The purpose of my blog is to connect with others. I have never intended for my blog to revolve around Nate's autism and the daily struggles and triumphs that we face together as a family.
Having said that...I do have a child with autism...a sweet beautiful child might I add...and perhaps there are friends or family who are wondering how Nate is doing. And maybe...just maybe there is a mom out there reading my blog who can relate.
I don't know what it is, but there is an instant connection I have to another mom who has a child with special needs and I don't mean just autism. We don't need each other to feel sorry for one another, that's not what I am talking about. I mean looking someone in the eye and just knowing that they get it.
Ok, I'm rambling..sorry, back to Nate. In this first picture, (isn't he a doll), he was 21/2 and basically non-verbal. He had a few words in his vocabulary, but not quite there on the whole communicating with words thing. In this picture he is using sign language....he is signing the word for water. Nate loves water and we stopped along a riverbank during a bike ride one afternoon. He was so excited and so happy to be there at that very moment. He loved throwing rocks in any body of water. Back then rocks and water were his thing...and we didn't quite know why.
Jared and I were so excited that he was signing....tears would come to my eyes when he would say something with his hands. He would get so frustrated and we related it to his lack of communication skills. He was seeing a speech and language pathologist at the time. It was a slow but rewarding process and Nate began to say words. Right now at age 5 he can talk in sentences and is on the verge of being able to carry on a short conversation.
Nate has always been very hard to describe. Jared and I would tell people that you just have to experience Nate...and you would never forget him. We went through years of major behavior concerns...from screaming fits of rage, throwing things, spitting, hitting and biting.....over the most trivial things and we had no clue why. We just knew there was something going on with our son.
I would cry.....all the time....I just didn't know how to help him. My heart was sick for my son...I physically ached when I watched his struggles. (To this day it is still one of the saddest things for me to experience Nate losing self control) I prayed fervently to God everyday....some days in desperation..."Lord please help us...please help my son."
God is so good....let me just say that again....God is so good. Not because we were able to get some answers to why Nate was going through what he was.....but realizing that through it all God was at work during every moment. And let me just say that I not implying in any way that every moment was difficult and a struggle. We have a multitude of beautiful memories of these beginning years as well.
As Nate matured so did his communication skills, and we were always working on coping methods for his emotions and how to have self control....(we still are). But something amazing happened....it was like God flicked on a switch in me. I stopped focusing on Nate's struggles and really started to pay attention to what made Nate tick and really tried to get in tune with him. I focused on his strengths as a person and was blown away.
Just to name a few of Nate's strengths....he is very funny, a whiz at puzzles, is on the verge of reading independently, loves to draw, loves music and has amazing rhythm, is an architect when it comes to lincoln logs, computer savvy, loves to exercise and is a great brother to Noah, Lauren and Luke, is very affectionate and loving....I could go on.
This post was way longer than I ever intended....sorry. And there is so much more to say...but I will end with this. I love my son more than words can describe. I will be his encourager, his prayer warrior, his tear wiper, his exercise partner.....I will never give up on him.
I love all 4 of my lovies deeply and feel abundantly blessed. I am forever grateful for my amazing husband...my best friend...the person God chose for me to travel along side on this journey of life. There will be many challenges on the road ahead I am sure.....and because of God and His amazing grace and love....I am up for the challenge.