anxiety famililies of those with  disabilities. 

It's scary not knowing if the world will support your child as they grow older.
It's scary not knowing if you or your child will be rejected solely due to the developmental or physical state that your child is in.

I speak mostly for me as a mother. However I feel certain many will agree, our children are not burdens. Our children are our joy. The burden lays in pleasing society and reaching their goal of what a perfect family should be. We are not allowed to fall short without serious speculation on whether or not we are fit parents for children.  We are warriors in our own right. For we don't face the battlefield equipment gun and a chance of our death we face the battlefield equipped with knowledge that we know people will not readily accept.

They are not the same no but they are equally real.

I am not depressed because of my children and as a mother of two differently-abled children I would ask Doctors and professional to consider the fact that perhaps my children are my joy and not my sorrow because different is not less, simply different and that is kind of beautiful.

You may ask why this matters. Either way parents of disabled children may experience more then their fair share of depression. 

I assure you it matters. As A relatively normal person I can tell you that I would not want to be considered the cause of someone else's pain. Especially someone I love. People facing disabilities have a hard enough life without the burden of our blame placed on them. 

It is not my child fault I depression.

And it's not your child either. It's just a fact of life and perhaps time we realize that we cannot truly blame other people for how we ourselves feel. They inform it, they affected, but they do not cause it. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To my boys


My sweet boys: it doesn't matter. 

It doesn't matter. 
It doesn't matter one little bit. 
But you do. 

You are different. You love to spin, and bang your heads on the walls. You are behind in your language development. You are not normal.

But coming from me you were never going to be. Momma is a weirdo, a misfit: a writer. Momma has always been better articulated on paper then in person. Momma has a hard time telling between angry/sad, happy/content. Momma is loud. Momma is anxious.

Momma might be autistic. It doesn't matter. 

Because momma, just like you, tries. 

It doesn't matter:
What people say
What people think
What people do

What matters is what you do. 

You have a disability. 
It doesn't matter. 

Because  everything that delays you, slows you, makes you feel different, or frustrates you, is not everything that makes you. 

What makes you is:
Your determination: to both successfully break rules and to over come other obstacles
Your joy: in every dark cloud you see a silver lining. 
Your love: no two brothers could love eachother  quite as much as you do. 
Your strength: You have lived through more then many children ever will. You have fought a big battle and won so many Victories!   
Your optimism: no matter what you face you are always happy. Always thankful. Just like Momma when something goes wrong you simply say "I'm blessed" and move forward 
Your smart: you can break into any lock.

Bug: at four you can already add and spell basic words. 

K: you know your alphabet, you numbers and lots of animals... And your only 2!!!


You both have overcome and over achieved in so many places

That's only part of who you are!

You also have autism, incredible attention to detail, a brilliant mind and endless potential.

You have autism. This doesn't mean you have no hope. Infact that is so far from the truth. You can do anything. You don't have to be rich to be successful. Money's nice but being able to wake up daily and do what you enjoy is nicer. To have family and friends.

I guess what I want to tell you is your gonna hear a lot of can'ts, won'ts, and nevers! 

Don't listen to a single one of them. 

Not one. 

Because as cliché as it sounds you can be anything. I believe this with every fiber of my being. You are miracles. You have already surpassed every doctors limits they have set for you. 

You're an ispiration. You're a miracle. You are my pride and joy. 

My two sweet boys, don't let others direct your destiny, you won't like where you end up, cuz it won't feel like home. 

Own your future, because it's truely yours. 

And the critics? Forget them. 

Because seriously what matters is you are doing the best you can at being the best you can be. What more can anyone ask! 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Let's stop scaring parents

This week my youngest, sweet lil Kaiden Wyatt was diagnosed with autism. 

On my blog to him you can find my thoughts I wanted to express to him. 

But here is what I want to say to the world. 

STOP TERRIFYING PARENTS!!!

Autism. 
The word strikes fear in the heart of parents. But bear with me if you will. 

Imagine you go into an office concerned about your child. He/she seems a little different from other children. After 3 hours, the doctor comes back with a sorrowful look on their face and says:

Miss/Mister (your last name), I have some unfortunate news for you. Your child has been diagnosed with 
Add any of the below:
Being different
Creativity 
Uniqueness
Stubbornness
Focus
Energy
Imagination 
Organization 
Logic
Practicality 
Honesty 
Strangeness
Abnormality 
Resourcefulness 


Now what do you think? Because every one describes people on the autism spectrum all over the world. 

Not to belittle the struggles autistics face living in a neurotypical world but they can live happy lives. They can live productive lives. Autistics have friendships, degrees, jobs, spouses, sex, and children. 

This isn't my first rodeo. 1 1/2 years ago my sweet Jairmie William was diagnosed. 

And they terrified me. They made me think my child would have no future. 

JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING ISNT TYPICAL DOESNT MEAN ITS NOT VALUABLE!!!

Please my friends and readers share this. Because there is something you must learn this autism awareness month:

Autism isn't a sentence to a bad life, it's a different path to a good one.

Every single autistic adult I have ever talked to will tell you they wouldn't change anything about who they are. 

They don't want a cure. They don't want to be fixed. They are fine. There are hard things in their life but every diamond is formed under pressure. 

This is what you can expect of your child! 

Let's give autistic children and adults support to be the best they can be. To reach their full potential, as aided by their autism.

Let's accommodate sensory needs, support development and be cheerleaders.

Maybe their life will be completely conventional "normal" as we like to call it, with just a few quirks. 
Maybe they will have to have help caring for themselves. 
But I gaurentee that autism will not limit the most important things life holds
Love
True Friendship
Memory
Faith.

An really, what else is there.

So what if it's not normal? When did normal become a goal? Have we started asking our children to be average? What ever happened to unique, extraordinary, and amazing. Why would we ever want our children to fit in some mold when if they break the mold we can see what a beautiful creation they were made to be?

Autism is always seen as a negative 

But look into history. What amazing famous people who changed the world, would today have been diagnosed with autism? 

Don't let them tell you what your child can do. Because nothing is more heart breaking for a child when you believe more in a stranger then you do in them. 

Please, this autism acceptance month of April, try to see the beauty in autism. 

Let's stop scaring parents. Sure let us know there is a rough road ahead, but tell us there is hope. Tell us how to support our child and keep them safe. Don't just leave us floundering in terror. Tell us of successful autistics. Tell us of the success story you know. Stop saying "autism" the same way people say "cancer" or any number of things that are actualy deadly. 

Autism isn't a disease or sickness, so stop treating it like such.

Stop making us terrified, and start actually educating us. On what autism is for the adults living with it, on both sides of the spectrum 

And parents, don't worry, your not alone. Look in the eyes of your child, because I know when I do I'm reminded Autism is beautiful