This is a special guest blog by a good friend who has a son diagnosed with Autism. She has agreed to share her story:
When I was asked me to write something about having a son with autism, I agreed, though, now its hard putting into words what I need to express. My son, Ralphie, was 3 when he was diagnosed with Autism. The reason we had him evaluated that he wasn't speaking. If he wanted something he "grunted!" I think the words will haunt my mind forever: The doctor just sitting there, saying those words, like he was stating the weather. He showed NO emotion. The thoughts that ran through my mind.."MY SON..MY ONLY SON".
Let me go back a minute: When I found out I was pregnant, with a boy..I was beyond thrilled!! A son..I always dreamed of having a son, now that dream was coming true!! The doctor that diagnosed Ralphie, told us (in the flattest tone), that "our boy was never going to be normal..never walk right, never talk, forget all the "normal" things"!! Can you imagine??? I couldn't either!
I can't begin, to tell you, the amount of money (thank GOD for insurance), and the time we spent taking Ralphie to therapist, after therapist, after therapist!! Now, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about it. I praise those therapists, for all they gave Ralphie A CHANCE...
For me..the day that Ralphie looked-up at me, and called me..MOM..was...How do explain to anyone what it was like? Tears still stream down my face when I recall this. My baby boy, who never would talk, said the doctor, called me MOM!!
We had to fight the school system to get Ralphie the education he needed. They wanted to just "throw" him in Special Education. To clap his hands and sing songs. Come on, is that for real? He needed to be part of the classes, and learn just as other "normal" children learned!!
Needless to say we got what Ralphie needed. Yes, he had a parent pro go with him to many of his classes. And yes, he did go to Special Education, classes when he needed it.
Today my baby boy, 17, is a man. He is in the 10th grade and is doing great on his own!!! He walks, and talks just like the other kids, and at times even needs to be told to shut-up. Not one person can explain to me, what "normal" is - Ralphie may not do all the "normal" things a 17 year old does, but that does not make him "not normal"?
People talk of finding a "cure". IF there was a "pill, or cure", for Autism, WOULD I NOT LOOSE THE RALPHIE THAT IS HERE IN FRONT OF ME???? Not all "cures" are solutions. .People want to "cure" autism, cause they cant "deal" with what was dealt them. GOD gave us these children for a reason..what that reason is, I'M not sure, but, when I look at Ralphie I see "normal". With all the things that I've seen in this world, Ralphie is as "NORMAL", as they come!
I will always wonder if it was my fault that Ralphie turned out this way. Not a single person can change my mind on this one thing: I will only say I was BLESSED with what I have!
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