I just first want to share what a joy and honor it is to share on the journey with you; the journey of 2 very special needs children, our children, Michaiah Cherie & Alexis Ann.
Some of you may or may not know, our family moved states almost 4 years ago to be closer to relatives back in the Midwest. Our oldest, Michaiah was only 3 years old at the time the doctors wanted to have her evaluated.
We were first time parents, we really had no idea what to expect nor anticipate. We first noticed Michaiah had a ‘different’ set of special gifts on a very special level when we took her to her first structured musical class. Most of the children and their parents were doing things that Michaiah was not yet doing. It was uncomfortable as I got stares at times and parents distancing themselves from us because they didn’t know what to do or say or how to interpret us. I’d like to believe they were giving us space to navigate ourselves. A few of the mothers were very kind and reached out to include us regularly. As parents, we noticed then that the world of Michaiah was delicate and unique, like a flower blossoming; we just needed to get to the layers of who Michaiah really was and is. We so desperately wanted to see Michaiah unlock; we knew she was so full of life and on her time and terms, she would be ready to share.
When we settled in our place, closer to family, we right away had Michaiah evaluated. Though it is clear that we distinguish a diagnosis certainly doesn’t define any child, including Michaiah. We are believing, as believers, for full restoration and healing for her to the level that God sees fit (not looking for criticism, this is a personal belief). It was determined upon closer examination, that Michaiah received an educational classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As her mother, at first, this crushed my heart. It took a lot of prayer and time to process this new meaning and life for Michaiah. Over time I learned to separate the emotion of it, a spade was a spade. I started to see what the educational classification was meant to do, just that, provide extra tools, resources, and supports for her in the classroom.
It was important for us as parents…..
TO BE CONTINUED.
Friends, I have talked with a few people recently. The more I share this with others, the more I realize there is misconception about something that I feel is very valid and noteworthy of clarification. You can choose to read this post or move on, but I would rather ensure that there is clear understanding rather than preconceived notions, assumptions, or lack of clarity for that matter. I am finally in a spot as a mom and a wife, that I am addressing this from the heart, so please only take this as my way saying, ‘I care and I want you to know’.
Our daughter went through a rigorous process of being evaluated over the course of the last 4 months. As bright, beautiful, intelligent, and spunky as we see our daughter, there were a few minor delays we noticed and we wanted to ensure that if this truly was the case, that our daughter receive the additional support and resources she needed so that she could thrive and be the best her possible! We didn’t want for her glass to be half full so to speak, we wanted to see her full potential come out and shine! As it turns out, Michaiah does fall on the Autism Spectrum.
Yesterday afternoon our daughter, toddler age, decided to spend several hours playing in her room. I use the term ‘playing’ loosely, more like destroying and redecorating her room! She was quite content getting into all the drawers, pulling everything out and displacing it throughout her room. She had all of her bed covers on the floor along with all of her stuffed animals. As if this wasn’t enough, even the clothes were off the hangers on the floor. You can only imagine what a mess it really was and how much time it took eventually to clean it all up.
Our daughter had gone from laughing to quiet. I had been working in the office making calls and decided to check on our daughter to see if she had been napping or not. We always do routine checks ever so often to make sure she is okay and hopefully sleeping. When I walked in, to my astonishment, she was completely passed out. I thought for sure in a few hours she would be awake and ready for juice with her dinner. A few hours had passed and she was still passed out. I tried waking her up in the evening hours, but she continued to sleep.
As mamas, sometimes we are on a huge time table. We look around our homes and see the mess. Getting up in the mornings, we see everything first that didn’t get done the night before. The laundry may be exploding out of the hamper and out of the washer and dryer. The dishes may have piled because they weren’t rinsed the night before. Last night’s dinner may have forgotten to be put in the fridge. On the same note, you realize that breakfast has yet to be made for your child and you are not sure what you are going to make. You may even have a few appointments in the morning and you are wondering if you are going to make it into your office in time or run out the door in time. Usually when this happens your child has an accident and you have to change the whole outfit OR better yet, you get to the car and realize you left a few items you needed in the house.