Special Needs Children – A Sign from God

Well, I have lots I could post about today.  But what is on my heart is my need to accept.

A need to accept my son’s autism and what comes with it.

Asperger's Boy / Special Needs Children

Our son has Asperger’s.  That means that he has autism that is “high-functioning”.  I have been reminded by mothers at autism support groups that I should be glad that my little one can talk.  Yes, that is true and I need to be reminded of that.  However, one thing that he does is talk.  All the time.  His mind, and hence his tongue, rarely ever shut off.

I will go into more of why I think this is so in a later post, but just suffice it to say that though I like conversation and interacting with my son, constant conversation and repetitive questions can be extremely tiresome.

He is awkward in public, though that has gotten better.

He has high anxiety.  That comes and goes.

He has a problem with attention deficit.  No official diagnosis there, but believe me, he has it.  Whatever it is.

He has life threatening food allergies, and extreme sensitivity to sugar.  Probable issues with gluten.  Sensory issues.  He has phobias about things like fireworks and feathers.

Oh, but I love him.

He also has an amazing memory.

  • In 2009, he placed 3rd in a local Bible Bee competition and then in 2010 placed first locally and 27th nationally.
  • He remembers the names of people we met years ago and while I am stumbling over their name, he reminds me.

He has such an innocent heart.  Very rarely have I known him to try to do anything to hurt anyone.

He has stamina.  Little things often shake his world, but he can weather “big things” like a real trooper.  Like when he rode 50 miles in a Right To Life Bike-a-Thon — with a fever (we found out about the fever after he came home :-).)

Ah, my son.

In any case, today has been a day of real frustration.  A day of frustration at him and his idiosyncrasies, but moreso at myself.  I was so impatient today.

He argued with me about not wanting to eat certain vegetables.  And argued and argued and negotiated…on and on and on.

He had a near tantrum over being late to a hockey practice due to our car getting stuck in the driveway in a snowdrift.  It took about 10 reminders for him to unload the silverware in the dishwasher and then it still wasn’t done.  I could go on but there really is no point.

I was impatient because–well, because he wasn’t doing things on my timetable.  His disability gets in my way, takes my time and is an annoyance.  And far too often I go against the command of the Bible and show my annoyance at once (Proverbs 12:16).

I need to remember the good and give thanks to the Lord.  I need to accept.

A number of years ago, a dear friend gave me a poem about accepting disability.  We were on the cusp of getting our son diagnosed, though unwillingly.  We just wanted to know what was going on so that we could deal with it better and have some real resources.

This friend had a 20-some year old daughter with autism at the time.  She was in full-time Christian work in the US with her husband and I later found out that she was struggling with leukemia.  I read a transcript of a conversation she had on a radio broadcast of Family Life during which she mentioned that her child had autism, searched for her on the internet and made a bold phone call.

She called me back and mentored me through the beginning stages of dealing with what we now had in our family; a child with autism.

She called, prayed and shared.

Then this past year, she died.

I had never met Kathy, but her death left a hole in my heart.  She also left this poem, from The Clowns of God by Morris West, Hodder and Stoughton, 1981.  I hope that it helps you, whatever your lot in life.

You can also read more about Kathy’s life in this post on True Woman.com.

You Need a Sign

Treasure him…

You need a sign.
What better one could I give
than to make this little one whole and new?
I could do it; but I will not.
I am the Lord and not a conjuror.

I game this mite a gift I denied to all of you-
eternal innocence.
To you he looks imperfect,
but to Me
he is flawless,
like the bud that dies unopened
or the fledgling that falls from the nest
to be devoured by the ants.
He will never pervert or destroy the work
of My Father’s hands.

He is necessary to you.
He will evoke the kindness that will keep you human.
His infirmity will prompt you to gratitude
for your own good fortune.
More!

He will remind you every day that I Am who I Am,
that My ways are not yours,
and that the smallest dust mote whirled in darkest space
does not fall out of My hand.

I have chosen you.
You have not chosen me.
This little one is my sign to you.

Treasure him…

I don’t know about you, but I sure needed this reminder today.

(Photo Credit)

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Not trying to be a downer, but it’s easy to feel guilty as parents for our kids and to feel completely responsible for their situation. There are some things we just can’t do or make happen, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can move on in life to do what we can and give the rest to God.

    For those who haven’t figured it all out, please don’t feel guilty. For years I felt guilty, and still can, that I didn’t do this or that for my son, who has high functioning autism. They call it high functioning but it’s only relative to others on the autism spectrum, not to real life. He is definitely impaired in almost all real life situations. He doesn’t have any uncanny abilities. He’s just a young man with autism who can be sweet and fun, who can also be incredibly frustrated and angry with himself, day to day situations, and people around him.

    Also for those who don’t experience this, telling a parent that’s just normal teenage behavior is frustrating as well. Other parents of special kids know that normal teenage behavior in our kids is about 1000 times normal for someone else’s kid.

    Unfortunately it gets harder as they get older, and for the higher functioning, the frustration level increases because the gap between what they want to do and be and what they are actually capable of doing and being becomes more apparent. I’m not trying to be negative, but also lets not pretend that the right diet or parenting or program can make it all better. Yes, these things help and my son just graduated high school but it was a very special program and now is struggling to figure out what to do next. He doesn’t want help from me, so I’m standing by and letting him figure it out. It’s what he has to do but it’s difficult to watch and more difficult for him to go through. I have tons of support from friends, so I don’t doing this all alone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not difficult for both me and my son.

    • I don’t think you are being a downer and I appreciate what you have written. It is very hard to hear some say “it’s just normal” and for me, hard when folks say “autism is a gift.” Yes, there are some blessings in the midst of it, but it is very very hard.

      I’m sorry that you are having to deal with things too. My son is 15 now and so I can very much identify with much of what you are saying.

      Can I ask – what did you mean by “1000 times normal for someone else’s kid”? That’s the only part I didn’t understand. Thanks for reading!

  2. I am not the bloggy type. LOL. But I found this thread by accident. When my son was diagnosed as autistic I blamed myself. His has great struggles in his beginning. tantrums and the like. I was hard core against meds management. He never had any digestion problems. He does have food preferences and will not touch any thing green. He calls salads dirty and will gag at the sight of them. But by the time he entered middle school it was necessary to add meds and I oked it. He begin to bud while in middle school and become very popular. God placed the right people in his path. He was nonverbal until age 8 when he started talking. God placed a wonderful one-on-one in our path. Now is a Junior in high school. Still popular with his peers non-disabled and disabled. He can go to school until he is 21. I hate to say this but I worried when he was school age but God always put good folk in our path. now he about to graduate in about a year and a half. No way are we going to send him to any group home. I have had to become his guardian. he turned 18 this past June. future is too far for me to think now. Still I wonder….my health is not the greatest. I have leaned on God his long. I believe he has a plan for our son and family. I am waiting to see what he will surprise us with. I have always had a patient hand with my son. You see I am an asthmatic patient with other health struggles. .My son has taught me many lessons in life and I am 55 years old. There are not many programs to help our older disabled adults. God will provide. So I will keep on trusting.

  3. Sara Thyng says:

    The poem on the bottom does remind me of my son. The school says that he is autistic. I have wondered if the Hep B vaccine or the non-severe head injuries from age 6 months and 3 years old caused any harm to my now 6.5 year old but also have wondered if maybe God made him this way to produce more patience in me. I have read about a man who was diabled, one of 7 children in a family, but he was the only one to finish college. He said that God told him He made him that way. And what about Nick Vujicic? Many times I’ve prayed for God to heal his brain but at the same time think that maybe He made him this way to produce patience and me and my husband. Jedidiah is a very empathetic person and responds well to those that love him and appreciates beauty in nature, such as sunsets. We eat pretty healthy and I give them, (we have 3 boys) vitamins. I am starting cut back on sugar because I think Jedidiah has problems processing sugar as I do. Anyway, thank you for your post.

    • I agree with you on all of this. I get so easily frustrated with his (and my) limitations, but know that God is working in me.

      Blessings on you. Hope to see you around again.

  4. I stumbled across your blog and looked through it because I’m still looking for how to deal with my son with Aspergers. He is 35; was diagnosed at 32 — and then his entire life quirks and falling off of the edge of the world several times made sense. He’s an engineer (from what I’ve read, a common career for Aspberger’s.) He doesn’t deal well with upset in the routine, and he’s had MAJOR upsets going on in the past year. And that provokes horrendous anxiety for him. I was hoping to find out more from what you’ve learned/are learning about Aspergers in this blog. I’m not finding much about that — I don’t even know how old your child is. You have my email addy, if you want to respond.

    • Hi Patricia. I write some about Asperger’s, but also about adrenal issues, food allergies and other health issues. If you type autism in the SEARCH box you can read more. I did just write a post on anxiety that will show you a little bit of where we are now. I would think that the anxiety post would be of interest to you. Just so you know, we just took him off grains yesterday and it seems to be helping quite a bit already. We shall see…Blessings to you.

  5. Hi Adrienne,
    I’ve just spent a VERY long time on your site, reading many of your posts about autism. I have read a few of your recipes before, but this was the first time I really dove in deeper. I feel a kinship with you, as we are on the cusp of an autism diagnosis for my son. Or rather, I am working on convincing the medical community of this diagnosis, after my own extensive research. My mama-instincts tell me this is a factor in my son’s little life. (He just turned three.) I’ve already implemented some extreme diet changes for him – and seen amazing improvement! – and that gives me hope for further improvement through various diet changes, environmental changes, and biomedical treatments. It’s encouraging to hear how far you’ve come, and while I read many of your posts with a heart full of emotion, this is the one that really brought tears to my eyes. This poem is such a beautiful thing, and I really resonate with the truth of it. Isn’t that just our God? We look at things with such a skewed perspective, when HE just sees a beautiful treasure…a work of art. THANK YOU for that reminder tonight, when I needed it (particularly tough day around here). I am so glad I found you and your blog and I plan on continuing to learn ever so much from you. HUGS!

    • Hello Courtney. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really feel for you – I vividly remember the days when we thought we were going to get the autism diagnosis…..sitting on the floor on the phone with numerous people…looking for answers. I am so happy to hear of the improvement that you are seeing. I some days feel I have come a long way, but sometimes not. Recently, my son has been experiencing horrible anxiety, so it’s been hard to see anything as being “good.” I need to go and read that poem again. Truthfully, there have been some very sweet things that have come out of his recent emotional struggles. It’s all about perspective, being thankful even in the hard times, and remembering that we are still their mamas – regardless of whether or not they get better. Blessings and I hope to see you around again! ~ Adrienne

  6. We are currently working all toxins out of our diet. We eat nothing with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and only eat raw sugar. We are working on gluten free but that is a tough one for us lol. It is so crazy how much of what we eat nowadays is actually bad for us! I think I have heard of SCD but I have been through so many different diets for her in recent years they kind of all mix together sometimes lol