I watched her as she picked out her clothes and dressed herself. Including lip gloss. She even had time to paint her nails. After eating breakfast. She cleared her plate and changed the date on our family calendar. Then she waited by the window for the bus.
Five years ago, the scenario would play out completely different. Sydney would have been up all night. Breakfast consisted of me putting multiple choices in front of her. Half of it was in her mouth.The other half was on the floor or the wall. Despite her strength and ability. Her body would go limp when it was time to get dressed. She screamed when I tried to comb her hair. I would chase her around the house and wrestle her to the ground to brush her teeth.
Sydney’s body wasn’t regulated at all. She was in sensory overload. She wore a sensory vest at school. I expected her to perform like her peers. I was in denial about her ability. I was adding more frustration by forcing her to perform tasks that she wasn’t ready to complete.
Yes, I wanted her to write her name. Yes, I wanted her to read and know her shapes. Yes, I wanted her to have a friend. Autism taught me that my timing means nothing. Things are happening for Sydney that I would have never dreamed would happen. Do I still feel like autism kicks my ass on days? Yes, I do.
When Sydney realized that her voice mattered. Sydney changed. Sydney began to model things that I had tried to teach her for years. Sydney was in a special education classroom for most of her education.
This year Sydney has small group ELA, small group Math and is on a trial basis for an inclusion class for science. If this trial goes well. We will have an IEP meeting to change her class setting on her IEP. This is a huge victory for Sydney.
Sydney walks over and sits with 8th grade girls at lunch. She learned about personal hygiene and getting enough sleep from the counselors at school. She asked me for a small purse for her deodorant to keep in her backpack. She also sets a timer on her iPad, that tells her what time to go to bed to get 8 hours of sleep!
Will she live with me forever? Will she continue school until she is 21? Will she go to the prom? Only God knows.
All I know is that I treasure each milestone that she makes. I treasure the love she has for Harrison. I love it when she calls me mom and tells me she loves me. I love getting hugs from her. I love the fact that Sydney has surprised everyone that gave up on her. I love it when she says Jesus take the wheel, whenever I am talking too much.
Sydney taught me that it is okay to be different. That no matter what people say about you. God has the final say. To every family that is on a special needs journey. Please stay on the course. Open your mind and heart to think about what is in the best interest of your child.
Now I need her to delete the countdown Disney app and countdown to Egypt trip that she has planned. Maybe she knows something that I don’t know.
An Autism Mom That Never Gave Up!