My Little Superhero

From day one, my son has been a miracle. During five long years of trying – I thought having children may be impossible for me. Then, one day out of nowhere I was pregnant. After nine months it had been a healthy pregnancy. One night, that all changed. It was about two weeks before my due date and I was experiencing pain and contractions at the same time. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. A slight terror blanketed me. I had lost a child before. I checked myself into the hospital.

Hours of tests followed. The doctors and nurses didn’t even bother to do an ultrasound. It didn’t matter that I was insisting upon it. One female doctor even had the nerve to tell me it was probably gas. Since when does gas give you a shooting pain in your lower left side? Idiot.

They sent me home. About five hours later I was in the worst pain of my life. I was doubled over, screaming, and I couldn’t get out of that position. My family (who was now thankfully at my side) called an ambulance. I was rushed back in. The morning staff was much kinder and actually knew how to do their jobs. After an ultrasound, the doctor I had waited months to see stood over me.

He explained how I had something very rare going on. My body was producing excess amniotic fluid and was posing a risk to my unborn son and myself. The fluid had somehow started to enter his lungs. I asked what this meant. What could be done? He replied “We have to get the baby out. We need to see if we can remove the fluid in his lungs.” When I asked if it was urgent and this absolutely had to be done he nodded and gave me a firm “Yes”.

The operation was a success. It saved both of our lives. The battle may have been won but, the war was far from over.

Our baby spent three of the longest weeks of our lives in the NICU. (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Although he was not considered premature because he was about a week and a half shy of his due date, he was still treated as such. He fought for his life in there. He had tubes coming out and going in just about everywhere. We weren’t allowed to even hold him. Still, from day one I felt an instant bond. We spent many a night without sleep in that unit, only leaving to shower or eat. Sometimes we even went without that.

Life may have thrown him a curveball but, our son made it. Three weeks later we took home a healthy baby boy.

Little did we know, this was not the end of our fight. By age two, we had started to notice some developmental delays, mainly just with speech. We sought treatment and kept hitting dead ends.

Nearly three years ago my son was diagnosed with autism. I did not panic. I did not cry. I was however experiencing some fear. I was concerned about the judgment from others that would no doubt be relentless throughout our lives.

There was a viable reason there was no panic felt in the earliest days. I am in fact no stranger to autism. My paternal uncle is severely autistic and I love him with all of my heart. The way he has been treated by the public in the distant past is why I continue to have this fear. People are cruel towards what they don’t understand.

When my son’s story with autism first began he was having extreme speech difficulties. After countless battles with doctors we finally found out about Early Intervention. For those that don’t know, Early Intervention is a wide variety of therapies that help children on the autism spectrum try to overcome some of their developmental difficulties. Even though our son got what is considered a “late start” he did wonderfully in the program and continued on to preschool.

I’m happy to report today that you cannot notice a disability unless you have a trained eye. He talks up a storm. His sensory difficulties are still there but have lessened dramatically. Autism doesn’t go away. He will live with some quirks and minor obstacles for the rest of his life. However, I would like to stress to those that don’t know much about this disorder that it is not a disease to be feared and pointed at and judged. It is a rewiring of the brain that could happen to anyone in the womb. There is still so much being found out about it every day.

These individuals are nothing short of amazing. They are not “slow” or “dumb” or “retarded” like so many old-fashioned beliefs and movies may tell you. They are unbelievably intelligent and talented. They simply learn in a different way.

I ask humbly that the next time you see a child throwing a tantrum in a busy store or see someone severely frightened by loud sound, try not to judge. Try not to stare. That person just may have autism.

They just may be my little superhero.

(This video was taken last summer. It was one of the first times I lifted the veil. The original post containing it can be viewed here.)

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47 thoughts on “My Little Superhero

  1. and what a beautiful boy he is. you are both so lucky to have each other. as a teacher of young children, some on the spectrum, you have said this beautifully, and i think it would be wonderful for many parents and caregivers to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. 🙂 I think it’s so important (especially with the numbers increasing every year) to realize they are not as different as everyone may think. I appreciate your words so much My hope is that it will reach those that need it most.

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  2. What a sweetheart you’ve got there! ❤ Thank you for the reminders in this post. People need to re-learn patience and empathy, or some do at least.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes they need to meet someone like him to find it. Other times, it needs to be someone very close. My patience meter has definitely increased since he came into my life.

      He is such a sweetie, indeed. This little guy sees beauty in the simplest things. He’s taught me a lot. I know he’s going to do the same for so many people throughout life.

      Thank you for your kindness & understanding. I hope someday everybody will have a little more empathy. 🙂

      Like

  3. I have a similar story to yours. My daughter took five long years to bless us in our lives. Out of the blue one day I found out I was pregnant. Normal pregnancy and birth. She hit all her milestones and then at about age 2 we noticed she was not really talking. She went through early intervention and is now in preschool and loves it. She talks much more now and has made huge improvements in a short time. We are still waiting to see a developmental ped as their is a 1 year waiting list due to high instances of autisim in our area, so she has not been diagnosed yet. It is frustrating when you don’t know what is going on. I remember when I first heard that word Autisim and how terrified I was, but I have seen so much improvement, I am much more at ease now. I am just so blessed to have her in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing your story. your son is precious, and it is always nice to meet others who have been touched by this in there lives. *Hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • That saddens me that you’ve been but on a waiting list. I say call everywhere you can to see if they can take her. This way, if she is diagnosed you’ll have easier access to any services and therapies she may need.

      It’s nice to hear from you too. I know there are a lot of us parents/guardians/caregivers & teachers going through these similar stories. Our best tool is sticking together and helping one another along the way.

      I’m glad to hear you were able to get Early Intervention. Some sadly don’t even know what it is.

      You certainly have my support. I’ll be rooting for you & your family that everything works out.

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  4. Reblogged this on CardCastlesInTheSky and commented:

    Some of you have said your favorite stories that I share are the ones about my son. This is HIS story. I’m sharing it over at Stories That Must Not Die today because it had to be told. I hope you’ll pay us a visit, check out the STMND team and click that +Follow button if you haven’t already!

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  5. What a wonderful, handsome little boy! I’m glad you told your story — people are so quick to criticize — this is a good reminder to all of us not to be hasty. To be kind, instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I may be the storyteller, Elyse but, ultimately this is my son’s story. 😉 He deserves the spotlight for this one. All of the triumphs are his & his alone. He’s come a long way.

      Thank you so much. He would love to hear all of the compliments. He knows what “handsome” means & he blushes when people say it. The little ham. 😛

      I hope it reaches those that need to be reminded the most.

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      • It’s those stories that give us tremendous hope, Elyse. 😀
        Our little guys has real strengths in math & sports. He has unbelievable hand/eye coordination. He’s actually ahead of kids in his age group in a lot of areas. What holds him back is his difficulty focusing & sitting still. He’s extremely hyperactive but they’re adjusting certain aspects of his teaching to deal with it. He tires us out at home for sure but, he’s also a lot of fun.

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  6. “People are cruel towards what they don’t understand.” – Thank you for sharing your story and helping fight against this truth. We need to unite and stand against it, rally against those who judge without reason or cause, educate those who don’t understand, and bring peace to all those families who have suffered as a result. I hope that our children will live in a world where that statement is no longer a truth.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, I don’t see much hope (though, for Zoe I say “there is always hope”) of us seeing those days… We have a long road to walk, and the efforts we are making now, the steps we are taking, are heading us in that direction… but, it is still a long way off. As I said, I don’t think we will see it, but, yes, I have high hopes that our children will. Don’t we always have the highest hopes for the world for our children…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous boy. He IS a superhero.

    My son had issues early on, too. Early Intervention came in to help him with delayed speech, and so many other problems. He has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. He’s a great kid and I love him with all my heart.

    Thanks for sharing. I loved watching your beautiful boy. His mom is quite spectacular, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samara you are such a sweetheart. You have a genuine nature about yourself that can just be felt through a screen.
      Early on, (strangely enough) we thought it was a combo of ADHD, OCD, and Sensory Processing Disorder. It turns out when you combine all of those symptoms, you get mild autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

      We still wonder sometimes if it is indeed those three instead of autism but whatever label these things go by we’re happy he’s getting the help he needs.

      Friends like you are a blessing. I’m glad we met – even if it was through something quite sad. Leave it to our girl to bring us together. 😉 I just heard from her today btw. I’ll have to tell you about that later. Then maybe you can share your Ramones story with me. 😀

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      • I’m in the same boat. Is it all the letters? Is he on the spectrum?

        At almost 11, so many of his symptoms are gone. There are different ones, now. But you’re right. The labels are irrelevant. Lets just address the issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they said he’s on the mild end of the spectrum & considered “high-functioning”. He definitely has issues sitting still when he has to & focusing. (A lot like ADHD) He also has boundless amounts of energy.

        Today, a lot of the issues are gone or have lessened but we still have plenty of challenges.

        You’re a great mama too. I can see it. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • My son had an IEP- they let him STAND all through kindergarten! It’s a full day. He couldn’t sit that long!

        Here’s to both of us being great mamas!

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      • Our munchkin does too but we’ve had to battle. He just came from a fantastic school. Sadly, we got a letter last week stating he’s going to be starting at a new school which I’ve researched & appears to be pretty bad. We have 2 options – move (which we’ve been wanting to do anyway) or stay & fight the hell out of the school district.

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  8. He is absolutely gorgeous and you are an amazing and loving mother 😀

    Two of my nephews were diagnosed with autism and both had intensive early intervention therapy. The oldest one (who is now in his mid-twenties) is a professional dancer and the most wonderful guy you would ever meet. The younger one works at a supermarket and is also a very loving man and has a group of very special friends. I’ve witnessed the taunting and it brings out the ‘protective aunt from hell’ in me, but I’ve learned to control it over the years.

    I don’t mean to come down on nurses or doctors, but I’m so sorry you were treated so badly in the hospital. I too was told I had ‘gas’ when in fact my IUD had penetrated my uterus and embedded itself in my bowel. Sometimes they have NO idea what they’re doing and it’s always good to find someone who really cares and is prepared to go the extra mile in the medical profession.

    Sending you and your beautiful son loads of love and big hugs xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Dianne honey, you always know how to get straight to my heart. Reading your experience with hospital staff just now infuriated me. I’ve heard so many & had so many horror stories like this. Something really needs to be done.
      I think a good long look needs to be taken at the medical field & their schooling & more investigations need to be done. It bothers me that they are so protected by lawyers too. Where are the patients’ rights?

      Sigh. Forgive me. That’s another rant for another day. You know I love you so of course my emotions were gonna show a bit. 😛

      I’m touched to hear your nephews found their place. They give me hope. I worry about his teenage & adult years so much but, I guess that’s just my nature.
      Thank you so much for this. You’re always such a comfort. *hugs*
      ♥♥♥♥

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      • Thank you my darling 😀 You remind me of my beautiful sisters who fought every day to make sure their sons would live good productive lives (and it really worked!) I admire you so much xxx

        On a side note – I have another rant about a doctor who wrote me a script to see a psychiatrist when I told her my 2 yo son was critically ill and she refused to believe me. She said the rash he had was ‘school sores’ and I was an ‘over-reactive mother who required treatment’ because I had taken him to see her three days on a row. Long story short, my son ended up in the hospital that evening with a pediatrician telling me he wouldn’t live to see the night out. He had golden staph cellulitus. He survived (thank god) after a long time in ICU and when I told the pediatrician what the other doc had said he had her taken off the medical register (which was a good thing) 😉 Although, I found out she was practicing again several years later…

        Sorry, rant over! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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