Another Year. Another January. Part 2. 

I have put off writing this blog. I honestly don’t want to dive into it. To re live it. To dig up the emotions or rather have the emotions come bubbling to the surface. I’m afraid that once I write it, once I let this become black and white in words, it becomes real. Right now I don’t know how much more real I can handle. 

At the end of January Olivia received yet another life-changing diagnosis – seriously at this point you would think I would be a pro-  

Autism. 

This was not a shock to me. I had known for several years now that this was a possibility. I had that gut feeling. Mom instinct. Call it what you will. However, seeing it there wrote in black and white on her chart.

  It was no longer a possibility but reality. 

We spent three hours in the doctors office that day January 27th to be exact. I answered question after question, they did lab work, Olivia answered question after question, they watched her play and interact. After 3 hours it was decided. Official. “Olivia has mild Autism” Despite the fact that I knew it was coming, it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I was given several instructions an outline of how the next few months would look. A thousand questions flooded my mind. None, of them could be answered by the doctor. Questions that involved quality of life, college, bullies, things most parents wonder but here I was facing the dark reality that Olivia’s life may not be what we imagined. 

  • Can she hold down a job if she is constantly throwing tantrums because she can’t control her emotions? 
  • School, will the other kids be understanding? 
  • Can she do extracurriculars and not feel different? 
  • Will she be able to stay in a mainstream classroom?
  • Will she ever not be dependent on me to help her vocalize her needs, and emotions? 
  • How are we gonna pay for all the therapy? 
  • What does our life look like now? 

Things we won’t know until it happens.  Then comes the parenting questions. How do we tell other people? How much do we modify for her, and how much do we make her cope? Again, questions without real answers. 

Already at the tender age of just turned 5, we have dealt with some pretty emotional events. Olivia being bullied because she needs to wear a sensory vest –she was so excited to get it, and now she won’t touch it- .  Olivia asking “why other kids don’t understand her?” because she processes things a little different or because she can’t handle too much stimulation. 

It is heartbreaking to watch your kid struggle with things they can’t understand. It’s a hopeless feeling knowing there isn’t much you can do to help. It’s frustrating knowing society just hasn’t caught up to your kid yet. 

Friends mean well and say things “she doesn’t look like she has autism” or “I never would have guessed”.  I wish someone would tell me what Autism looks like. (Another long blog, I’m sure). To me Autism is my child screaming for an hour because I need to clip her toenails-something that because of her sensory problems causes her physical pain. To me Autism is my child needing a schedule of the days events, needing to touch me 80% of the time. To me autism is my kid getting so frustrated at herself that she loses communication skills. Things that nobody else sees unless you are with her 24/7.  

If I am being truly honest the past few months have been excruciatingly hard emotionally. I’ll say it again. I’ve wrestled with God. I’ve yelled at God. I’ve ignored God. I’ve yelled some more and wrestled even more. In my head I know that God has a plan, but sometimes I question if my heart is able to take it. Then I am reminded that I am not meant to shoulder this alone. I am not meant to carry this burden. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again God has mighty things in store for Olivia. I am blessed to have a front row seat to watch it all play out. 

Olivia has such a sweet, caring, servants heart. I am truly excited to watch how she uses her gifts to further the kingdom. 

Some days are hard, others are impossible, then there are the days that are simply easy. It’s the days that are impossible, the days that I sit back and wonder how we even survived, those are days I live for because those are the days where I can see God working. See him working in her, see him working in me. 

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