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.

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