Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thinking Differently

What is "Thinking Differently" about Autism?

It's loving these kids and adults who are impacted with autism right where they are at. However, it's helping them to progress in every area of life to the best of their ability. It's believing beyond their ability that their capacity for overcoming trials will increase.   This requires "thinking differently."

For me, this is "Thinking Differently."

It is coming up with innovative ways to get my four year old potty trained like him spending almost an entire summer half naked at home because he didn't get the concept if he had clothes on. Goodbye "Naked Summer."

It's sleeping with him at night because if he is by himself, he will talk the entire night and not go to sleep.  This started when he was 2 because he would lie in bed saying his ABCs and counting the entire night. One can only hear "A is for apple" a few times at 1am before you start seeing apples in your dreams.

It's my stomach in knots when we arrive at someone's house and I see the shelf of DVDs.  I know he is going to line them bad boys up like there is no tomorrow and if there is a fruit bowl, they are really going to be in for a surprise.

It's me hoping that that friend invites me back.

It's speaking to him in his favorite cartoon voices to get him to do something I want him to do. I have mastered Mickey Mouse.

It's giving him a package of fruit snacks ONE.PIECE.AT.A.TIME. making him say whatever word my ears want to hear.  I usually make him repeat scriptures. It's only fair, he does keep me up half the night.

It's cheering in the bathroom EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I hear him pottying even though he has been doing this for months. He no longer high fives me, he just flushes and runs.

It's noticing that the 25 year old cashier at Wal-Mart made the exact sound with his mouth every time a new person would approach his line. That he only spoke to say hello after he scans the first item and in the usual scripted fashion. It's ignoring the eye rolls behind me as he takes extra time to tell me that he is going to watch Tom and Jerry re-runs on Thanksgiving and what his favorite ones are. Thinking Differently has made me more aware and proud of this man for making eye contact and engaging in conversation. As I walk off, he starts his story again with the next customer and I just smile.

Ultimately; It's offering hope, sharing our story and loving people that are like us and different from us.

It's the mom who has her kid in the biomedical world trying every vitamin known to man....or at least a few.

It's the parents who work their tail ends off to provide so that they can get their kid the 30+ hours a week of therapy that he needs.

It's the mom that takes her kid out of therapy because he needs a break and she knows him best.

It's researching on the internet at all hours of the night (once you finally get your kid to sleep) desperately looking for ways to make him better.

 It's the mom who says he doesn't need to be better, he is fine just like he is.

It's the Mom who believes in Jesus and healing and faith with every fiber of her being. She so desperately wants the wholeness she believes the Bible speaks of  and listens to that inner voice that tells her not to give up and change her beliefs for anyone. It's accepting him right where he is at but believing with out a doubt that he will get better and conquer in this life no matter what her eyes see.

It's acceptance, it's denying, it's believing, it's's work, only unlike any other work you have ever done.

At the end of the day, we all think a little differently about thinking differently. But we all, hurt the same, cry the same, love them the same, rejoice in their achievements the same, and want what's best for them...the same.  Let's love those and support those who think a little differently than we do. 
Thinking Differently is a campaign here in Oklahoma. I love it.  While I am standing believing for my son's wholeness, there is still some stuff that we all go through that we have to think differently about. Many things in my life are still impacted daily as I cling to faith that it will get better and easier. There are still friends that need to be understanding and people that need to be more loving and kids that still need help.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Healed from Autism; Ryan's Testimony.

I found this testimony a year ago and it completely helped build my faith. This was around the that I was starting to devoutly trust in God and truly just believe God at His Word that Lincoln is healed.

He is a Pastor and his son had autism. They had faith and stood on the Word believing for their son's wholeness.  Today, he is healed and has no diagnosis.  He is a college student away from home.  God is so good!

Please be encouraged by this.

These scripture confessions that I have posted about Lincoln (Click here to see them) came from this Pastor. Please feel free to use them for your child, putting your child's name in there.  I personally read them frequently and have recorded myself saying them over Lincoln.  The bible says according to Romans 4:17, that we should "call those things that be not as though they were." I whole heartedly believe in changing your heart, believing what the bible says and speaking it. "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs 18:21

Here is a good Preaching series and he talks about faith and his son's healing from autism.

Here is the testimony on TBN:

Here is the Pastor's Church page with all of the information on there.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

That Day

We strolled out of the Psychologist's office into the bright sunlight.  It was a hot afternoon in June, even hotter when you were 7 months pregnant carrying your soon to be 2 year old.  Soon, as in, just 6 days away.  Daniel strapped Lincoln in his car seat and we got in the car and headed down the road to pick up our 3 year old son from a "stay and play" childcare place. 

My mind started drifting to the previous months. It had been 4 months since we were first introduced to the idea of our son having autism. It had been a surprisingly calm 4 months considering everything we had just come into.  It all happened so fast.  Our Speech Pathologist clued us in to his thoughts on Lincoln.  Then we met with a liaison to an autism program and they spoke to us about this opening in the program that would be perfect for Lincoln. Then he got into "the program" with more therapy than I knew was possible. Everyone spoke of "the spectrum" like it was common language.  I finally had to ask somebody what on earth the "spectrum was."  Our language changed a lot during those months and so did everything around us. We kept saying, "this wasn't like a cancer diagnosis, it didn't change him, it was who he had always been.  This was simply a needed formality. That day, however, it didn't feel like that formality we had spoke of. All of these thoughts continued to roll in my head as we drove.

Daniel started talking about church  and things we had upcoming that week.  I joined in the conversation telling him how hungry I was and we started discussing where we should eat.  As we stopped at a stop light, my thoughts all shifted back and I felt like I was in a daze. I thought of how I had teared up when Dr. Edgington gave us the official diagnosis. Then I thought of his calming words; "Never give up, expect the best, expect him to graduate high-school and go to college and get married and have a family, never give up."  I just started sobbing out of no where as I thought of those words.  Daniel looked at me startled and asked me what was wrong.  It genuinely was just a formality to Daniel. Bless him for that.   But, even in all of my knowing all those months, this felt like it changed everything. I said, "He has Autism, he really has autism!" I couldn't quit saying it.  I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest.  That was the moment that the previous 4 months and everything we had been through all came crashing down.  I had kept my cool and been super mom and appeared to be in control of everything, just letting it all ride out. Now, in that moment I just let it all out.  

That was a day I will never forget. Little Sweetness as we called him, with his red head full of curls who still hadn't called us Mommy or Daddy, sat in the backseat in his own usual daze. We picked up Lucas and made our way home. Daniel grabbed my hand as we got home and said, "you can tell me what our baby is if you want to."  We were suppose to wait until the baby was born to find out what "it" would be.  I had went ahead and found out anyway and hadn't told Daniel. I grinned like a school girl because Lord knows I couldn't keep a secret and I had been dying to tell him and he wouldn't let me. So, I made certain he wanted to know and then I told him we would be having a girl, our sweet Maddi would be joining the family soon.  After that, I spent the evening posting and responding on Facebook and letting family and friends know we were having a girl. For the rest of that day, I was able to treat Lincoln's diagnosis like it was the formality we had talked about.  I realized later, that even though Daniel didn't want to know the baby's gender, he let me tell him because he knew it would sustain me for the rest of that day and that the joy of getting to share about our baby girl would overshadow the sadness of the day.  Such a selfless, loving act and is one reason I don't dread looking back at that day.  Such a bitter......sweet day.

I should say, this is only a memory I wanted to write down of how I felt BACK THEN.  obviously do not feel this way now.  Just something I have wanted to get off of my chest and down on paper to look back at.