Tuesday, September 15, 2009


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.


Kerri said...

What a sweet and tender post. I love happy endings!

Annabeth said...

Shari, is Congratulations the right word? I am SO happy for you and Tate and your family!!!
That is so, so wonderful! I am so happy that your story is at this point. And your AOE is beautiful!
Way to go for being such a hard-working, loving mother!

RPH said...

What a great post. You are so inspiring.

Jayme said...

We love Tate. He is such a wonderful, fun little guy. Cohen still asks to play with him. He is so blessed to have you as his mother. See you at the beach!

Tracey said...

Wow... That is awesome Shari and very inspiring! You are a great mother. Tate is a lucky boy!

DK said...

Beautiful post!

MagicSprinkles said...

Wow Shari....this post left me teary and full of goosebumps.....I am soooo happy for you, for Tate, and for your entire family. I am so happy "your story" is a happy one!

Diane... said...

and OH what a beautiful story it is! CONGRATULATIONS on living and loving your journey so well Shari!! You inspire the rest of us!!!

Missy said...

Thank you Shari- that was so beautiful. You brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with love and gratitude. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with all of us:)

Carie said...

I'm glad for you. Wish I could feel the same for me

Kristy Treible said...

Thank you for sharing your story Shari. My eyes are full of "tears of hope". You have been a great resource and inspiration to me and it means so much to me.


Monica said...

What a motivating post. Thanks for sharing with us.

chris w said...

I have just recently found this site through some friends. I don't know you, so I hope it's ok to comment on here but I am sitting here crying after reading your beautiful post. You have such a sweet son and he is so lucky to have such a great mom. Good luck on the rest of your journey. :)

Greg and Heidi said...

I love your mother! She is such a support to me. I love hearing of your little Tate! I am glad you have an angel hear on earth. My story is much different. I know have an angel in heaven. I too was determined that might child would be the success story. I know my dedication & thousands of prayers kept him alive as long as he did. But I finally learned their were worse things than death, and he was experiencing. The Lord taught me my own success story! It ended with letting him go be an angel.
Much love-
Heidi Skidmore
PS: Love always peeking at your latest tips! Thanks!

Shari Goodman said...


Your story tugged at my heartstrings but I agree that being on this earth sometimes can be too much for these little ones to bear. Having an angel in heaven is a great thing too. Hard for us as moms but a true blessing for them. Thanks for uplifting us and sharing your story. Thanks for being so strong and pressing on.

diane said...

You made me cry this morning. Thank you for being such a great woman. You mean the world to your family and friends.

CandiShack said...

I am so happy for you! (K I check your blog now and again, so if this is weird coming from someone you don't even know, sorry...:) But this post just brought some tears to my eyes because this is what everyone has been waiting for - you know? We see your story and what things you are doing to help your son, and we wonder - 'will it work'? I don't have children with autism, but depression and anxiety run in my family, and I have been able to overcome it through much work and prayer - and GRACE, of course. And, like autism, this is just my story. It might not work the same way for anyone else. And I still have to be on guard and take care of my body. Anyway, I am just happy for you and your family, and your son...etc. etc.! :) Sorry for the novel!