Thursday, April 3, 2008

Beautiful Autism... (oh and I'm sick)

"I am beautiful... I am me " -My wonderful beautiful girl with Autism

I've been away... many life changes...and tons to tell you, but FIRST and foremost I want to say thank you to all the amazing people who sent me messages about Autism Awareness Month. It's actually Autism awareness EVERYDAY in our lives!! But I am so glad that the world is paying more attention to it and I have to take a post to write about it before addressing any of the amazing things happening with me.

First of all, my beautiful daughter Kennedy is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was young when I got pregnant and pretty unprepared for a child. I was a hippie, fly-by-the-seat of your skirt kinda gyrl. When my daughter was 2 years old I originally diagnosed her myself with Autism and took her to a pediatric neurologist for confirmation. I remember feeling like the wind was knocked out of me. I stayed up day and night surfing the net for answering...answering I never got. I heard first accounts from mothers of how they put their children institutions and "gave" them away b/c Autism was too much to bear. I have even initially thought about how cancer would have been easier to deal with than Autism.

All of my thoughts have since changed. YES I mourned the loss of my daughter... and I did lose her. I lost her to the world of Autism, but through intensive floor time with her, I have gotten her back...except now I live in the world of Autism WITH her. I don't fight her autistic behaviours, I let her be herself. If she needs to yell "super super guppie" to the top of her lungs in the grocery store... I LET HER and I even join in. When she toe walks and flaps her arms in excitement, I join her and laugh the day away. She has been speaking spontaneously for a year this July...she'll be four. People (children mainly) call her retarded or make fun of her or bully her, and it makes my heart sad. Not especially sad for her, but for the world we live in where children aren't accepting and nice of others different from them.

I am getting a tshirt that says, "My daughter has Autism, what the HELL is your child's problem" b/c believe it or not, my autistic princess is NOT the loudest child in the store... NOT the child who can't follow directions. She knows her numbers to 20, to 10 in Spanish, ALL of her ABCs, ALL of her phonics, she recognizes her name on paper, rides horses, plays the piano, plays the guitar, harmonica, paints, draws and has a great sense of humor. She puts on circus shows for her dad and I and is an all around super happy, super hilarious child.

So NO I didn't think I signed on for raising a daughter with a lifelong disability, nor did I think my world would be turned upside down has it has been, but nevertheless, I am SO grateful for Autism. For all the many wonderful lessons that it has taught me about and trust. I am forever changed and grateful for it. I will cherish every moment with her and I am SO PROUD as a mommie when I ask her, "Kennedy do you have Autism?" And she says, "Yes I love Autism".

So this month...take time to learn about this neurological disability that is affecting our children and remember they are not non-persons. They are not in a race to compete with neurotypical kids... they are them...they are unique... they are special... they are autistic and THAT'S ALRIGHT WITH ME!!!!

Oh yea,.... I am so ill right now. Cold/Flu like symptoms. I am letting go of a ton of stuff and it brought a zillion things to the surface. I have been around a ton of germy little kiddies and that hasn't' helped. I am taking care of myself and intend to be better soon.


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