In an effort to create a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we have created this "Faces For Autism" blog. Here, you can share an in depth, no holds barred look into the day to day triumphs, struggles and real world stories not only from individuals with Autism but also you; the people in their lives that support them.
Every face is a different story and we would like to encourage YOU to send us yours.
This week's inspiring Autism Story comes from Brittany, Travis an the big man Sulley Houweling !
"AUTISM... not a word I would ever imagine associating with my then 20 month old son, Sully, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. But, that was what we were faced with after his assessment. Autism. I was stunned, angry, heartbroken and worried. I remember staring at him crying thinking of all the difficulties he would have and things he may never do. Almost at that exact same time I realized I was being ridiculous. Sitting in front of me was a happy, funny, perfect little creature.
And now he's 4! He's brilliant, he is spelling words with flash cards, such as observe and unlock and proud. He is still nonverbal but with help from behavioural interventionists (therapy) and mostly his own stubborn will, he has created his own ways to communicate. He currently has therapy three days a week and preschool two mornings, he loves his busy schedule. Sully is very affectionate, loves snuggling and tries to use kisses as a way of getting what he wants (it works most of the time).
Some days are harder than others for us as a family and for him as a person. It's heartbreaking to see him frustrated because he can't seem to get us to understand what he needs, or he's in an uncomfortable situation. We have been judged and criticized in rare bad moments in public, by people who do not understand Sully is not just being a "brat." I don't tell every stranger who's commented that he has ASD. I'm perfectly fine with people thinking(on a bad day for Sully) that I'm a terrible mother, raising a jerk , for letting my four year old plug his ears and cry in the grocery store (because it may be crowded and loud). I have been told maybe I shouldn't bring him in public.... It's amazing how fast you can despise another person for ignorant words they've spoken. All we ask for is a bit of understanding, and remember what thumpers father said, "if can't say nothin nice, don't say anything at all."
I'll be completely honest I haven't thought about the things Sully may not do or might miss out on since that day shortly after his diagnosis. He is incredible, he is beyond smart, he has so much love to give. He is perfect, we wouldn't change him, but we are participating in a lot of therapy and strategies to make his life better for HIM. We are truly grateful that we have an amazing family support team. Sully's Grandmas are incredible. I don't know where I'd/we'd be with out Travis, my amazing husband and best daddy on the plant (yep, bragging).
Our Autism journey will continue, we will have great days and we will have awful days when we probably shouldn't leave the house. But we've got this!!!".