Isaiah 44:3 New Living Translation (NLT) 3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.
I often wonder if the answers will ever come. I often wonder what goes on in your mind that keeps certain things just out of your grasp and I often wonder what you see that makes you gaze off in the distance as if something has caught your attention that only you can see.
I wonder why music makes you happy, but instruments playing cause you to cover your ears and bury your head.
I wonder what happens when everything becomes too much and what is the one trigger that sends you into a meltdown. Is it something I can control or remove from your environment or is there any rhyme or reason as to why it happens at all?
I wonder why spinning around and around brings you the most amazing release and joy, but makes me swoon almost to the point of collapse.
I wonder what it was like at the beginning of your life when you couldn’t communicate, did you think we didn’t care? I hope not.
I wonder what it feels like in your head; do you hear everything in the same tone? Do you hear all the noises at once, because I know that processing information for people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, many have a difficult time processing information or input you hear and you may need more time than most people to answer questions or respond appropriately.
I wonder what is happening within you when you run and jump and slam toys and objects into the floor; when you throw things without thought as to what can happen. Someone may be hurt or something may become broken, but all you seem to know is you have to throw it, you need to do it to make you feel better.
I wonder what happens when everything becomes too much, and you cry and whimper, because they are no words to describe or explain the overwhelming feelings you have and sometimes no amount of hugs or deep pressure helps you feel better, only crying yourself to sleep helps.
I wonder what happens to you and how your brain is affected when you have a seizure. Will those seizures change who you are? Will they affect your thinking processes? No one seems to have an answer.
I wonder why vacuums and ceiling fans are your obsession. I can’t begin to understand, but I know they are. I have heard this is normal for people with autism, just like when you line things up. You can be so rigid with that, but you love the chaos of toys strewn everywhere and it drives me crazy.
I wonder if you will ever understand the danger of running into the street or running toward water without one of us with you.
I wonder if you ever get tired of me asking you to repeat the same word you just said and if you understand I am only trying to help you communicate more clearly.
I wonder if you know who Jesus is. I wonder if you like going to church because you get to spend time with other children, your age and learn about Jesus, or if you just like getting out of the house and have some freedom.
I wonder why you bang your head, and even though it hurts, you do it again and again.
I wonder if you will ever to be able to read on your own. Or if you will always rely on pictures to understand.
I wonder if you will ever be able to live on your own, or if you will always need the support of family.
I wonder why you have night terrors. I wonder what causes them and why you must experience them because you already deal with so much and you are only four years old.
I wonder if you will ever be able to be outside without wearing a safety harness as we go shopping or to appointments. I wonder if you know we only do that so you can have a little bit of freedom, but we can keep you safe.
I wonder if you will ever take your Epilepsy and ADHD medications independently or if we will always have to hide them inside your liquids and foods. I wonder if you will always have to take medications to keep your brain from misfiring and your hyperactivity under some sort of control.
And while I wonder all of these things, there are many ways that you amaze me every single day.
I am amazed at how much your ability to communicate has improved over the last couple of years and how you work over and over to learn new sounds and words.
I am amazed that when you started preschool last year, you were considered nonverbal and only had 24 words under your belt, but by the end of the school year, you were speaking in 5 Word utterances.
I am amazed that you love with such a huge heart and tell me every day, without prompting, that you “wuv” me.
I am amazed that at times, you can sit still and remain calm, if even for five minutes. That’s a huge success.
I am amazed that if we show you pictures marked on a calendar you understand how many days you have to wait for something to happen.
I am amazed that you know how to use the potty when you want. It isn’t every day, but someday it will be.
I am amazed that you go to Speech Therapy every week and you improve on what you learned the week before. And this is part of our routine. Every week for two years.
I am amazed that you try to write the first two letters of your name but recognize all of them.
I am amazed that you know how to count from 1-10 on your own and are learning how to go onto 20.
I am amazed that you can recite the alphabet and can also recognize letters, even if they are not in any particular order.
I am amazed that you know what it means to put things in a sequence and you do it without error.
I am amazed that you love foods that are good for you. Tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, apples, vegetables, yogurt and cottage cheese.
I am amazed that you can name almost every vacuum made by simply knowing how they look and are designed and how impressive it is when we are out in a store and you can point them out to me.
I am amazed that you like the taste of my coffee, once it has cooled off.
I am amazed that you never give up when you want something. You are almost relentless in asking for it, even when the answer is no.
I am amazed that you are willing to share your toys, even if you don’t want to.
I am amazed at how much you love animals and are not afraid of them. I shouldn’t be amazed by this, because your mom loves animals too.
I am amazed that you are always willing to try and you don’t give up easily.
I am amazed that when someone doesn’t want to do something, you gently remind them to try.
I am amazed that you can watch ceiling fans and fidget spinners spin for hours and you love this. Who knew something so simple could bring such joy?
I am truly blessed that you are in my life, Tyson. You have taught me many things. Some I have learned by trial and error; in many ways, I have a ways to go. But you never give up on me. You bring such joy to my life. I cannot imagine my life without you in it.
Every condition and disorder you have been diagnosed with, one would be more than enough for anyone to handle, but you deal with five. So no matter how many times, I want to cry and feel sorry for what you have been dealt, I look at how resilient you are and I know that because you live with these, I do too. I’ve learned to look at life just a little bit differently and realize that although these disabilities may afford you some extra help, that they do not mean you can’t. You just do things differently.
I love you; I love you more; I love you the most; I love you forever! This is what we say to each other before bedtime. He repeats much of what he hears but will say I love you too, on his own.
*I wrote this for our grandson, Tyson. He is four years old. Someday he may be able to read it or have it read to him, but I want him to know that although we never expected to have a Special Needs grandson living with us and being a part of our everyday life, challenging us to think outside the box of “normal parenting” if there is such a thing, that without a doubt, he has opened my eyes to the world around me. He has taught me so much in these last four years, more than I could have ever learned in a book.
I am thankful to our Heavenly Father that he felt he could entrust Tyson to our care, along with his mom. And I pray daily that we utilize every opportunity to help him learn and thrive in the world we live in.
May you know that Jesus loves you~right where you are right now and always.