Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. Interesting, since this April is the month we were informed that Holden has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Step one of dealing with a new diagnosis is to let your friends and family know. But it’s hard to talk about. We’re still trying to process it – what it means, what do to, where to turn, how to deal with it. And I don’t really know what to say to anybody else.

Turns out, so far, it’s often the case that I tell someone and they’re incredulous and they fight the diagnosis TO ME! I feel like I have to stand there and CONVINCE them that my son is retarded. And I don’t want to do that.

The reality is that we’re so used to him that we’ve normalized his behavior for years, too. So he prefers to play alone . . . a lot of kids do. So he can’t communicate . . . he’s only 3. So he doesn’t like hugs . . . we have personal space issues too. So he echoes what you say . . . maybe that’s normal. So he memorizes shows and uses them in conversations . . . So he throws tantrums all the time . . . So he lines up his toys in a perfect line . . .

You get the gist.

I’m passed the guilt (I think). I’m passed the blame. I am not bursting into tears every 2 hours anymore. I think that means we’re in the acceptance phase, which doesn’t mean it’s easy or anything. I’m just dealing with it by reading everything I can get my hands on. So stay tuned, this blog may turn into my new coping mechanism.


16 thoughts on “Autism Awareness Month

  1. Holden is wonderful! He is Harrison's "best buddy" he even trumps Josh, OK Har said he he likes them the same. If I have any say in the friendship Holds will always be Har's best buddy!Holden couldn't be more lucky to have you two to help him with this.

  2. I love that boy, he is so cute. I couldn't believe it myself when Wes told me (why he didn't go to Arcade Fire). He sounds/looks to me like a normal 3 year old, but what do I know? I'm really sorry, I can't imagine how hard and scary this must be for you guys. You guys are great and amazing parents and I know you will know how best to help him! Let us know if there's anything we can do for you.

  3. Amber! That video made me cry! This whole thing shocked me. It's crazy how quick your life can be flipped upside down and your left stumped on how to accept it and move forward. It doesn't change the fact that Holden is an adorable kid with so much adventure and curiosity to him. He'll just learn in a different way. And luckily he's got two really smart and amazing parents to help him through all this. My heart goes out to you guys in learning a whole new ball game. I hope ya do continue to post as you do become more educated on it, cause I'd love to know more about it. It seems to be more and more common now days. Like Deb said if you guys need anything, don't hesitate to ask!

  4. Holden is a beautiful child -inside and out. And I sure do wish I got to see him more often. I'm glad you're past the guilt and blame. God found you and Wes to be deserving of amazing Holden (is that too churchy to say on the interweb?). My friend writes a fantastic blog. Her son was diagnosed as autistic. It's not a focus of her blog but she's written a few beautiful posts about it. You may have to go back a bit and find the tag for autism. http://runningmommy04.blogspot.com/

  5. Oh, Amber. I love the video, and the song choice… He is perfect! And you are the perfect mommy for him – God knew that giving him to you.I hope you do keep blogging. I always love to read what you write!

  6. we're so lucky to be your neighbors…especially since holden is (and better always be) my boyfriend. love him even more after watching that video and crying my eyes out. xoxoxoxo

  7. Amber,I can't imagine that would ever be an easy thing to hear or deal with your child. He is such a cute/handsome little boy and has some amazing parents that are going to help him through this trial in his life!! Love you!

  8. Why am I sitting here crying as I watch my dear sweet Holden. He is not retarded! He may just learn differently. Glad Penny told me about your blog, I would have missed it.

  9. Amber- You were born amazing. Holden is amazing too…you will all be JUST FINE! You have a huge heart, keep writing, it will help.I love you!!

  10. Amber,I have no idea what to say. Your video made me cry! I can't imagine what you are going through. you are in my thoughts and prayers. Even though we aren't your across the street neighbors anymore, let me know if we can do anything for you and your family.Michelle

  11. Oh gosh. Tough stuff! But, no parents could be more perfect for Holden. As intelligent as you both are, you will be such wonderful advocates and champions for him.

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