Friday, June 26, 2015

She's nonverbal but she sings beautifully

A nice nurse once told me "Don't EVER let them tell you that she won't talk!"

You hear a lot of famous singers say "I was singing before I was talking!"

 I'm here to tell you that I've seen it firsthand. 

My daughter Zoey was diagnosed with Autism just before her 2nd birthday and we were told that she was considered severely nonverbal. It was as if someone took all my air from my lungs, and my heart was pounding and aching as if it were in a vice grip, while my mind spun around with what we were just told.

We were just told that there was no guarantee that our beautiful 2 year old daughter may never speak, it hurt! 

My husband and I walked to the elevator with my husband carrying Zoey feeling shocked, emotional, and with no guarantee. We looked at each other and with tears in my eyes, my husband said "It changes nothing!"

Intensive in home therapies have been everyday now for a year, and we have seen Zoey make amazing progress and she is our beautiful almost 3 year old now and we have seen her do things we had no guarantee that she would do. She is Amazing. 

She is still considered nonverbal because she cannot speak, but what she lacks in words she totally amazes you with her voice...our baby can sing! Music is therapy for her, Music has allowed her to communicate through song and it is beautiful. We incorporate music into our daily routine and she sings all day long! 

So to that nice nurse that told me, "Don't EVER let them tell you she won't talk"

Thank you, she doesn't talk but she sings to me everyday! 

Here is one of my favorite songs that she sings...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The beautiful ways my hopes and dreams changed for my nonverbalautistic child

When Zoey was diagnosed with Autism in August 2014 we were told that "there is no guarantee that she will ever speak."

I hang onto Hope, I cling to Hope, I wear Hope, I sleep and dream Hope, I breathe it in everyday and never release the Hope. It is a part of me! 

My child is a part of me too, she is a piece of my heart, she makes me want to be healthy, to fight for anything and everything she needs, she's made me into someone I never thought, or even dreamt I could be. 

I knew nothing about Autism! I didn't know the different severities, I didn't know that my child may never talk, I didn't know that she would not be able to communicate at all, I didn't know! 

What I did know...To never lose Hope, don't take the small things for granted, and that I love this child unconditionally with all of my heart...that I know! 

Of course I wanted to hear her say "Mama" and wanted her to hug me, and yes I was sad. I put the sadness away and focused on what she could do, she has made huge progress this last year with Early Intervention, and she has opened up to me and we have a bond that we didn't have before. I get hugs, she sits with me, she lets me rub her face, she shows me love without words. 

I was hoping for her to talk so that she would be less frustrated, instead we found a different way to communicate with each other. The funny thing about you really know or want what you say you are hoping for, I had Hope that she would speak so she could say "Mama" or "I love you" or at least tell me what she wanted or needed. My Hopes turned into something different...I Hoped for her to be happy, feel less frustrated, and to feel and know love. Those Hopes have come true! 

Then Hope just floats around like a bubble, it's there and airy and beautiful! Then without you asking, praying, or dreaming for just happens! I just make sure to capture that bubble before it pops and wait for the next one...because bubbles are Amazing! 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Compassion can mean so much

I love my children...I have 2 beautiful little girls. My husband and I planned them to be close so that THEY would be close.

Our youngest, Zoey came earlier than expected, so instead of 18 months apart, they are 16 months apart, some would say..."that's not that big of a difference."

I had plans of them both being potty trained together or close to it, visions of them playing together and laughing and talking back and forth with each other and having conversations and witnessing their sisterly bond grow. Then they would go off to school and maybe have the same friends and stick up for each other when the other one needed protecting, fighting over clothes, boys, and make up...definitely clothes. 

My plan and my vision didn't quite happen that way. 

My oldest is 4 and Zoey will be 3 in 3 months. My oldest is potty trained, while Zoey is still in diapers and has to wear footed pajamas with the feet cut off, because if she were in regular clothes all day, well let's just say it's not pretty.  She strips right down, diaper and all and I would be mopping all day. 

There are no conversations between them, just my oldest saying "Mommy, Zoey did this, Zoey did that, Zoey won't get down, she's climbing!" 

My oldest goes to preschool while Zoey has therapies every day. My oldest will hold my hand and answer to her name and knows when I say "Stop, Danger, No, that she needs to stop and let me keep her safe. Zoey will not hold my hand, doesn't always answer to her name, and has no safety awareness at all. I literally have to carry my almost 3 year old or keep her in a stroller whenever we go out. When I would drop my oldest off at school in the morning it was a struggle. Where she would be ready in 10 minutes, Zoey took a half n hour...sometimes more. 

It was on one particular morning that I had struggled to get both girls into the car and off to bring my oldest to preschool, I'm not gonna lie I was sweating and out of breath and really dreading getting out of the car. I got out, had my oldest holding my hand and we walked over to get Zoey out of her car seat. I'm carrying Zoey and my oldest is holding my hand as we walk into the school for morning drop off. My oldest sticks to me like glue as Zoey is screaming, flailing, hitting, biting and kicking...I've got a good grip but she's heavy and I still have to sign my oldest in, get to her cubby, kiss her goodbye and wish her a good day. It was a mess! I manage to do all those things and Zoey manages to get out of my arms and starts darting through all the classrooms, my chase for her ensues. I scoop her up and she's not happy! Screaming, flailing, kicking, hitting, and biting I carry her out to the car. She then goes all stiff making it nearly impossible to get her into her car seat and buckled...but I've done this so many times before, I'm saying "Zoey, it's're okay...we're going home...bye bye!" as she aggressively resists. I finally get her in, turn around to see that my oldest was waving goodbye to me. I smiled the biggest smile with tears welling up in my eyes and I wave and yell "Have the best day baby, I love you!"

She headed out to the playground with a teacher and I took a deep breathe and headed to the drivers seat. Before I could even get in the car, my oldest' teacher came running out to me and I apologized and asked if my oldest was okay and she said that she had told her that she explained that Zoey was having a hard time and that everything was ok. 

I thanked her! 

We stood there, both of us with tears in our eyes and coming down our faces and she said to me "I know what it's like to have a child kick, hit, and did a great job!"

Again I thanked her as we both cried. 

She then said to me "From now on call inside and we will come out to get her so that it can be easier for all of you." 

I burst into tears as did she.

She told me "you're not alone, I can make drop offs easier for you...I see how hard you try and I want to help you...please let me help you!"

I shook my head yes as we cried at my car! 

Drop offs are MUCH easier now for everyone!