"Plenty to Celebrate"

 You may have noticed that I have been absent from writing lately. Shortly after Ethan started school, there was a shift in Ethan. From my point of view, it was more like a miracle...an answer to this mom's prayers. I talked about that here. Since Ethan's change, I have felt strange about writing. I felt as if I would be betraying Ethan, his growth & his privacy. I just didn't think that this new child would have agreed to me airing all about him. And....if I can't be completely transparent....I can't be me. That's just who I am....real & honest.

So our family is now is a new phase. While Ethan still has ASD, he is wanting so badly to be like his peers & ANYTHING that sets him apart is "bad" in his mind. He wants to be equal with his peers....which in itself is simply amazing. We are seeing Ethan mimic his peers, WANTING to constantly play with his peers, and never wanting to be home. A complete 360. Praise God.

With all of this occurring with Ethan, I feel as if I no longer have a voice to lend in the autism community. Not that our family isn't still dealing with ASD related issues.....because we are.....but it's just not as severe as it once was for us. And for me....that is proof that Early Intervention works. Ethan is proof.

He no longer needs speech, he LONGS to play with others (such a change), and....at his parent/teacher conference last night....his teacher & personal aide told us that he is mostly independent at school....during work & play. Praise God.

For once...............for the first time since Ethan was one year old....................I am able to see new possibilities in Ethan's future. He may be able to drive a car, go to college, have a job, be independent. Maybe even have a family someday.

The last three years have been so hard.....and full of stress & uncertainty. What therapies are available? Which ones should be try? What can we afford? How will this all work? My idea of being a stay-at-home-mom never included running Ethan to different therapies & schools. Never did it enter my mind that I would be planning our play around certain skills he was lacking or trying to sneak in therapy through play. Our lives were lead on a whole new path....not only as NEW parents, but as parents of a child who has special needs.

This summer, I was heartbroken & prayed for Ethan more than I ever have in my life as his mom. He HATED going to church...it was just too much for him. Even after all of the therapy & aids & help that we were doing for him....he was still a mess after church...it was just too much. And I wondered if we would ever be able to go to church or if we needed to find a new church. It was a hard summer.

But now.....it's just so different for us now than it was even this past summer!

My family is seeing a difference in Ethan. He is PLAYING with his cousins. His church teachers are consistently telling us how well he is doing now. His school teachers are seeing growth.

"Plenty to Celebrate"....that's what his classroom teacher said in a recent email......"Plenty to Celebrate."

And.....we are! We are soaking up every second of this year. He is doing so well in Kindergarten....dare I say "thriving?" 

So, I may not be writing nearly as much as I once was.....because we are busying playing with friends, going to new places, participating in activities that were once off-limits.....you know.....CELEBRATING!

(I typically proofread my writing, but I decided to leave it today. Please forgive any grammar errors!)