This blog post is a part of the #posAutive, #boycottautismspeaks flashblog. I jumped on late, but I wanted to get something down, in case anyone wonders since we got Violet's diagnosis how we feel about it.
In November, Violet (5.5) was diagnosed PDD-NOS with Sensory Integration Disorder. In laymen's terms...on the Autism spectrum. I had been researching already, in anticipation of the diagnosis, but the weight of the actuality of a medical professional saying, "yes...she is what you've wondered so long" was heavy. One night, in our temporary cabin, while Allan was half a world away I sat in the tub, wondering what this meant for our girl. I had told people "she's still the same Violet" when they asked what this meant and it was true-so why did I feel I was drowning? Questions burned in my heart: Would she grow up being made fun of by neurotypical kids? Would her family be her only "safe place?" What about when Allan and I die, what if her siblings aren't still close with her? Will she need someone to help her navigate the world? Would she be taken advantage of because of her trusting, loving nature? Would she be able to secure a job? Would she find a loving husband and marry?
The truth is, some people find those questions offensive, but I feel they MUST be asked. And if the answers are no, then the child we believed we would have MUST be mourned.
BUT. And this is a HUGE but...
THEN we must look at the child before us and let the knowledge wash over us that this child was created in God's image. He made no mistake when He made Violet's brain. He made no mistake when He wired her up and He entrusted her to us-to raise her into the person she was created to be. To challenge her weaknesses and build up her strengths. To speak life to her when the world (particularly the Auti$m $peaks world) would speak death to her and her family.
In the few months since her diagnosis, we have spoken openly as a family about Autism and we've come to understand the same Violet in a new light. Some things are hard to come to terms with, and we must allow each other to feel those soft spots. But most things are breathtaking and beautiful...to see so clearly how amazing and unique she really is-it has a name! That name is Autism. Autism doesn't scare us because it is simply a part of who she is and from the day we found out we were expecting her, it has added beauty and mystery and LOVE to our lives.
We've also met amazing people along the way and I can't wait to build those relationships. How could expanding the LOVE in our lives be scary?
And we will continue to press forward and learn to spread LOVE and not FEAR. Just like Jesus taught us.
Click HERE to see the post my new friend, Kelly Green, did on this topic. She is much more eloquent than I am. Give me a few years ;)