Where do I begin? Well let me start by saying this little guy means the world to our family. He brings so much joy to us. In that I have to share that it has been a long hard road for us. As I think back to where we all started on this journey and look at where we are now I know it was nothing but God. So now I am going to share with you this journey of living with a child diagnosed with Autism.
Let me introduce you to Jahmez! Do you see that beautiful smile? This smile just feels my heart with so much love every time I see it. But what I need you to understand is that this was not always the case. Looking back at where he started I didn’t think we would see the day that he would be so joyous. I can recall a time when this little guy would not give us eye contact. It was almost like he would become anxious if you tried to look at him. I often wondered how life would be for him. Like God will this precious little guy ever be able to express love to any of us. Will he ever be able to allow us to show him love. Hugging was a no no for him. But I always would want to just pick him up and hug and kiss on him. I knew that would send him into a frenzy but he was just so cute! But I think one of the hardest things in the world was him being non-verbal. Having a child not be able to tell you when they’re not feeling well or that they’re hungry is hard. Just thinking of the everyday things that he may need but can’t express to you that he wants. Now as hard as it was for us can you imagine what it’s like for him or others like him? I can’t even begin to internalize what it would be like for me not to be able to express how I’m feeling.
Now let me jump over to the here and now. I am so excited about the progress that Jahmez has made over the years. The little boy who was once non-verbal is now putting words together. To hear him speak to me is a blessing. When ever I hear his voice I just smile. Watching him walk to the cabinet or refrigerator and telling us what he wants is amazing. But one of the best things is telling him that I love him and Jahmez grabbing my face, pulling it to him so that I can kiss his check. That is his I Love You to me. This was something that I once could not do. He is so full of affection until you just want to love on him all of the time.
My family is so thankful to all of the teacher’s that work with him. Teacher’s have the job of pouring into our children daily which I’m sure is hard. But as I think of teacher’s who have the pleasure of working with special needs children I realize they have to have a special heart. This experience has given me the chance to look at teacher’s in a different light and with much more appreciation than I ever had before.
I wrote this to say that if we as a family would have just gone with Jahmez is on the autism spectrum and just went with that would he be where he is now? I watched my mother fight for this little boy because she had so much hope for him. I have seen him grow in ways we never thought possible. Many times we have a diagnosis but does that mean that diagnosis is the end game? It is possible for life to be different from what you saw in the beginning. Don’t just take the diagnosis and give up. Fight to see your children progress in ways you never imagined. Even the small changes that I see in him make me excited because I know that God is an AWESOME GOD!!