Our First Christmas “with” Autism.

Note: This post was originally published on my old site, leahatha.com, and posted on December 26, 2012.

Copyright Leah Atha

Copyright Leah Atha

December 2012 will go down in my memory as the month in which all illusions that I have any sort of control were smashed into smithereens.  Our month was spent continuing speech therapy, utilizing a cash only developmental pediatrician and having our suspicions confirmed a mere nine days before Christmas that our son has autism.  Our “first” Christmas “with” autism.  For me, this has meant letting my urge to stress eat take over, drowning my woes in (gallons) of Pepsi and Lay’s potato chips all while Googling  like an obsessed information addict, forgetting a few Christmas details (cards to go with those photo gifts), calling total strangers for help, and for once finding that my natural hard headedness is working in my favor, and not against me. Prayer has come easily, even when sleep does not.

I’ve discovered that this dark path of unknowns has been lit for me (really, us) by beacons of God’s grace, so that there is no mistake that someone else loves Oliver more than I (we) ever could, and that I (we) have Sovereign Help on this journey.  I don’t know why this has happened, but Job didn’t get an answer, either.  I’ve stopped looking for the why, as much as I often enjoy trying to “discover” the “whys”, and started focusing on “what next”.

There are a few family members and friends (readers) who will read this and who won’t know what to think about autism, in part thanks to some reckless reporting from the media after the shooting in Newtown.  So, if you’re confused about it, or just don’t know what to think, click on the link below for some information about autism.

What is autism?

As for Christmas, our son still hasn’t quite made the connection between opening gifts and those shiny new toys! We’re hopeful that he will by next Christmas, and if not, we get to open toys for another year, which is something I thought was long gone when I entered my teen years.  Thankfully, he has enjoyed playing with them, even if he hasn’t quite mastered their intended uses just yet.  He has received so many, that several are still in their boxes, awaiting assembly, but so far he has enjoyed the ball drop set that we got him and his new workbench.  Today will be spent in purging old toys (because building onto the house just to make room for the toys is beyond our budget), putting the rest of them together and returning at least one official call regarding services for Oliver.

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