Thursday, July 14, 2011

Venturing into No Mama's Land

I love being a mama, don't get me wrong. But my sweet J has autism. No biggie, just type in autism and you can find blogs, books, and even movies (love you, Temple Grandin!) There are online and real life support groups, and those are wonderful. You know what I see and hear in most cases? Little Polly is a high functioning 8 year old. Tommy is 6 and has high functioning autism. Sigh.  As much as I'm thrilled it's all out there, there's just one teeny tiny hitch in this plan for me: J is not in the little kiddie age anymore. He is eighteen. His functioning, honestly, is mid to high in most cases. 
  He's my heart. I love him dearly. It's the autism I go head to head with most days. He's nonverbal so I play detective unless it's something directly food related (He's definitely a teenage boy!)  We still battle complete potty training. And things will suddenly upset him. No idea what a lot of times, which is uber heartbreaking for this mama. 
  Don't let all that scare you away from getting to know my sweet young man though. On most occasions he has a  precious smile for those he knows. He loves attending worship service, even if sometimes he is on the back pew, shoes off, letting the whole congregation know he's there with his giggles or outbursts. We have such a loving family there in Statesboro. They understand when he gets restless and i get a smile sometimes as his dad or I walk him outside or into the fellowship hall so he can pull it together a bit. 
  We have a dear friend who is an online dj for a country station. He's always sweet enough to say hello J and even me, and he's been known, on occasion, to play music specifically for J so that he could relax and go to sleep. Even now our favorite pirate dj's roommate dedicates a special song for J and me. I send love and hugs to that entire family over there. I've been blessed to get to know them. Jesse's love of music will keep us listening most days.
  Well, that's a brief look into J's life. His dad and I are having fun -and frustration-- treading this new land called teenager/young adult with autism.  Its definitely no mama's land at times.

Are you blessed with a teenager or young adult with autism? Do you work with them, related to someone?

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