The End of Summer – Time to Reflect and Re-Energize
I can’t believe that summer is over! Just like always, I feel like it has flown by and I’ve accomplished little of what I wanted to. My oldest son Christopher’s birthday is at the beginning of the summer as well, and it always makes me a little sad. Not just how fast the kids are growing, but another year of autism. Autism is difficult when kids are little too, and I know that there is no recovery window – but it seems that with each passing year that hope of healing gets a little farther away….
I will never give up, and I certainly don’t want to get down about it. But, I need to take a moment to be sad for what he’s missing out on before I get back on track. For me means reflecting on what he HAS accomplished (and taking time to celebrate the things he has worked so hard for that so many kids and families take for granted) and then making a plan for the future. So, here goes…
- This summer, I am grateful that we were able to go to the beach as a family with no diaper issues … for the first time ever. I really need to take a moment to realize how huge this is. We were getting there last summer, but this summer Christopher has done so amazing on the potty (which I totally credit homeopathy for). His little sister turned 3 so she’s out of diapers too. So, one less thing to have to worry about and one less thing to bring to the beach – yayyyy! You can see that I still look like a pack-mule though (This picture doesn’t do it justice – the strap was breaking my arm and I also had a backpack on. I was totally ready to give up and rest on the inner tubes in the middle of the street)!
2. I am also thankful for improvements that I see, though small, in cognition and language. He really seems on the verge of a break-through there and I have to keep hoping (and working and researching) and praying that something is about to happen, which brings me to … ONWARD!
3. I try to keep my goals small in number (otherwise I will get overwhelmed – I seriously have about 40 “to research/maybe try” items on my autism treatment list) and count success as having tried it, not as Christopher having responded. I pray for the wisdom to know which direction to take and to know when to move on versus when to keep at something that we haven’t (yet?) seen results with. My autism goals for the next few months are to try out a treatment I’ve been researching for years but have been putting off, to treat a specific medical issue that I think is happening right now (that no one thinks Christopher has but me), and to do a total re-eval of our supplement list for the school year. I’m going to evaluate my progress on these issues around Thanksgiving and I’ll check back in.
Parenthood is challenging without autism too (I’m not taking that away from anyone). As you prepare for another year of school and everything that comes with that (possibly IEPs, battling with the school district, homework struggles, friendship struggles, behavior struggles… whatever), try to focus on 1 or 2 accomplishments you are grateful for and a few goals for the future and see if it helps keep things in perspective and lessen your worry. I have a good feeling for a good year!