Why I love to hear my child say he is sick.
I know, that sounds wrong.. but, it is true. Just read on, I will tell you why.
This Christmas morning, the kids all got up and waited patiently for us to wake-up, dress and come downstairs.
They didn’t come bounding into my room and jumping on the bed to wake me.
The older kids took care of Zach while I slept in.
It was their present to me.
A rather wonderful gift; thanks again guys!
When I got up Zach was ready to go.
Unlike last year when he was ready for the whole thing to be over.
Last year he opened his gifts slowly, across the room from everyone. Where no one could see.
This year he wanted to open gifts, not just his gifts; EVERYONE’S!!
In front of them.
He simply loved tearing the paper to see what is inside.
He read the names on the label, and took each gift to each person, and then offered (with words) to help open them.
It was awesome!
We all encouraged him.
He opened almost all of our gifts and all of his!
The sensory overload from Christmas has always been too much, this year that changed.
I can only guess, because parenting an autistic child is a lot of guess work.
I would love to say I did this and that and it made everything better.. but it simply doesn’t work that way.
I know we have taken Christmas slowly, spent year after year slowly building it up after the early meltdowns and tantrums.
Since communication hasn’t always been there, lots of things become a guessing game.
While they are educated guesses they are simply guesses.
I know, every parent guesses.. I get it really.
Keep in mind I had 4 kids before Zach.
That said, it is harder when a large portion of the time you have no real way to communicate.
You can see they are hurting, the fear, frustration and even the happiness.
You know they are acting out or melting down.
They give you clues.
Still many times you simply can not understand.
This year is the 1st year we have had real, consistent communication.
In the 11 previous years of his life we spent more time guessing than listening.
When there are no words to listen too, that is all you can do.
He simply couldn’t tell us why.
His frustration often led to meltdowns and tears for everyone involved.
We all fight so hard for Zach’s speech because it hurts so much not to fight.
He deserves that voice, and we deserve to understand and know the wonderful person he is.
To know what is causing him joy as well as what causes him pain.
He deserves to be able to communicate with the world and show everyone what an amazing, funny, brilliant person he is.
Now that he is more verbal than ever.
I am gifted with words I have longed to hear, like “I want this, I am thirsty, I am too hot, or too cold. I hear things like it’s too LOUD!”
Amazing things, like “Good night, I love you mom, and don’t cry.”
Most important he can now tell me, my tummy hurts.
or “I have sneezes.” like he did tonight.
Being able to talk make his life so much better.
Hearing “I have sneezes” after years of wondering if he would ever really talk, is simply wonderful.
So yes I love to hear him say I am sick, because those words are beautiful.
Everyone deserves a voice.
I am so glad we found his.