According to the clock, 2008 ended close to six hours ago. It got me to thinking about my end of year remembrances. So this is my “What I have to be thankful for” blog. Remembrances will be of a personal nature.
The most obvious I have to be thankful for is my family. I have been blessed by my husband and children in so many ways. But, to go back even further I was blessed to have the parents I did. They went thru a lot in order to adopt me. The year they became my foster parents I was 3 (1964). In order for them to adopt me (three years later) they had to make (initially) weekly trips to Harrisburg the state capitol and the location of the adoption agency (Catholic Charities) that was evaluating my parents. Mind you, my parents had already raised 4 of their own children. Daddy told me once that the agency had reservations because of the age issue. Daddy was 50 years older than me and Mom was 49 years older than me. Catholic Charities had concerns about their passing before I reached age 18. A legitimate concern I guess.
The things that I took with me from my relationship with my parents have been things to be thankful for most of the time. Even the not so great things, such as my relationship with my mom. We had issues from the time I was little on up. I think mostly because we were very similar personality types. Both strong willed and defiant individuals. Mom had one problem though that became my problem. She had sisters that would constantly belittle and berate her. Instead of confronting them with her anger, she would remain silent and later would berate and belittle me. She too in her own way helped to prepare me; (even if at the time it was the farthest thing from my then 10-year-old thinking) for what was to come. So again, here is a fine example of how God can work in a person’s life where the outcome is something totally, (though for the most part positive) different than you ever thought possible.
There have been moments however, especially when JR was first diagnosed when those traits of stubbornness and “I can do this myself” that I came damn close to breaking down and totally losing it. When I began my group on Yahoo it was a form of therapy for me. All though at the time I didn’t even realize it, or see it that way. It took my husband to actually tell me, what EVERYONE already knew. JR when he was younger would see me sitting on the sofa reading or watching TV and he would try to guide me back to the computer. He knew how that group helped me.
When I heard about the Hannah Poling case settling in vaccine court a new spark of hope was ignited. And all though I still have hope; it’s beginning to show a pattern of hope based on someone’s actions to anger because of someone’s deceit, remember the AAP going to a DAN conference, implying they wanted to work with our families and children. All they were doing was spying!! No one else will say this, but not to many think of this issue of autism and vaccines as an all out WAR. But it is.
Most people within the autism community need to shift their thinking from: ‘If I play nice and by the rules, they will listen and respond.” And, in reality they will respond. Not necessarily with what WE wanted or in a reasonable time frame (I.E. lack of national insurance coverage for treatment that are proven effective to INCLUDE supplements). Shifting of thought process needs to go into a more determined state of mind. Getting what is needed, WHEN it is needed. This may be over simplified in my thinking but the latter of the two options is what has worked so far to get JR where he is today. Academically, behaviorally, and health-wise. It was through my determination, my advocacy for my son, and my attitude of “he deserves and needs this and he will have it”. A lot of professionals probably don’t like me much and frankly I don’t give a shit. When someone tells me after spending and hour with my child that “all is lost and we don’t know how to help these kids” and acting like she/he knows my kid better than I do then I don’t really care who I piss off. It gets the results I want period.
Thank GOD for Vista, I don’t have to show that side of myself too much anymore and it feels good.
So my personal thanks began with my parents and ends with my son’s school. Yeah, I think that covers the past 44 years pretty well. What’s to come? Who really knows? I pray everyday for something I don’t think mankind has ever experienced at length. PEACE! May we all come to understand it in depth very soon.