Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09/09/09: The Aftermath

So it has been a week since Marco's diagnosis. We have been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. At the same time, life goes on. Kids still need to be cared for and jobs still need to be done, so there is not really a lot of time to mope around. We are not mopers anyway, but I have certainly had moments of feeling sorry for myself. Then there have been the moments of jealousy towards everyone I know who has 'normal' kids. Not in a bad way, so please do not avoid me if you read this and are near me. Nor will I come and steal your kid and leave you mine. LOL. I have been assured that these feelings are normal parts of coping with a tough situation.
One thing I started doing a lot was looking at Marco's behavior and thinking: Is that an Autism thing or is that a Toddler thing? I don't think Marco throws tantrums more than the average toddler, but he does get really impatient with himself. On the way home today, he started playing with his shoelace. He unthreaded it and tried to re-thread it. He was successful. Now, I would consider this an advanced fine motor skill for a 2 1/2 year old! But he will get upset with himself if he does not get it in the first try. (Ohmygod, he kind of sounds like me at work. LOL. Much of my job is trying to figure out things and sometimes I want to cry/scream/curse if I can't. At least, I do tend to get impatient with myself. ) I also started giving him brief commands when I want him to do something. Repeat until he does it. And he totally gets it!
Then, I freaked out because I read somewhere if you have one sibling with Autism, the others have higher risks. ACK. I mean, come on, you say. Annelies has enough to deal with with the Ds! I agree. Yet I have read about instances where kids with Ds ALSO had Autism. So I started drilling Annelies like a mad woman when we were doing her PT excercises this weekend. I made her hand me a toy, and I would hand it back to her, back and forth. And switching hands. And making eye contact. And calling her name to get her to look at me. I bacame drill seargeant Mommy. Annelies finally gave me a look that said: WTH is WRONG with you?!?! So I laid off. (Today in her Wee-play class, the teachers observed how good Annelies was about grabbing a toy from me, though, so we made significant progress. Go us!)
The bottom line is, and this goes for both Aaron and I, we love and enjoy our kids. We appreciate the challenges in front of them, and admire them that much more for being able to tackle those challenges, and overcome obstacles with grace and a sense of humor.
I also want to thank all our friends & family. Once again, your outpooring of support, words of encouragment and faith from near and far has been none less than phenomimal. Thanks, from the bottom of our hearts!

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