Weekend Coffee Share: Serious Moment

Good afternoon,

I’m a little tired right now. Just got out of the gym. I’ve been up since 4am. It’s hard for me to get back to sleep sometimes once I wake up. I have some Folgers K-Cups in the pantry if you need some.

I’ll wait a minute…

Now, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anyone to come by this weekend. With the Decatur Book Featival and DragonCon, I was hoping to have that time with my family. Unfortunately, there’s work to be done. But while I have a moment to talk, I want to discuss something serious.

I really don’t talk a whole lot about my family on this blog. As much as I want you guys to know the real me, I’m pretty protective when it comes to family. But this is something I feel needs to be addressed.

Over the last year, we’ve been concerned about our son, Jaxon. He hasn’t said a single word. He’s been going to speech therapy since January to get him going. Last week, we took him to a psychologist to see if there was something more. Turns out, there is. He’s on the autistic spectrum.

To us, it wasn’t a surprise. There were signs that he might have been besides being non-verbal for his age. But this evaluation we had confirmed it. I have to admit that I’m a little devastated. Outside, I thought he might be a late bloomer, like I was. But inside, I had a feeling. And nine times out of ten, your instinct is usually right.

The thing that’s been hard is the criticism and the ignorant comments. Some people say that we’re speaking for him. Some say that he’s choosing not to speak. Believe me when I tell you that if he was able to, getting him to quiet down would be downright impossible. On the flip side, we’ve received a ton of support. We know parents of autistic kids. And we’ve been doing research so that we can answer questions. Like anything else, there’s no way to know everything about autism because every case is different. And we’re getting help for him. We’re starting him on occupational therapy, as well as continuing speech therapy. There are some special programs we’re investigating to further help him achieve some semblance of “normality.”

Not that we consider it research, but we found a show on Netflix called “Atypical.” It’s a drama/comedy told from an autistic teen’s point-of-view as he and his family balance the struggles of their reality with their wants and desires. It has some humorous moments, and like any other show, some things come off as overdramatic. But it seems like the writers researched the matter thoroughly. The importance of routines. Ensuring certain needs are met. The feeling of wanting to live independent lives. The struggles of loved ones. The lexicon of support groups. I feel like this show did a superb job of dealing (Personal note: I hope they make more episodes.)

So, this week has been about coming to terms with this diagnosis. The support has been flowing. And we will continue to learn more about this reality and how to help him.

I’m sorry if I’be been a downer today. It’s been a lot to process. But I want to hear how your week has been. Feel free to post in the comments.

Until next time, take care…

Advertisements

Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

4 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Serious Moment”

  1. I just hear the love from your post. Your son is lucky to have you just as much as you’re lucky to have him. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, there always are downers who make themselves feel better by bringing others down. Keep your head above them!

    Like

  2. Hey GR, I used to teach first grade, and children on the autism spectrum are anything but rare in the classroom. My recommendation for down the road is to get to know the teachers at your son’s school. Talk to the principal. Let them know you’re a hands-on, involved parent (without being a helicopter parent). Don’t be afraid to request a specific teacher for your son–one from observation/other parents–you feel would be a good match. You may not always get the teacher you want most, but then again, you may. Many children on the autism spectrum turn out to be amazingly good at school. But every child deserves adults who respect and nurture him or her.

    Like

  3. Hi there. I finally found where the blogs that I follow are, so just getting to read this now. Still figuring out WordPress. Ha!

    Honestly, autism was a big fear of mine when I became a mother 7 years ago. Neither of my kids has it, however, my daughter stutters. She’s also in speech therapy. I’ve learned quickly that this isn’t something we “shouldn’t” talk about, but it’s also something that we shouldn’t feel bad about. Our kids are wonderful, loving, and compassionate human beings. They are a part of us, and better yet, whatever their “thing” is, it’s simply them having to live their lives differently than someone else. It makes them unique and IMO, pretty freakin awesome.

    One of my writing projects will be a KidLit book about bullies and the MC will be a young girl who stutters. I’m going to tackle both bullying and stuttering in one amazingly told story. I’m eager to do it, but other projects come first. I’m still working out details.

    Keep being the loving father that you obviously are, your kiddo is going to be just fine.

    KT

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s