Making a Difference... if only just a little bit

Warning: This is a long post - but important to me. So, if you need to go potty - now is the time. Then come back and please read it all in it's entirety.

Since I learned about it, I've had something kind of stuck on my mind. Autism. It's a word that until recently, I didn't know much about. I didn't realize that one of my coolest friends was autistic - that is until I started to read about it.

I've heard of other scrappers whose children were autistic, and I've read about their struggles - all while not really understanding what it meant. I remember reading Christy's blog - about her son and the fact that he is has a form of autism called Asbergers. I loved hearing her stories and how his style of communication involved using complex words - words by far too complex for a boy of his age to use. I remember wondering what it was like to have a child with Asbergers, and the impact it might have on their family and interpersonal relationships. I remember doing a google search on the subject and spending a bit of time reading about it. I remember wondering what caused it, and if there was anything that could be done to stop causing it - and really feeling kind of helpless/lost about it all.

I know that Ali's son is also autistic, and she's been so proactive in getting and finding solutions for him; working towards a better world for him. Finding ways to communicate with him and him to communicate back with her and her husband. I really admire the lengths that she's gone to - though I imagine I'd do the same for my child. You always want the very best, though sometimes it's not what the world expects or is standard for the world.

It's so strange and interesting how all of this ties together for me - at least in my opinion. I'd really been spending time researching and reading up on autism. And... there wasn't anyone in my life who was autistic. It was just another subject I wanted to have a bit of extra knowledge in. Not really for any particular reason (I'm strange that way), but just to know. Perhaps even to appease the curiosity in me.

However, recently, I learned that someone incredibly precious to me is also autistic. Dylan, the perfect beautiful boy I gave birth to, has Asbergers Syndrome. I admit, that when I found out I was scared and confused. I had found the message some time after it was sent - it had gotten squished in my mail sorting wizard, and was stuck in a folder I don't ever check. My heart was heavy at the news, my brain confused as to the cause and if I had played a part in it, and my whole being paralyzed because there was nothing I could do about the situation. I admit that I have yet to respond to Becky and Owen - in part because of embarrassment about the mail sorting wizard and my delay in response, but also in part because I just don't know what to say. Not being personal, and uber tight with them leaves me wondering if perhaps they blame me for his condition, or if perhaps they might regret their decision to adopt him. (In all honestly, I don't think they do either of these things - but to be completely honest the thought has crossed my mind.)

The research I've found shows mostly its cause is genetically rooted. I've checked with Sheri (my biological mother) to see if she knew of any traces on our side (maternal and paternal) - which we fortunately don't have (or don't know about). While it does give me some peace knowing the unlikeliness of it coming from my genetic contribution, it still leaves me heavy.

I know there isn't anything I can do for Dyl and his parents except send my fervent prayers to our Heavenly Father that His will might be done, that Dyl will learn the skills he needs, and that is awesome parents will have the strength to be steadfast and strong.

But, there is something else that I, and anyone else, can do. Ali began a crusade to collect donations for Autism Speaks, Inc. with the foundation. She is SO close to reaching and having the highest number of donations (which, if she does end up with, Autism Speaks will get another matching donation of $10k!). I've made a donation, in hopes that research will continue, in hopes that we can all become better educated about Autism, and with hope that even though my donation is a tiny drop in the big bucket of needed funts - it might go towards something that can help the lives of those who are also Autistic like Dylan.

I need to gather up my words and thoughts, and send a note to Becky and Owen, sharing my thoughts and my appreciation for them. I believe they are such incredibly fantastic parents - the absolute best parents there are for Dylan. I know they were meant to be his parents - and that he is where he is supposed to be. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of him, and of his needs - and also of their needs. I need them to know though, that I know and believe them to be incredible people - and the perfect people for Dyl. I wish there was something else I can do for him - I really do.

Edited: Sorry, Mom - I forgot you can't see the hyperlinks. Thanks for letting me know that you didn't know where to go to donate. If you click RIGHT here on THIS, you'll be directed to the right place. Thanks - I love you too!


Anonymous said...

oh honey, big hugs to you!!! Just the fact that you do care and that your heart is heavy is something, you must endure this phase, and then move on and act on your feelings. Don't worry, it will come but it can't be forced. When you get there, we'll all be there waiting to help in our little ways.
Love and prayers to everyone in your heart,

Anonymous said...

Sweetpea, just copy and paste your post into an email to them. I think that says everything that they need to know. I'm sure they weill appreciate your communication. Becky said in her letter that she knew he was special - I also believe that he is special - one of the positive things about autism/asbergers is that more often than not, they are incredibly gifted in some area. Isn't is amazing how much we love our offspring regardless of the difficulties and problems they have/face in life? That's also a very special gift - a built-in gift from a very loving Father-in-Heaven. By the way, you didn't say where to send donations to the cause. I love you - and I love Dylan.


Kristy said...

I've read a lot about Asperger's, too, and it seems like they're getting better at diagnosing it. Some people call it just having a "dash" of autism, and the kids who have it are usually very intelligent, communicative, and high-functioning. Keep us posted on Dylan's progress ...

Maija said...

You will know what to say when the time is right. Rest assured that Dylan's parents love him no matter what!

Amy Pennington said...

Oh sweet heather! Hugs are sent your way. You are in my prayers as you find the right words to use in your response to the email. The sorting thing happens all the time, put a disclaimer in your email and they will understand or tell them you were researching in your fmaily tree and such. Be strong:) hugs hugs hugs