An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Lost in Thought

Did another late night drive with the boys to help them calm down and grabbed the mail on the way back to the apartment.  Inside were the awaited assessment details from the genetics appointment along with a few other things, including a copy of an assessment that I had lost previously.  Reading Joshua’s was almost like reading about myself as I noted the many confirmed signs and symptoms of EDS written down on that simple piece of computer paper.  It was hard not to fear the future for him, but for some reason I was able to handle reading it more calmly than I thought I might be able to.

Reading David’s however… let’s just say my heart always breaks a little when I read assessments on David because they always have to include the Autism findings and details (his case is too severe to miss…).  It’s never anything surprising or new, and it’s not like I am not prepared for what will be waiting for me when I pick those papers up and start reading, it’s just seeing it written there… so permanent… so unignorable… it’s like that quiet piece of paper with typical type fonts and bold black ink starts to silently scream.  Sometimes I even wonder if the “screaming” I hear is from my own aching heart, or maybe even the remnants of memories of David’s own tortured moments while mid-meltdown…

Between skimming through the details of his initial progressed development that suddenly halted and severely regressed at 9 months, and reading the observations of the different doctors, specialists, and other professionals, I always find myself at some point lost in it all; almost drowning in it.

It was never meant to be this way…  I didn’t dream all this for that precious little newborn I once held in my arms in the middle of the night.

It was never meant to be like this… where is that precious “skill” of being able to make all the pain and fear melt away with a mother’s gentle kiss?

“Progress” reports were never supposed to be filled with details of repeated regressions…

Developmental milestones were never supposed to agonizingly remain un-checked on the forms…

Phrases and comments like, “severe emotional meltdowns”, “possible psychosocial impairment”, “excessive issues with bolting”, “cognitive impairments and delays”, and “no true friends” were never supposed to be common when describing my bright-eyed and full of life little boy…

Yet here we are.  The papers silently glare at me from their position next to me on the couch.  My heart silently aches as I sit here once again trying to pull the pieces back together.  The pieces that are far too often broken in a mother’s pain for her child…

Hope, faith, and determination are all my son and I have right now and I am committed to clinging to them with all my might.  My promise to my son is simple and straightforward:  No matter how dark, or bleak, or scary the medical and diagnostic reports get… I will never give up the fight.  I will never stop loving him with all my heart and might.  I will never stop trying to find a way to help him be the best that he can be.   And I will always be his biggest fan and cheerleader.

No matter what the papers say, or the endless days seem to bring, I am still proud of my son and I will continue to stand by his side.  Regardless of what David’s ultimate potential will end up being as he grows up, I know my son will make a beautiful impact on this world.

I believe in David.  Thank-you to all the doctors, specialists, friends, family, and readers who have joined me in saying the same.

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