When Jeffery was 3 years old, I remember sitting in a down town Greensboro parking lot taking him to the TEACHH center to be “pre-scanned” to see if he needed to come back for the full evaluation to determine if he was autistic. I looked at Jeffery in the back seat and told him “OK, I need you to be a good boy and show these people how well you can listen and talk to them so we don’t have to come back.” He just smiled back at me.
So, we were asked to come back. After the FULL evaluation, they told me he was indeed autistic and on the autism spectrum. After the eval we were still in down town GSO and I needed a moment. I took Jeffery to the park with the pretty fountains, I remember it was a gorgeous day. I sat Jeffery down with me and said to him “Jeffery, I asked you to be a good boy, now they think you are autistic.” He just smiled at me and ran off to play around the fountain. As I watched him play in the park I started bawling. My denial of the situation was going away, but instead was being replaced by all these questions “Will he ever speak to me?” “Will he ever be able to tell him he loves me, or what his hopes and dreams are?” “Will he ever understand when I tell him I love him what that means?” If you are a parent, try to imagine the feeling of never knowing if you will ever be able to communicate the love you have for your child to them or vice versa. It will break your heart.
When Jeffery was diagnosed I didn’t know ANYTHING about autism. Thank God for the internet. It’s actually a blessing and a curse at the same time when you a researching autism. All these different theories and therapies and stories and it can get very overwhelming. Jeffery started receiving assistance from Guildford County schools. I started him in private speech therapy. We did special diets, behavior therapy, crystal rock healing (I’m just kidding about the crystal rocks…but I wouldn’t be surprise if it wasn’t out there). Today Jeffery is in regular class and tells me he loves me on daily basis and vice versa.
Take a moment today in honor of Autism Awareness and learn something about it. Change your profile picture blue.