It's something you never think could happen to your child...until it does. And then what?
When D found out, I know this was a very frightening thing for her to face. Not going to lie; it frightened me. I had never dealt with autism before. I had heard about it but that was about it. I had no idea that approximately 1 out of 110 children are affected by autism. And 1 out of 70 boys. This diagnose would be enough to send me to my knees crying and asking God "Why me??" " Why my child??"
Now maybe D did think or say this when no one was watching. But in front of everyone else including me, she simply continued to do what she does best. Be a mom. D is one of the strongest and most amazing people I know. She did not sit back and let autism beat their family. She fights autism every day. She become an advocate and crusader for Wes-man. Every day she fights this fight for him. For her family. And for others that do not have a voice to fight for them. Someday, I hope she'll start a blog (hint, hint!!) and share their story.
Thanks to her, Autism is not a scary word to me anymore. My Wes-man is the sweetest most lovable little boy you will EVER meet in your entire life. And truth be told, he's my little hero. (another post on that coming soon.)
Most of you have heard of "Welcome to Holland. " However, it becomes VERY real when all of a sudden... you wake up and the next thing you know, you're there...
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
Emily Perl Kingsley.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your
wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
Yes, it's true. Holland is so lovely. :)