Thursday, March 31, 2016
-Today Nathan was sent home from school for having an hour long meltdown because he wanted to sit on a blue square but they were all taken by his classmates.....This is Autism.
-Today Nathan is wearing his PJ pants rolled up as far as they will go so it looks like he is wearing a minion diaper because he doesn't want them below his knees yet he refuses to wear shorts.....This is Autism.
-Today Nathan has watched the same Daniel Tiger YouTube video while sitting in the living room for the past hour. When I walked through the tv room and turned off the tv because he wasn't in that room anymore, he screamed at me because he was watching it.....apparently he can watch tv through a wall....This is Autism.
-Today Nathan is overtired because he was awake until after 11pm last night because he "Couldn't get to rest" and then he was up another 3 times throughout the night for the same reason. When Nate is awake, Mom is awake.....This is Autism.
-Today Nathan's school had Pajama Day. He chose to wear a minion shirt, minion pants and minion shoes. He argued with me for 10 mins because he didn's have minion socks and minion underwear to wear with it. Looks like this weekend he is getting new minion socks and underwear to prevent this from happening in the future...even though next week there is always that chance that he will no longer like minions...because that is how he rolls.....This is Autism.
-Today Nathan sang The White Shoes song from Pete the Cat word for word without missing a beat and named every Thomas train character made....but he couldn't tell me what he ate for lunch....This is Autism.
-Today I have asked Nathan to please mind my personal space and stop touching me at least 150 times since I have been home from work. He must not have heard me because I can currently feel his breath on my face as he is trying to talk to me....Bro - step back a little please! This is Autism.
All in all it has been a pretty normal evening at The Hightree House. This only saving grace I have right now is that it is bedtime....only I'm sure Nathan will be down stairs in T-minus 15 minutes complaining that he "can't get to rest".....
This is Autism my friends.
And this is our life.
Until Next Time....
Sunday, March 20, 2016
8 years ago I gave birth to my beautiful, funny, talented, sassy daughter Cadence. Leif and I tried for 18 months before we were blessed with her and she has been the light of my life since the minute I found out I was pregnant. Cadence is my best friend. Cadence is a carbon copy of me. Cadence is one of my favorite people and the one that can frustrate me the most because we are the same person. Cadence is my 'typical' child who has an autistic brother.
I feel like I have failed her.
Since the day she was born she has been my life. Every ounce of my energy has been spent making sure she lives a full and happy life and that she never needs anything because Leif and I have always provided her with everything. She was an only for 3 years before her brother was born. When her brother was born I wanted to make sure she knew she was important and loved and equal to the new baby who was taking up more of my time.
And then Nathan was diagnosed with Autism.
He required more of my time and energy. He required special circumstances to the normal rules and routines she was accustomed too. He required more of me. So where does that leave her?
Has Cadence now been permanently put on the sideline while her is brother on the field? Have I failed to give her an equal amount of me that I give Nathan? How do I juggle a typical child and a non-typical child equally? Is it even possible?
I feel like I have failed Cadence because once I am finished giving Nathan everything that he needs there is often not much left to give to her. I take advantage of the fact that she is 8 years old and capable of doing many things for herself and is pretty independent but at the same time I forget that she is only 8 years old and still a child and she still needs her mom.
She is often the one who has to make sacrifices and I fear that in the future she is going to resent me and her brother because her life is different because she is the older sister of a special needs sibling. I think when we hear about a special needs person we automatically think about the person dealing with the issue and then we think about the parents caring for the child but we seldom think about the siblings who are directly affected by it as well.
How do we as parents care and nurture them and make sure they know that they are equally special and important and loved and cared for? Where does the energy come from once I have used it all up caring for Nathan? How do I make sure she knows I am always here for her no matter how neglected she feels?
This process and life change is the most difficult thing I have ever experienced and I am learning everyday. It is a trial and error and I will fail and then I will succeed and then I will probably fail again.
I want to end this post by telling Cadence that I am sorry that I have failed her. I am going to make it a priority to remind myself that you still need me and that I still need you and I pray that there will never come a time where you sit back and think about how you wish your mother had been there for you more. I hope that you always know how sorry I am for not being able to give you 100% but know that everyday I am trying and that's really all I can do at this point.
I am sorry, I love you and I promise to listen next time you want to tell me something even if it is not the most convenient time. :-)
Until next time....