There are moments through this autism journey that will test a parent’s strength and emotional well being. These moments will also touch upon this spot in our heart that is soft, delicate and extremely fragile that we as autism parents have mended back together time and time again. This part of our heart was initially broken the day we received the diagnosis and through the years we learn to persevere and mend our broken hearts so that we can remain focused and strong for our children. My fragile spot on my heart cracked a bit tonight. As I was brushing Avah’s hair I said excitedly, “only a few weeks left of school and then Summer!” She looked up at me with a smile and said, “Summer Camp?”. As I began to say, “No, not this year” she begins to say, ” Science Camp, make slime?”. She was referring to last Summer her week long camp at MOSI. She finished out the week program but after that week they felt it wasn’t a good fit for her because of some of her behavioral needs. In her mind she had a great time at camp and loved creating things there. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be asking me a year later. However, they thought differently. At that moment, that spot in my heart began to ache and crack once again. “Damn you autism” but most importantly, “damn you society”. I so badly wish people could see past her autism and the difficulties it brings. I so badly wish people could see Avah the way I see her. Most importantly, I wish people would give Avah and others with disabilities at least a chance! I’m not saying it will be easy, it will be trying at times BUT it is so beyond worth it. Just give them a chance. Work through those challenges and give them an opportunity to at least show you their true self when they are in a understanding environment. So here I am weakened by my hurting heart. The only thing I could think to say is, “Avah, people suck and sometimes they don’t understand”. I’m not sure if she understood where I was going with my comment but It just came out. I kept brushing her hair and changed the subject to her upcoming surfing event. Once again, the spot in my heart is on the mend but will soon be healed and tucked away until the next time autism life rears its ugly head. ~ Adrian
As I look back on 2012 it was an ok year the best part is the world didn’t end so suck on that Mayans and theorists. There were some high points and some low points but for the most part it was a good year. I look forward to the New Year and what 2013 will bring to my family and friends.
2012 started on a low for me and my family as we lost my Great-Grandmother. She is missed but the great thing is she left us all with so many great memories and so many ‘Hazel moments’ that we will never fall short of having something to laugh about.
2012 was a good year for me academically I graduated from HCC and went on to USF to continue on with my education. I am currently working towards my Bachelors in Communications and my first semester there I did well. I am enjoying being a Bull and I love being part of USF. This past fall, I became active in the Autism Speaks U chapter and became the Secretary of the organization. Now heading into the spring semester and into 2013 I am Co-President of the organization alongside Georgette, a new friend of mine.
I also had a great internship this year with the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce which I am thankful for the opportunity. I met many great people from my few months of internship. I am especially thankful for the friendship that I gained from it. Lauren and I have become great friends with LOTS in common: USF, Communication major, social media, and we love wine. We have a lot of fun and I’m sure it will continue into 2013 and beyond.
Avah is doing great in school and her speech gets better and better each day! She is starting to lose all her baby teeth, she is getting so big and becoming a big girl. I know 2013 she will continue on with her great strides and grow even more. I am so proud of her! Ayden my little whirlwind is my social butterfly. He has so much energy and loves life! I can’t wait for him to start ‘school’ this coming year and see him develope even more. I love watching the both of them play. He has helped Avah so much and though she doesn’t interact much with her peers her love and fondness of her brother is undeniable. ❤
October 20, 2012 was supposed to be Rich and I’s wedding but we had to make the decision to put it on hold. I know one day it will happen in due time. So for what would have been our wedding weekend we went on a fabulous weekend getaway to Orlando and had a great time. We try to at least have one getaway a year and for some reason, so far, it’s always been Orlando. Maybe 2013 will take us somewhere different?
In December of this year I went back to work full -time for the first time in nearly two years. I always said that if I was going to go back full time it would have to an amazing opportunity. I was given that amazing opportunity I was waiting for! I began working at USF on December 3rd as the Program Assistant for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. In the past, I have helped guide families to resources and what to do next after the initial diagnosis of autism and I love helping families because I remember being in their shoes not too long ago, so being in this position to help and being surrounded by others in an office that has the same love and passion to help families and individuals with ASD is such an awesome experience. I am ready to learn and grow with this position in 2013.
2013 is going to be great! There are so many great things happening this year! My best friend Brea is set to give birth to a baby soon and hopefully for her sake REAL soon. My other best friend Melodee is set to get married March 9th. She has waited for this day for so long and it’s finally happening. I couldn’t be happier for her and am proud to stand beside her on her big day. I am also extremely excited to be an aunt! My brother and his girlfriend Jessica will be welcoming the newest member to our family in June and I am so excited for them and can’t wait to meet my niece or nephew. My cousin Gabe is graduating high school and will be attending the University of Tampa next Fall. It is crazy how time flies as I remember watching him as a baby and now he is young man! We also have a big birthday to celebrate as Rich will be the big 3-0! (He’s not going to be happy I shared that lol). My babies will be 8 and 3 this year. I can’t believe it. I do believe 2013 will be a great year!
There are so many things great things happening all around me. Looking at my calendar of events and to do’s already makes me tired but it will be worth it. I have a great loving family, my children are happy and healthy, and 2013 will bring many great things our way. I wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Stay safe tonight!
Goodbye 2012 and hello 2013!