Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How My Kids Have Helped Me Grow -Guest Post by Cindy

 Editorial Note: As we wrap up Autism Awareness Month, I bring to you our final Guest Post for the month of April...
Cindy is one of our Confessions, autism mama's.  She is the mother of two amazing boys one of whom is confirmed to be on the spectrum and has an interestingly formed left hand, and one who might have ADHD.  Having children teaches us who we really are.  Having children with special needs teaches us love and compassion beyond any other experience in life.  Here is the story of how Cindy's special boys have changed her forever.
My oldest, M is my Aspie with a 'different' hand. The very first thing I learned from him is that people are not their disability.  Different is not always bad- in fact it is often amazing! This boy was brought up to believe that his left hand was one of many outward signs that God made him special- just like I have dark curly hair and hazel eyes. He internalized it so much that when we were last at the hand Dr he told the Dr,"no! That is a way God made me special!" without looking up from the DS screen! I almost started laughing then and there! 
My boys both had physical challenges growing up, they had many therapies a week- and through that I learned that I grasp concepts of OT and PT very well. I guess I am a good student.   
Motherhood has shown me that I am capable of loving more than I ever thought possible-2 babies are more love! 
Being their mom has shown me that I can find a creative solution to just about any situation! I am creative! (I used to draw, paint and sculpt. They all stopped when I learned to crochet and cross stitch.)  I have always encouraged my kids to be creative and try new art techniques- even finger painting with your knees! They brought my creativity back into my life. 
My little guy, A, has taught me so much about forgiveness and generosity. He will forgive you if you apologize. If you don't you are out of luck. And if you asked for it nicely, he would even share a favorite book with you! They had a fundraiser for the earthquake victims in Haiti a while back- and A was so excited about giving his dollar so he could wear a hat in school that he couldn't stop grinning! A cheerful giver lives here! He taught me that even things I need to give to, there is a joy in having enough to give 
M has taught me an amazing amount about finding my strengths. He is amazing at science, computers and ART- takes after his Mom I guess. His life has challenged me to re-examine who I am and where my strengths lie.
One of  my creative outlets for a while was in making the boys birthday cakes. One looked like Blue's house from Blue's Clues, Elmo, Thomas the Tank Engine, Power Ranger, Death Star and I am sure I missed one or 2. 
I have learned that I am a very creative person and that when my creative outlet is not available, I get downright irritable!
ADHD means: playing video games and having a coherent conversation actually can happen! 
Hypersensitive hearing is great for correcting people on the phone. It is also excellent in knowing who just pulled into the driveway or locating a cat 
I learned how to love by watching both of my boys with our cat, Yoda, and with each other. They both want to have the cats attention. But M wants to give the fur baby a full body hug and Yoda is not inclined to accept that as a hug. A wants to pet Yoda. And Yoda loves them both. 
Cindy's Boys
My Boys bicker- they are preteen and teenaged- but they always look out for each other when the other one is upset. They check in with each other when they get home from school, and before bed. Just a ,"Hi Bro" but it is very meaningful. 
I have learned that it does not all have to be perfect! And that I will never be this elusive perfect person no matter what. 
I learned that the schedules I made for them as small children have prepared them for adulthood. We do not have too many rush around mornings- especially my Aspie! He turned 15 last year and he just started being responsible.
I have leaned that I can survive on 6 hours sleep or less! Don't recommend it but I have achieved much in that state.now understand the term 'silence is golden!' A is a little chatterbox so when he quiets down I am relieved.
Special is the right word to describe my boys ...courageous, happy, and handsome. They have brought me back to life and they are my real life heroes!

May blessings follow you wherever you go!