I have prayed long and hard about sharing this. I have had many conversations with myself, God, and my husband about it. The world can be a pretty judgmental and opinionated place and honestly I didn’t want to subject my family to it, however, we feel an extreme and HUGE responsibility to share this because, well we want to change the dialogue and myths about what our New Reality is. We want others to know that it doesn’t have to be scary or upsetting, but that it can be a beautiful journey.
I will start with a journal entry that I wrote back in February 12, 2016. This was just the beginning of when we sensed something was just off with our Wyatt.
When faced with life’s uncertain circumstances it is my natural response to run, hide, and worry. Keeping it in is my “normal.” It is what I am used to. With that being said, I am not called to this way of living. That is not my destiny. My purpose, passion and dreams are the path that God has chosen for me. So, why do I do this? Why do my instincts wake me up to terror and fear in the middle of the night? Why does my brain NEVER just shut off? My only answer is my beginning understanding of what FAITH truly is. It is the unflinching and unwavering knowledge that my Heavenly Father has THIS. So I tell myself today, “don’t be scared, HE has equipped you.” God has chosen THIS to teach me something. Heck, maybe it is because I finally need to just LET GO and entrust HIM wholeheartedly even with my MOST PRIZED gift from Him, My Son. Maybe He has chosen this because together, we will show the world, this journey doesn’t have to be scary, but it CAN be a blessing.
God, today I am asking you to help me Let Go and put Wyatt in your hands. He may have some limitations, but I KNOW YOU DON’T! Give me peace & help me help him thru his journey.
For 3 months since February we were walking through a process that we thought we never would have to worry about when it came to raising Wyatt. We were faced with a realm that was pretty foreign to us. In February Wyatt was evaluated and accepted into The Early Intervention program in our County. The words of “Significant Pervasive Developmental Delay’s” pierced our hearts and woke us up to the reality that God was bringing us into something that we would need to lean on Him with. We were also told that Wyatt possessed 4 significant red flags for, yes…Autism. A concern that I had, but just kept pushing to the back of my mind. We were urged to make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician and start Early Intervention services right away. Therapies were started (Speech, Special Instruction, and Special Instruction Play group). Every therapy Wyatt participated in, made me so much more proud to be his mommy. He was working so hard at what seemed so foreign to him. You see, Wyatt has a difficult time communicating as his speech and ability to communicate with others is limited at this point. Sign language was being introduced and there was some improvement and some plateau’s in progression, but Wyatt was still trying and trucking along. On the flip side, we were still waiting for the other piece of the puzzle to come our way….the Appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician seemed like it was taking forever to come. As a mom and dad, we just wanted answers so we could help our wonderful Wyatt. The hardest part about waiting is what your mind does to you. Never mind the barrage of people who want to give you their opinions which make you feel like you don’t know your child or make you second guess yourself even starting the process, but the constant worry that you aren’t doing enough for him to help him progress is probably the worst thing. Even though I was feeling this way, I continued to press into God along with my husband. That was enough for us to just remember that we needed to stay in the moment with our family and God….to find joy even during the uncertainty.
The day finally came, May 26th. Deep breaths all day, lots of praying and leaning on God. Throughout this entire process, we have not only encountered amazing people, but I realized how blessed we are to be able to access these services for our child. The Early intervention program, the people who work with us and Wyatt are amazing, supportive, and just love him as much as we do. We felt the same about the developmental pediatrician as well. Another amazing and loving person who just wants to see Wyatt succeed to his fullest potential, whatever that may look like for him. Wyatt did amazing the whole evaluation, but it was evident that he doesn’t tick like other children do…. He has some special and unique ways he does things. By the end of the assessment not only was I so proud of him, but I was very sure that we made the best decision as parents to not ignore our concerns, but to face them head on. That day, Wyatt was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Honestly I have to say we were both prepared for that diagnosis and the only reason was because God put AMAZING people into our lives to help us through the last 4 months of our New Reality. I always knew Wyatt was special…. I just didn’t know he was THIS special. My heart is expectant with anticipation of all the beautiful milestones he will slowly work his way towards in his own time.
I share this with you all not because I need people to know our business…. I share it because along the way we have encountered an overtone in our society about Autism that just doesn’t sit well with us. It needs to be changed. Autism should not be feared. It needs to be understood. Autism is just a different way of experiencing the world. Everyone on the spectrum is different! It manifests in different ways! I have the opportunity to learn my child in ways no other parent gets to! Will it come with challenges? Yes. Will there be days I will want to cry? I am sure. HOWEVER, I refuse to sit back and not enjoy the journey. My husband and I have already decided that EVERY hurdle and mountain that Wyatt achieves will be celebrated TOGETHER. We are all in this TOGETHER. Another thing we decided is that God will lead the way….and HE will be the reason we will rejoice in every single step of this journey. This my friends is Our New and Beautiful Reality. It is unique, it is special, it is a gift, it is US!