My family thinks I am making things up.

(You Want to Test My Kid for What? Devotional #2)

Ecclesiastes 7:8  “Patience is better than pride.”

I am a very analytical person, and I have been known to struggle with overinflated fears. On the other hand, my mother and sister like to take life as it comes. My husband is analytical, but he tends to look at life from a more optimistic perspective than I.

So when I shared with these individuals that I thought the baby may have autism, they pretty much laughed at me. The good thing about no one else recognizing his disability is that he was treated like a normal child. No pity was given or special allowances made. All hopes and dreams for a normal life for him were firmly intact. He was loved and adored as the whole child God created him to be.

The bad news, from a human perspective, is that he did not start receiving the assistance that he needed until much later. However, from an eternal perspective, there is no bad news. God knew the family He was placing this child into. He knew when this child’s disability would be recognized. Everything is going according to His plan.

Are your concerns or the concerns of others about your child grounded in reality? Are you finding yourself needing to wait for others to agree with you that your child needs help?

Remember that God cares more about your child than even you do, and He can work miracles in the lives of everyone involved.

Something is not Quite Right

(You Want to Test My Kid for What? Devotional #1)

Isaiah 61: 1-2 (1) “ …the Lord has anointed me … to comfort all who mourn.”

When my son was six-months old, I started to notice how he would play with just one thing for weeks at a time. As an infant he became obsessed with spinning ball cage attached to his exercise saucer. When he was a year old he would hoist himself up by the stereo system and play the music that he wanted to listen to, for hours on end – literally all day, except for when I pulled him away to eat and sleep. This lasted for two weeks. He then switched to a new obsession. One thing that remained constant was his desire to spin things. He would try to spin a sheet of paper, a square block, his sister’s dolls, anything.

He also seemed somewhat behind in his speaking skills. He had started to say words at 15 months, but stopped when his sister was born a month later. It is not unusual for children to regress when a new sibling arrives. However, when he was two, he started to speak a little, but by three years old he still said very little.

I was convinced that he was not normal when I took him to Musikgarten class. He spent the first few classes curled in the fetal position with his face buried in my lap. When he finally did try to participate in class, he had fun, but was not at all in the same world as all of the other kids. I cried the whole way home. What was life going to be like for him? What was I to do?

What are some of the things that your child does that seem odd to you?

I found the following list of behaviors from the Autism Society of America to be helpful when trying to decide whether or not I needed to look into help for my child:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

Coming Soon, Devotionals for Parents

I have felt lead to write devotionals for parents who have autistic children for some time. Now it is time to act. For the next several weeks I will post devotionals written from our family’s journey through the process of learning that our son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Let me know which posts are the most helpful, and share with me what  you have learned along the way.

The Earth is like a library book

So last night I heard some rustling and murmuring coming from the direction of my nine-year-olds room. It was 10:37 pm, so right off, I am annoyed that I hear anything besides peaceful breathing. He’s been in bed for two hours – he should be asleep.

I march down the hall and see a gangly silhouette pulling itself up onto the bed it should have already been sound asleep in. Oh, that reminds me, I have to  let him know that he lost 5 minutes of computer time for being out of his bed for a reason other than using the bathroom or some other sort of emergency.

“What on earth are you doing?! Why are you not asleep?”

“You know that new library book I got tonight? Well it has this ‘MV’ sticker on it and it wouldn’t come off.”

“What! That is a library book!! You cannot take anything off of the book or put anything on the book! We don’t OWN it! It is NOT OURS!!”

“OKAAAYY!”

“We must bring the book back in the same condition that we borrowed it. I thought I told you this already! What are you thinking? Now lay down and don’t get up again until morning.”

“Okaaay.”

“I said, lay down. Put your legs out flat under your covers. Head on your pillow. If I see you up again or hear anything from you, I am coming with the spanking spoon.”

“Okay.”

“Now what did I say about the library books? We are not to put anything on them or take anything off of them. They are not ours, we are just borrowing them. We must return them in the same condition that we borrowed them. Good night.”

Thankfully I did not hear a peep or see even a shadow. He really is too old to spank, but I couldn’t think of anything else on the fly at quarter to eleven pm.

Then I realized, I probably hadn’t told him that he wasn’t allowed to add to or take something from a library book. We have been going to the library since he was a toddler and he was usually quite gentle with books, so I guess I didn’t ever give him the whole, “be careful with library books,” shpiel.

I had told him several weeks ago to stop ripping out the metal embedded stickers that the library puts in the books. However, since he has Asperger’s Syndrome like me, he didn’t generalize that to mean, “don’t rip anything off of a library book.” Oops, I should have known better. Well, he has the message now.

Later this morning I was thinking how the Earth is a bit like a library book. God gave the Earth to us to use and enjoy, just like authors write books to be read. And like a library book, the Earth is not ours to have, but just to borrow during our time here. Finally, we are to leave the Earth in the shape that it was when we started borrowing it.

That is not easy, just like it is not always easy to return a library book, especially a child’s book, in as good of shape as when it was first borrowed. But let’s all at least try.