The First Time The Word Autism Scared Me

I didn’t allow myself to feel any of the emotions that came with his diagnosis.

I didn’t walk out of his appointment any different than walking in.

It hit me about 3 weeks later. When the letter arrived.

At his appointment, we discussed ABA. We discussed the hours.

We discussed how we needed this for him to start speech. I walked out feeling relieved.

I know that’s a total opposite emotion than you would expect.

To me it was finally being heard.

Finally getting him the services he needed to help him have his best life.

I dove into services. They literally swallow our life, until they are not working or he’s not receptive I’m going to keep going.

I never want to look back and think, what if I had done this or that.

This is my baby and its all about him. He has 30 hours a week of services.

I had fought so hard to get here, to have the help and services, to have the support of an amazing pediatrician.

I think it all allowed me to push those emotions to the back.

When I opened the letter, I had assumed we had discussed the content in the meeting we had.

We had discussed everything but “moderate to severe.”

I broke down. It was the first time autism scared me.

It was the first time I allowed myself to feel all those emotions that had been shoved to the back while fighting for months and months for someone to listen to me.

He was almost 2.5, but my mind raced about what it means for his future.

Will he learn to talk?

Will he graduate high school?

Have a job? Drive?

Be an independent adult? Live with us for ever? 

I have huge hopes for him. My worries will never stop my hopes.

He has progressed so quickly in 12 months. He is flying through programs in ABA.

Every week on his progress report, they can’t state it enough how well he is doing.

How he continues to impress them and me every day!

I dream big for my typical 7 year old daughter, and autism is not stopping me from dreaming big for my son. 

For now my hopes are high, our dreams are big, and our life is chaotic.

But every time he sits down and watches a show, every time he does the motions and sings “The wheels on the bus,” every time he listens to me, every time he looks at me, every time he speaks, every time he focuses on a task, I know everything we’re doing is right.

I know I am giving him my best and I know he’s surrounded by an amazing team. A team who is on this journey with us and care so much for my little boy.

Written by, Michele Rudd

I’m a wife and mother. I have 2 amazing kids. My almost 8 year old daughter, Cameron and my amazing 3.5 year old son, CJ.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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