Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Year in Review Part 2

If you have not read part 1, please do so!
Now, onto the business of Part 2.
I was just beginning to understand Cameron's limitations. I pushed him to go to playgroups and felt like I was forcing him to be social when he could care less. I will be honest... I didn't know much about Autism... In fact, as harsh as it may sound, I kind of thought Autism was in some ways a form of mental retardation.
I thought Aspergers was just a label given to an odd genius kid, and that THOSE kids were the ones who would end up being the lonely bachelor scientist or chemist. I never considered Aspergers to be on the spectrum, and in fact, I didn't even know there was a spectrum. I thought ODD, ADD and ADHD were just diagnoses saved for those looking for an easy scapegoat and possibly an excuse for the pending murder trial that this "bad seed" would later commit. I figured these were the kids on meds because a parent didn't know how to raise a hard headed child....Now that I have offended the majority of you, let me be very VERY clear... these issues simply didn't impact my life and I liked life that way. I liked not thinking about other peoples issues or problems. It wasn't like I was voicing my opinion to anyone... it was simply my viewpoint formed by my VERY limited exposure to this issue. It was really "all about me". MY issues, MY problems... This old attitude and way of thinking is NOW how I approach education and awareness of these conditions. A ton of people focus on the "ME" and not so much on the community or others. A lot of people have never truly given selflessly...think about it... we donate to a cause because in some way it affects us... the end result, WE feel better about the "ME"factor. There are a TON of people out there that simply don't realize what they have chosen to ignore, and in a way, shun. I live every day with this, and I push so hard to bring the signs, symptoms and tolerance to the masses. Because I do live with it... the "ME" factor is there. After all, if the younger more naive me felt this way, I am sure there would be others out there thinking the same.
I deserve every snide comment, glare and criticism thrown my way... at least the younger, more naive "self" does.  Again, there was a darn good reason for me to have this blessing from God, and hardly any of it is because I was some sort of saint. It would be a wake up call of the roughest kind, and it made me realize what a horrible un-compassionate person I really was.... even though I thought I was a pretty good person. It would be later that I would be hit with the bombshell and get the official diagnosis. I researched everything I could find and read so much stuff, from what Jenny MCarthy had to say about "curing" kids with Autism, to diet solutions, to CHELATION and how deadly it could be, to vaccinations causing it, to my husbands older age being a factor, to my weight causing it, plastics, eating microwave dinners, insecticides, ect ect, until finally, I was certain that I caused this, that I was a horrible mom.
 I was fortunate to go through the baby blues AND this depression and guilt at the same time. If you are gonna feel like crap and get depressed, might as well make it big. Did I mention that being a "drama queen" is par for the course with my family? lol!

Back to Cameron and his limitations: So, he didn't care to be too social in group setting with kids his age. He didn't imitate or engage. He did his own thing, and if someone had a toy he wanted to explore, he simply took it right from them and as the child cried, he showed zero compassion... again... that is a level of communication he lacks in...
He didn't understand Easter... he just didn't "get" it. I think this is kind of the way he was thinking: WHY would I want to pick up these eggs and put them in a basket? I think they look GREAT on the grass... oh, grassblades... look how neat... lol. What was tough and heart-wrenching is watching his two younger cousins (one is 2 months younger, the other is 6 months younger) BOTH grasp the concept of egg hunting and having a ball. If you watch the video, focus on my son, not my mom's buttcrack please! LOL!

Right here is a prime example of what we deal with. He doesn't talk... he screams. He screams because he doesn't know what he is supposed to do, he screams because as much as we try to show him, he feels like we are keeping him from whatever important "task" he has... My husband and I both feel a bit helpless... like we can't show him how to do things, we can't "help" him though his journey... we only get to see our son suffer and we can't take away the pain. I still battle these feelings every day.