Today is World Autism Awareness Day. As for now, when it’s 6:35 pm, I can assure you that everyone I know is familiar with what today is all about. You see, I’m a proud autism mama and I’m everything but shy about it – especially not today. I’ve been blasting images and exclamation marks on Facebook to do my part in raising the awareness. I do have bigger news though, but as I’m about to be interviewed by Autism Live in just a few moments, I really don’t have the time to tell you about it right now. However, I promise that I will later today so please check in again.
Today’s post is a simple ode to my beautiful, kind, cheerful, loud, computer sick, autistic, persevering, wonderful boy with his easy smile, who turns six today.
He still does, and always has, melted people with his bright blue eyes, shrill voice, and beautiful smile and it can sometimes be pure pleasure to witness his special and genuine view of life.
It’s been approximately one and a half year since our world turned upside down – since we learned that our boys are autistic. It sure has been a roller coaster ride. Emotionally, we’ve delved into the darkest corners of the human mind and then slowly reemerged back up into the sunshine. We still go up and down but the roller coaster is slowly changing from one of those crazy roller coasters where people feel dizzy just looking at them to something a bit more innocent, a bit more manageable. And it seems as if the general direction is upwards of late.
I am amazed that my blog now has well over 1000 followers! I’m so thankful and humbled for your support! I can’t believe it was only in February that I decided to go ahead with this blog about my two sons, their autism diagnoses and how autism affects the family. I had been thinking about it for weeks but was a little doubtful at first if it was a good idea to open up to the world and letting everyone in on my little family and our life. But there was something that told me it would be for the better. It most certainly was and I haven’t regretted doing it for a single moment! It has had great therapeutic effects and I think that those close to us have also gotten a better idea of the things that we’ve been going through. Thus, I want to thank my husband for getting the idea in the first place and then urging me on and believing in me. But first and foremost I want to thank you all that have supported me by following the blog, by leaving your amazing and so so appreciated comments, and last but not least by sharing my posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. You have truly been an inspiration and your support means the world to me. So thank you all so very much!
Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while probably know about the extensive sleeping problems of our V and how they’ve been affecting the family. As explicitly explained in my post Autism Sleeping Problems, my husband and I have practically not had a night off together in months since one of us has been stuck in the bedroom, trying to get the little gorilla boy to sleep – without much luck! It wasn’t unusual that he was still awake at 11 pm after more than three hours of “Lie down!”, “Stop playing and go to bed… now!”, “Stop standing on your head!” (see video below), and “Honey, will you just please fall asleep now! PLEASE!!!”. It has been a nightmare!
I’ve been kind of quiet lately. That is, however, not due to lack of news – rather the contrary. It has been crazy busy and I simply haven’t found the time to sit down and write about everything that has been going on. As a very brief summary of all the things that have been happening it is worth mentioning the bliss of summer, Icelandic visitors, V starting in a new kindergarten, crazy busy schedules with our Master thesis work, we starting a new exercising program (at last!), some very interesting developments regarding sleep, JA showing new tendencies, and V showing some quite amazing skills. So, yeah… there is plenty to talk about.
It has been almost a month since I told you that I was hopeful. That was the first time in a long time that I had felt that way and it was an exhilarating sensation. All that excitement came from the mere possibility that V might get a spot in his big brother’s basis-gruppe, a special type of institution here in Denmark, consisting of a small group of 6 children, all diagnosed with autism that is supported by 3 or 4 preschool teachers. Although there was no guarantee for the spot at the time, I felt really optimistic that we would get it – so optimistic in fact, that I became a little afraid that I might be jinxing it!
In the short amount of time since I started this blog I’ve come across incredibly many amazing autism bloggers, some of which have been doing this for years on end. I’ve come to realize how big, but more importantly, strong the online autism society is and have personally found tremendous strength in reading about the experiences of others, their every day challenges and small victories. So I figured it would be a great idea to share some of these blogs with you guys. Therefore I’ve decided to regularly shout out an autism blog that I like via my Facebook page and my Twitter account.
Great news! We have officially been offered (and accepted) a spot for both boys in a kindergarten in Iceland that has excellent reputation for doing an outstanding job with autistic kids. And apparently, it is not just the reputation that is good since my husband, who is currently in Iceland, visited the kindergarten today and was tremendously impressed. Moreover, we have secured a place to live as well… in walking distance from the kindergarten. I am almost giddy with joy and relief!
For those of you who do not know, we currently live in Denmark where my husband and I are working on our graduate degrees. We moved here in the summer of 2010 and our original plan was to live here for a few years and not only finish our degrees but also gain some work experience in a foreign country. However, when the news of our son’s autism diagnosis struck, everything changed and suddenly our future plans were up in the air.