Over the weekend we got together with my aunt and uncle who we hadn’t seen since Christmas. We always have a great time with them. Mateo was running around and chasing his sister Maya around the room, calling “Come on Maya!”
My aunt and uncle are used to seeing him in a large setting with lots of family around. My mom comes from a family of 5 brothers and sisters so family gatherings are always filled with chaos. I feel so lucky that Mateo is OK with all of the noise and action, he’s able to regulate himself really well in those situations. This is a blessing since my husband and I both have large families.
Mateo ran up to my aunt and says to her “Up high!” “Down low” “TOOOOO slow!” She laughs and stares at me in amazement. She has never seen him like this. She has never seen him so interactive. She and my uncle are very impressed by his progress.
I say yes, he’s worked so hard to get here. To have any expressive language at all has taken so much work. I always have to tell people it’s not by some miracle, or diet or anything but intense therapy and lots of work on all of our parts. I can tell he remembers them, he would be hesitant to approach any strangers like that. But the progress is very apparent. It’s apparent to all of us.
So after the kids go to bed, we sit and talk about everything. My uncle says he has learned a lot about Autism from us and my other cousin who as Aspergers. And that makes me feel really good, that because of Mateo people are starting to understand what Autism really is. We talk about the hours of ABA therapy in the house, the speech, OT, group therapy. How insurance is double the price for him even though they don’t cover anything. How difficult running your own business is in this economy, out of our home and taking care of two kids. And everyone always says to us, “I don’t know how you two do it.”
Some days I don’t know how we do it either. Some days I want to hide in my bed and pull the covers over my head and ignore the world. But I find happiness in the progress, I see how all of our hard work, all of Mateo’s hard work is paying off. I find motivation in meeting new friends online, people out there for services for our children, trying to make a difference in their future. And I find love in all of the support of our amazing friends and family. And that’s what keeps me going every day.
That and a fun night of Wii with my amazing kids like we had last night. Maya sings while Mateo does the dance moves. It’s just about the cutest thing in the world. Instant happiness!