I was chatting with a wonderful mom over at My Yellow Brick Road the other day about our autistic boys. Facebook messaging with her is so amazing for me. I can be honest and open and I don’t need to preface every sentence with, “I swear I’m not a bad mom” or “Don’t judge me.” It’s refreshing. And she gets it.
I tend to be obsessive about Cooper. It’s kind of my thing. Pre diagnosis I would research everything. I googled things like, “nonverbal at age 3, nonverbal at age 4, my kid doesn’t talk, etc.” Every answer came back with Autism. I would try changing the searches. “Nonverbal at 3 makes eye contact” or “no words but points.” Same thing. Autism. Blah. Freaking Dr. Google is an idiot, right?
But in my head, it didn’t make sense that Cooper made eye contact and pointed. Even to this day I don’t fully understand. He doesn’t struggle with following a point or pointing to what he wants. So when I googled I would always mention these things. I was straight up trying to trick Google. Jokes on this mama though. It’s not like I could bring copies of Google to the doctor…“see, he doesn’t have autism…it says so right here.” I picture myself waving it around like a lunatic…blah, blah, blah.
So, if you need help googling…give me a call. My expertise are all yours!
I haven’t googled since we got the diagnosis. I haven’t sought out different therapies or tried fish oil again or went gluten free. Nope. I’ve just sorta let us be in the moment. I’ve slowed down reading blogs and I most definitely haven’t bought the autism books that his therapist recommended.
I don’t need a book to tell me what to do or think. Don’t get me wrong, I will take all the help I can get but at this point I can’t sit down and read about it. I can barely say the words, “Cooper has autism.” I just need to absorb the diagnosis and accept that the future is unknown.
I do need moms like Jill and Kim (Landon’s Journey) though. I need to be obsessive at times. And I need it to be ok that I am obsessing. I need to be able to get excited about new therapies and focus on the bad and cry and wonder why this had to happen to my kid. And I can’t do it alone. A support system is huge.
First, Cooper rode a 4 wheeler with his brother and I. Meaning, I drove, Cooper sat in front of me and Sawyer sat in front of him. Normally…typically…Cooper would kick and scream and push Sawyer away. It’s most likely a sensory thing and I HATE it. But we got a break from it this weekend. I was able to drive BOTH my boys around. I actually had tears in my eyes. I kept kissing both their heads and tickling them. I even pushed my luck and tried to get them to hold hands. That lasted 4 seconds. #sheshootsshescores
And then last night Sawyer and I were playing a game where we touch tongues. Yes, weird and probably disgusting but Sawyer thought it was hilarious. We would touch tongues and he would giggle and laugh. And then we’d make funny noises and do it again. So amazing. While we were doing this Cooper was watching Cars right next to us. I called him over and asked him to show me his tongue. And he did. Then I said, ‘watch brother and mommy. Can you do this?’ And just like that he stuck his tongue out and touched mine and laughed.
Now this is such a simple concept…and if you don’t have a special needs kiddo it probably seems silly. But it’s not. He mimicked. He joined. He laughed. He tried. He enjoyed. And this mama had tears in her eyes.
Lastly, Cooper decided he now wants to play with a truck. He has even slept with it a few times. Just seeing him driving a truck around on the ground is amazing. Jamie called me over when it started and said, “this is new.” ::SIGH:: Little tiny victories still count!