When we were given Zoey's diagnosis of Autism, Global Developmental Delay, Dyspraxia of Speech, (Zoey is nonverbal) Sensory Processing Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in August 2014, she was not quite 2 years old.
Life in our House has turned into Therapy everyday for Zoey, and it has changed how our little family of four operates. This was definitely not the life that we planned.
We went full throttle into therapies, starting when Zoey was 19 months old, and we haven't looked back...as far as therapy goes anyway!
Of course I've looked back, I'd be lying if I said I didn't! I looked back a lot!
Zoey was hitting every milestone, most of them early, she was walking at 11 months. She was singing and babbling and screaming just to hear her own voice, I watched my beautiful baby grow and learn...at 14 months old I then watched as she "went away!"
She stopped babbling, she stopped eating on her own, she stopped playing with her sister, she hid away in other rooms, and I could no longer pick her up and hug and kiss her, and I missed her, because she was gone! She rocked and banged and screamed and we had to guess what it was she wanted or needed all while she screamed at us, yes her words that were supposed to have been there were gone!
Frustration, Aggression, and Meltdowns became common and I felt helpless.
Where did she go? What happened to my baby? She was just here and now she's gone. You see I have pictures and videos of my child and I look back and all I keep saying in my head is that Autism stole my baby! She was here and then she was gone...I hated Autism for stealing my child, a secret I kept to myself until now!
My intention is not to offend or upset anyone with that statement, it is something that I've carried with me for 10 months.
To watch your child throw herself, bite herself, scream out of frustration, and watch her scurry away from you when trying to help or console her...well, that's just not fair, Autism!
I was sad and depressed and hated Autism for stealing my child and leaving her speechless and frustrated and for making me scared. I was and still am scared for my child. Having a diagnosis of Autism at 2 years old is good and bad. Good because we got Early Intervention earlier than most, Bad because it leaves us with the uncertainty of her future. Will she ever speak, Will she experience the same things her older sister will experience...boyfriends, (not that my husband and I are rushing that...at all) sleep overs, getting her drivers license, graduating high school, college, marriage, children...will she be able to live independently?
No one can answer those questions for me right now, and I'm scared for Zoey's future, and the all mighty question of them all..."what if something happens to me...will she be ok?"
These were my thoughts for 10 months! Let me tell you what made me realize that everything was going to be okay.
Music is therapy for Zoey, most people may not understand her when she sings, but I do! She can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all day, I can make it out even if others cannot. Her calm down "meltdown song" is " I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN" by Carrie Underwood. I gotta be honest out of all the songs for her to love, it is the most heartbreaking one for me!
Here she is loving a song sung by a woman who is singing "I will see you again, this is not where it ends, I will carry you with me, until I see you again"
Tough lyrics for a Mom that blames Autism for stealing her child, and not knowing if I will in fact "see her again."
For months this song has been played on repeat in the car, house, and on my phone or tablet...I cried every time!
Until I didn't!
We were driving in the car and of course the song was on repeat like always, and then I heard it, I heard her! She was humming along to the song. Weeks went by and that humming turned into sounding out the melody, and then finally to her singing the song in her way! Others may not hear it, but I do, it's in her own way and it's beautiful...and I sing along with her, and she smiles and I smile. It's going to be okay...she's showing me and singing to me that "I will see her again, this is not where it ends!"