Daddy M finally opened up and told me he was worried. He said he didn't understand autism and never paid much attention to it because he never thought we would have to deal with it. We bought books, movies, and magazine subscriptions and had a "research date!"
He was a little skeptical about treating a "research date" as something fun. He said maybe we shouldn't be celebrating something like this. My response? If we view it as a bad thing, It'll overcome us and lock us down. If we view it as a gift and a sign that God trusts us enough to care for one of his special angels, we'll feel rewarded… and FREE. It's our choice. We aren't prisoners. Our lives aren't over. Things will just change a little. For the record, only a few things have changed since the diagnoses.
1] We're sucking in knowledge
My morning coffee is now accompanied by a book or an article on autism. No, I'm not trying to "fix" him. It just doesn't hurt to be as educated as possible. The more we know, the more we can accommodate him.
2] Gabriel is learning how to communicate a little more
The pulling and tugging from Gabriel has become a constant thing. He pulls me around like a rag doll. I can't get aggravated; It's his way of telling me what he needs for now.
3] Mealtime is changing
Gabriel has decided that he wants to eat laying down, which just doesn't work… so mealtimes have become a slight battle. I've also been prepping myself to start the new diet changes that cater to his needs.
4] Daddy's heart has become a little softer as he's learning to sympathize with his son
It's actually sweet to watch the changes taking place in Daddy. Instead of talking as he's walking by us, he now stops and annunciates all of his words for Gabriel. I've also noticed he is pursuing a different approach to "discipline." He's sweet and slow when trying to correct Gabe. He isn't being bad, we haven't failed at disciplining him. He literally cannot control impulses right now.
5] We're showing them up!
As usual, since the last visit, Pooty Booty has started doing more new tasks than ever! In the past week alone, he has learned to turn the light switch on (not just off,) he's learned to point ith one finger at things in a book or objects outside, and he started drinking from a straw! That's a big one for us!
It's something that you don't plan for. Having something different about our perfect little angel was the furthest thing from our mind. So, being thrown a curveball like this made us both feel like a derailed train. Mama's a planner. Mama's a preparer. Daddy follows Mama's plans. We were a little lost… But only for a second.
I still can't help but to feel a little unprepared. The best way I could explain it is this:
It's like taking a sip of what you thought was coke, and drinking milk instead. It shocks you. You weren't expecting it… but milk is tasty too… and let's be honest, milk is better for you ;) I'm sure we'll be getting a lot more surprises and overcoming a lot more obstacles, but by educating ourselves and "freeing" ourselves from fear, we'll be ready!