We tend to blog more about the miracles and victories in Ka'ēo Jr's journey with autism, but with the light there are also moments of darkness we are challenged to face as well. The symbol for autism is the puzzle piece. It is a perfect symbol being that this disorder is quite complicated and it's cause and routes to recovery are just as complex and mysterious for each individual affected.
We have spent the past 4.5 years working relentlessly and have spent thousands of dollars trying to find the treatments, therapies and interventions that will hopefully help our son. We have seen miracles unfold indeed...but we have also experienced many, many moments of darkness and had to search really hard to find the light again.
We have heard from veteran parents in the community that as the child gets older, it gets harder. Ka'ēo Jr was diagnosed when he was 2 and tiny. Now he is 6.5 and is as tall as my chest. I'm a short little asian gal so it won't take much longer for my special angel tower over me.
I have also heard about kids with autism being aggressive, violent, destructive. I heard and have seen videos of them being self-injurious and doing things like bang their heads. Ka'ēo Jr didn't do these things when he was little. He was just very incapsulated in his own world. UNREACHABLE. We worked through that with our Son-Rise program where we focused on building a loving relationship with him and now he has a desire to be with people often. He has language and makes eye contact and has a desire to interact with us. All miracles.
In the past several months, however, we have also seen behaviors like punching his head, throwing things, random screaming while taking his clothes off and intense lashing out develop. In those moments, I remind myself that this is an opportunity to work on choosing my inner peace...and to pray even harder. To find the light in the darkness before me.
This morning we had many moments like these. I watched him as he punched his head, take his clothes off, cry out and scream intensely. For a moment I choose to feel helpless. Then I reminded myself that it didn't serve me at all to feel this way....to choose to feel miserable. I then decided to look to God. I heard a voice whisper "Rise Up...I am with you." And so I did.
I drove him to school in tears...again, asking God "why?" God reminded me to TRUST. Don't lose faith...don't lose hope. And guess what? When we got to school, my boy jumped out of the car with a smile and gave me a spontaneous hug and kiss. He held my hand tightly and hugged my arm as I walked him to meet his one-on-one. He said "cheese" and looked at me with a smile when I took this picture of him in the office as we waited for her (something he rarely does). I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him. He looked back at me with an even bigger smile and told me he loved me too. When she came to meet him, he went to her easily. He smiled at me again as he waved goodbye and took her hand as they walked to class. Again, all miracles.
The lesson? God is with us. Choose to see the blessings and not the darkness. My son and his autism give me that opportunity every single day.
And believe in miracles.