To our friends and the wonderful people who have touched our lives who have become friends,
As you know, TJ and I have been on an incredible journey over the last few years trying to heal him. If you are reading this then you have either been our support system and/or been one of the many angels who have brought him back to me.
When TJ was first diagnosed a doctor told me, my mother and brother that he would be institutionalized and we needed to learn to love him anyway. She said that I could try whatever I want, but she didn’t believe it could work. I ignored her and prayed every night for G-d to give me my baby back. My immediate family kicked in like no one could ever believe. The day before, when my brother first heard there was definitely a problem he was on an airplane to ___, taking family leave in a matter of minutes. He created a notebook into the morning hours, compiling an incredible wealth of information, stories, therapy information, schools, etc. My sister in law piled her 1 ½ and 3 ½ yr olds into the car and took off for ___ (She loves TJ so much you would think my sister in law gave birth to him herself). When the therapies began my mother and father helped schlep all over town to get him to therapy. Meanwhile, I tried to keep my job and sanity (insert obvious joke if desired!).
And still I kept praying “G-D please give me my baby back and I will pay it forward, I promise. Please G-d. Please G-d. I am begging!” G-d heard me and put PB, Dr. LLS and MT into my life; my compass points that sailed the two of us across this crazy turbulent ocean. But from these three we were guided to all of the right places, where I met many of you. My goal was to recover TJ by the time he went to Kindergarten. Many thought this was too lofty, but I ignored that, too! I guess all those years that many of you have seen me as an assertive, strong women with very high expectations can all realize now that it was merely practice to prepare me for healing my son. In the beginning I read an article entitled “Autism is not the Enemy.” I couldn’t DISAGREE more. My mantra became AUTISM IS THE ENEMY AND I AM GOING TO WIN!”
So why am I writing to you now?
Because on Friday TJ was no longer deemed Autistic by his school district. He no longer requires any services. A psychologist evaluated him and said that he is heads above the other typical children in class. She reported that he is the leader in play, surrounded by little girls who love to play near him. His social/emotional skills are at age level. He has a sense of humor above age level. His tests show his receptive and expressive skills at 6 yrs 11 months (He just turned 5!). He received the same score for reading and math skills. Her concern is which school we could possibly put him into that would challenge him since they have no GATE (gifted) program for kindergarten in the district.
On Thursday, my son who previously had no upper body strength, climbed 7 feet up a rope by himself and did flips on the uneven parallel bars. Last spring, Dr. LLS told us that the last of his quirks would be gone by 8 yrs old, and that he is fine. Last Fall his Regional Center Behavior therapists said goodbye because he was done. His pediatrician also said he is recovered. New friends meet him and don’t believe he was ever anything but social, chatty and OUTGOING. He wants to be with the party and the life of the party.
G-d and all of you helped give me my baby back and for that I am eternally grateful.
With love, PA
Parent advocate, paying my promise forward