When I was asked to guest blog for Project Womanhood I was honored, humbled and, honestly, felt such an urgency. You see, I was asked to write about autism.
Becoming a mom was such a life-changing, defining moment in my life. Really, just as often described as “love at first sight.” He was beautiful, healthy and quiet. Little did I realize his good behavior was in fact not a good thing, but rather an indication there was a delay.
Time went by with his first birthday, walking and Sebastian did not speak. I remember barely hearing babbles. I recall calling his name with no response. What really seemed different was he just did not like to be held or touched. I asked myself, “What am I doing wrong! No, no, you’re over thinking mommy. Relax.”
I saw a commercial on the local news describing autism and recall thinking to myself there’s just no way. Then I began to obsessively Google signs of autism; mostly to give myself assurance and tell my inner voice she was wrong! But, I was in denial. My baby will speak… Someday soon. I hope. Right, God?
After some time had passed and Sebastian was 2 ½, we went to our pediatrician and he confirmed our son “is on the autism spectrum mild to moderate.”
As I wept, my husband consoled me and repeatedly told me it was going to be OK! The doctor said he had mild autism.
The very next day, I remembered praying to God asking for help. I was going to fall apart and I just couldn’t. Sebastian needs me. Give me hope again. I called my friend Nicole, my voice quivering, my eyes welling up with tears, and asked if her church did the trunk or treat. She said yes. This was just what our family needed — fun and to put the diagnosis on hold.
We attended trunk or treat and had a blast. We then started going to church as a family. Our son finally had a church home where he was accepted unlike in times past, he was not.
You see, by putting my hope in God the diagnosis became less important. Sebastian began displaying additional signs such as stimming (which is hand flapping.) He also had behavioral issues, which consisted of daily meltdowns that oftentimes lasted nearly an hour. He was aggressive and would constantly hit us. This was an outward way in which he could express himself because the words weren’t there.
Immediately he began various therapies because faith without works is dead! Although it was difficult at times, being that I was just getting used to being a mom but now a mom to a special needs child, I couldn’t give up. I knew God was in the midst of it all.
Fast forward to today, Sebastian can talk. He is in school, in an autism-based classroom. For the very first time last year he said, “Momma”. He was nearly 4. His meltdowns are rare and he’s happy and healthy. And he hugs and kisses, and in our opinion he is healed!
To those parents with kids who have special needs I say this to you: Love your child! Hug them! Tell them even if they can’t say it back. Look closely and you’ll see they are showing you — even on the so-so days. Those days you’re so physically worn all you can do is weep. But remember that God has a plan. Even when you hear judgmental comments, or get those dreadful stares always remember God is with you.
Be encouraged this a journey you were specifically picked to embark. Trust in God with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path, and your child’s.
Sebastian, I speak your name, and I hear you speak, and it, my son, is the sweetest sound.
Our sweet Sebastian is also an amazing older brother.
P.S. – I am available through email or Facebook messenger if you need to talk
Kimsilva11912@gmail.com – FB: Kimberly Kristen Silva