Sunday, May 22, 2011

and everything is going to be okay

 

recently, reagan was diagnosed with autism. after years of concern and months of testing and waiting, this did not come as a surprise. i think i have known for quite a while. the news came as a relief. answers! as a mother, i believe that you can know things about your children that no one else can. for a long time i was filled with guilt and anxiety that i hadn't done something right. that i was missing something. in actuality, one of the most important parenting lessons i have learned is that when you do have those feelings, that means you are doing something right because you are aware and you are caring. moms are privy to feelings that i know to be God-given. i have always known reagan to be a smart and kind and wonderful boy. he is so special. but i also felt that he was struggling with things that he couldn't articulate. things that didn't even seem to bother him much, except for when others would participate and he would have a hard time interacting. and even then, being alone didn't bother him.

after we heard from the doctor reagan's diagnosis of having high-functioning autism, i was overwhelmed with one thought, everything is going to be okay. not perfect, not easy, not always great, but okay. and i'm good with that. i know that was the Spirit speaking to my heart and my mind. i feel so much peace. i know that the Spirit guides and prompts and comforts.

a few people that i have told have asked how i knew. for me there are 2 main indicators. the first was from his 3k pre-school teacher ms. angela. she was very aware that reagan was struggling socially, but not academically. she got us started on the road to figuring out what to do. my other indicator was scarlett. scarlett is a very warm, out-going and loving child. scarlett was always giving me hugs and kisses and telling me that she loved me. she is a communicator. reagan has only told me that he loves me one time. i remember everything about that moment. it still brings tears to my eyes. it is one of my most precious memories. scarlett has been such a blessing as she pulls reagan out of his shell and reagan keeps scarlett from jumping off the fridge or whatever antic she is up to that day. they are best friends! i know their relationship and their places in our family are no coincidence.
so, we are moving forward. reagan will always be mainstreamed in school because that is how he learns best. we expect great things from him because he is so smart. we know we will learn together and that our family will be strengthened and united. we are a happy family. we have plenty of struggles but i don't like to dwell on that. everybody had got their thing. this is just one of ours.

we have autism and everything is going to be okay.

19 comments:

lrbodine said...

My nephew was diagnosed last year with the same. I loved how well you put it here with being in tune enough to receive answers on our children. What a blessing! And he looks adorable in his cap and gown!

Candice said...

BriAnne also has high-functioning Autism. But you would never know it by interacting with her. And things are much more advanced now than they were when she was diagnosed.

Sarah Beck said...

We love Reagan! He is such an awesome little guy. I really loved the show Monk (Joshua and Monk are SO alike), and as Monk would say with his OCD, "It's a gift and a curse." Autism is a gift and a curse--it really has shown me how our weaknesses can become our strengths and I see that everyday with Joshua. And as hard as some days can be, I love that I can witness that. It's such an awesome experience, and I feel really lucky to have it.

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing this. I felt the Spirit through the whole thing. You are lucky to be his mom, and Reagan is lucky to be your son.

Emily Curfew said...

You are such a sweet and wonderFul mommy. You are a great examPle to me. And you can totally tell from all of your pictures that Reagan and Scarlett are two peas in a pod.

Julie said...

I'm glad you finally have some answers! And it's a blessing to have him be high functioning as well! Love you!

Master P said...

You are so blasted awesome. The Dude has some kind of sensory stuff that our autistic nephew has and it has turned me into a hypercrazed freak of a mother. Thank you so much for talking about this, I feel so much better. You have a great perspective and an amazing spirit. Reagan is SUCH a lucky boy!!!

Ashley said...

I hope knowing makes it easier, and a good attitude can get you through anything. You're family is amazing and beautiful and Scarlett and Reagan are blessed to have you and eachother.

Steph and Glen said...

Heidi,
what a special blog post! not your typical funny post, but definitely a well written one. the part about reagan telling you he loves you brought tears to my eyes. you guys are strong and you're right: everything is going to be okay. and remember, i may not have all the answers, but if you have any questions please don't be afraid to ask. i don't have the same experience of being a parent with a child with autism, however i have my undergrad in autism and over 12 years of experience teaching children with autism. hugs to your family, especially reagan!

Jenna said...

Wow - what a powerful post. I have felt the feelings of knowing that something was not right or normal with my children - what a beautiful blessing to have as a mother.

Everything really is going to be okay.

HJolley said...

This is why you are the older sister. You are so wise and always give me a good example.

I love Reagan and Scarlett and Thomas and you! One of my favorite families!

Jessica said...

you are so right "as a mother, i believe that you can know things about your children that no one else can." i truly believe this as well. i'm so grateful that Heavenly Father blesses us with that gift. you are an awesome mother. your kids are lucky they are yours. :)

The Stimpson Family said...

Love you, Heidi! Your little Reagan is one lucky kid. I am grateful you have been comforted during this time - especially the "diagnosis time." I pray that you will continue to get the support you need. You are a huge example to me and I love being able to keep in touch and see all the things you accomplish in your life. Thanks so much for all you do!!

Meredith said...

Everything IS going to be OK! And if any family can handle what is ahead, it's YOU GUYS!

::: hugs :::

Lindsey said...

Very special post. You are so wonderful! I love Reagan and your whole family.

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

I love you! Reagan is a lucky guy to have both you and Thomas in his corner.

The High Family- said...

You really are incredible parents. Lucky ones to have such a special little guy. So glad that you got answers and followed the spirit. You never cease to amaze me.

susan bates said...

I love that little boy so much.He is a gift.I feel that it is all part of the journey and Reagan is a special spirit here to teach us.We can learn and share with others to help in their similar struggles.Which you have already began to do.When we chose to come here to learn,no one said it is going to be easy but,you are right,it is going to be ok. Love,Susan

Erin said...

ANd that's why you're incredible. I worked with a ton of Autistic kids when I taught school. And ONE mom was like you. The rest wanted to pretend it didn't exist. I love your guts. Reagan is going to be the next Bill Gates. Love you.