Tyler’s Birthday is Tuesday, but we have school, and it’s a weekday SOOOOO yesterday we celebrated!
The celebration is for his 16th birthday – yes 16, hard to believe. When he was born and was a boy, I had all these dreams and plans for him, and I emphasize the “I”. As life went on, I was really puzzled (no pun intended) by behaviors, milestones not being met, etc. He was so different than his sister who just excelled and overachieved from the moment they place her in the nursery at the hospital. So I tried not to compare. It was brought to my attention by one of his cousins of the possibility of autism. To be truthful, I had no idea what that was other than from the movie The Rainman. So began the process for evaluation. The diagnosis was Classic Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. I had absolutely no idea what either of those were, so began my days of research, research, research. The stuff I’ve learned and the acceptance I have to have was and continues to be an eye opener.
With this diagnosis came a lot of “he will never be able to…….” And in that many of my “I” dreams for him went by the wayside. I had to keep telling myself, remember that when daughter came into her “own” my “I” dreams for her also went by the wayside. So I tucked my “I” dreams away and thought – what can I do to help him live a good life. How can I help go past the “he will never” milestones. Even though I fail many times as a parent, I don’t give up (I may put things to rest, but I don’t’ give up) I had to rethink the way I parent, the way I teach, the life I live, the life he lives. I had to change many things to help his struggles and difficulties, I had to set aside my pride and learn acceptance of the differences of my own child and that he was not going to be a part of society norm.
For many, a 16 year old means, a driver’s license, dates, a vehicle, jobs, college planning, etc – these are not the events in our home – we are recognizing and learning to make choices on party issues, invites of friends (and developing his own style of friendship with some pretty amazing people), location of a gathering, patience by calendar and learning to enjoy what most young kids enjoy about birthday parties. THIS MAKES MY HEART SO HAPPY because these “recognitions” were milestones it was projected he would never achieve. The milestones that he’s achieved in the last 11 years surpasses my “I” dreams because achieving goals and milestones when the challenges can be very difficult really provide a sense of achievement and accomplishment and those “I” dreams that I thought would make me proud, I know do not compare with how proud I am of his achievements and accomplishments, especially when you are told “he may never”. Progress not perfection. We have a long way to go to achieve many more milestones but he’s definitely come so far. It’s ok that we go at a slower pace in life and that his milestones are his personal best. I want to help parent him to become everything God has created him to be and leave my “I” dreams behind and just as I enjoyed my daughter on her journey into becoming her own, I will do the same with him, we will just travel that journey at a slower pace.
Life is truly different but it is not less. I don’t what God’s plans are for Tyler but I see continued progress in his future, I pray that he can achieve many things before I pass away that can lead him for a life of his own choices to fulfill his own happiness. That communication continues to improve and that he can learn to manage sensory processing and the anxiety that goes along with it. That his life of happiness doesn’t have to be my “I” dream nor does it have to follow a social norm. I will say that both of my children walk to the beat of their own drum and this I am very proud of. We will continue to face the challenges one day at a time.
Happy Birthday to my amazing son and all that he’s accomplished in the last 11 years – today is YOUR day to have fun and enjoy cake, cookies and pizza. I pray that you continue to be the polite and kind soul that you’ve grown to be and that whatever your dreams may be that you can achieve them all. You are gonna rock being 16!
Today was a day full of gluten and sugar LOL.
#oilyspectrum #differentnotless #yleo #puritymatters #progressnotperfection #tylerstimenotsocietytime