Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autistic Angel Adventures

A Peek Inside…

When you are the parent of an autistic child you know all too well what lack of sleep really feels like.  Many children on the spectrum have difficulties sleeping, some of which need medication to do so.  But even those on medication can still have their fair share of ups and downs throughout the night.  So of course that means WE are up and down as well, trying to do everything possible to help our angel back to a peaceful slumber.  That is only half our adventure.
  These “awakenings” can involve aggression and agitation, tears and frustration, or even uncontrollable laughter(and trust me, laughter may seem the simplest, but not when it lasts for almost 2 hours and includes your child playing drums with his hands on every wall and window at 3am!!).  Each adventure is as unique as each child on the spectrum.  Learning how to calm and redirect your loved one is an adventure like no other, especially when your child is non-verbal as is Blue Eyes.  I have gone many a night with little to no sleep for almost 8 years now.   It’s very difficult to more or less play a guessing game as to what is wrong and how to help him feel more relaxed so he can go back to sleep.  But with enough patience on occasion, you manage to connect and communicate with them, and that feels like such an accomplishment for both parent and child.  The following is kind of like a journal entry if you may, from approximately eight months ago.

Last night was one of those sleepless nights again with Blue Eyes.  He woke up around one am and was very upset, shedding endless tears.  At one point he sat down on the floor and proceeded to hit his head on the floor three times.  So I sat in front of him on the floor trying to talk to him, attempting to redirect his behavior as always. When I took hold of his hands in mine and tried to comfort him, while speaking softly he suddenly picked his head up and looked me directly in the eyes for what seemed like an eternity!  I was telling him I understood how he felt, frustrated he couldn’t tell me what was wrong and that we will get there together one day at a time.  The look in those precious blue eyes, still filled with tears was that of understanding of what I had said and a knowing that I understood him too. To top all that, as my own tears welled up in my eyes, he spoke and said, “Momma, Momma” followed by a kiss and hug from him! Tell me how on earth can you stop the tears from falling at a moment like that?!  For that short moment in time I was blessed to see the boy who is stuck inside my son and continues to fight to get to the surface, and with my help  and his persistence we get a little bit closer every day! 

Thanks so much for allowing me to share this with all of you!  By sharing our triumphs and downfalls we continue to spread the awareness even more.

Yours Truly,

Heather Joy


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