Li’l Red

10 08 2009

red2

I was having a rough day, so Stan took the kids to a friend’s house and told me, “Do something for yourself.”

Despite my lack of posts the past while, I truly do enjoy blogging. I have big plans for vacation updates and book reviews . . . but today I decided I would tell you about my Colby.

He’s 31 months old and doesn’t say any words at all. He babbles some (more frequently now), and occasionally gets out a “Da!” or “Mum-mum-mum”, but most often we rely on a tug-Mom’s-hand-until-we’re-in-the-general-area approach. Luckily I’m a pretty good guesser.

We suspected autism early on, but there were lots of things to try first: hearing tests, walking (some kids start talking once they aren’t focused so intently on walking), triadic eye gaze, etc. About last November, I got to the point where I realized this child, the son who has my name along with a gigantic portion of my heart, had a disability.

I grieved.

There were so many expectations I had to let go of, and I hadn’t even realized they were there: graduation from high school, college, mission, marriage, grandkids.

It hurt.

I hurt for him when I thought of so many experiences I’ve had and enjoyed that he might not have. And I hurt for me, wondering if he’d ever speak to me and be able to tell me he loved me.

It took some time, but I realized that Colby is the way he is for a reason: for him, yes, but probably more so for our family. We need him. He might go on to do all those things and more, but he might not. We will love him (love him, love him!) no matter what.

At the beginning of July (talk about waiting lists–autism evaluation is CRAZY), Colby was evaluated and given the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Even though I was expecting it, I was still surprised at the blow it gave me. There was still a tiny little flame of hope in my heart, one I didn’t even know about, that was holding out for, “Guess what–he doesn’t have enough vitamin A. Give him these drops and he should be talking in no time!”

However, the shock was brief. I had already grieved the child I thought I had, and was embracing the one I was blessed with.

He truly is a blessing.

If you could hear his laughter, you would know why.

 

Colby is joy personified.

 

And the world needs more of that.

I am beginning the daunting task of coordinating various therapy efforts. I’m not good at things like this, appointments and whatnot. It’s scary to me. I also don’t understand the school system at all for special needs kids, and what I need to do to ensure he gets all the services he should. I need to be his advocate, but I’m not good at advocating. I’m good at accommodating, but that’s not the same thing. I’ve been praying for a backbone, for the courage to be the squeaky wheel. Because you know what they say about squeaky wheels . . .

They’re the ones that get the grease.

 

(squeak, squeak)

 

And who deserves grease more than this munchkin?

nap

(This picture makes me want to hug him until his eyeballs pop out.)