I know I said no family pictures but I just have to have a picture to go along with this post. I haven't given my Tater update in a while and just need to share our story of hope.
When Tate was first diagnosed, I read every book about autism I could. I read every mother's story of how she healed her son and any book on nutrition I could. It gave me hope but as the months went by, I began to understand that their story was their story. It wouldn't be my story. Each child is different. There is no one set of rules, or one set of fixes. I stopped reading the books. I needed to make my own story. And so we did.
We did diets. We did all blood tests ever created. We saw pediatricians, nutritionists, therapists, neurologists, specialists, etc. We did everything we were told and everything we were inspired to do. We didn't give up . We didn't take the easy road. I wanted my son to be happy. I wanted my son to be the success story.
A few months back his team of therapists called me and wanted to have a joint meeting. We sat in a big circle in the conference room. They talked about Tate and where he has come. It is funny that when you are living it daily, you don't realize so much the distance we have come but the therapists have it all documented. They began with talking about how well he is doing, how happy he is and that he is a pure joy to be with. Then, they said, "Mrs. Goodman, we are confident that your son is no longer autistic." He has no signs of autism. He doesn't spin, he doesn't have sensory issues, he doesn't scream for no reason, he doesn't line up toys. He just plays, he participates in circle time. He follows directions, draws faces, rides a scooter, jumps on a trampoline, eats different foods other than muffins. He enjoys life. He has been released from the trappings of autism. The walls have been broken down. It was beautiful to hear.
Although the signs of autism have gone, the layers are now peeled away and we know that there are probably some neurological issues that we are faced with. Some delays he may have. As one of the therapists struggled to put words together as to not crush a mother's heart, she said that maybe we have some sort of "MR" issues in a mild form.
What was "MR" I asked?
She said sheepishly, "mental retardation." She didn't want to say it. She was afraid of what those words would do to me. She couldn't possibly know that I had already been prompted by my Heavenly Father that this boy was supposed to be this way. That I knew that he didn't need to be tested in this life and that the test was for me. She couldn't know that I only wanted him freed from autism and to hear his voice. The rest didn't matter. Our goal had been met.
I simply looked at her and told her, "He isn't "MR", he is an "AOE".
"What is that?" She asked.
"An "AOE", our angel on earth."
With that, she agreed. We were both satisfied with the diagnosis.
And so it is, our angel boy is saying words. His laugh is contagious. He is a pure joy and looking back on the last 3 years, I can't believe that this is the same child.
So my mommy friends who are on the same journey of sorts; hold on, buckle down, do it all and pray for guidance. This may be my story but you can have your own, your own happy ending whatever that is. None of us are perfect, we aren't meant to have the same path but I know that our Heavenly Father wants his children to be happy and if we do all that we can, we will be blessed with that gift.
I wish you all could have an "AOE" in your home.