Being a mother is like wandering through a maze-- there are so many twists and turns that we often lose our way. As a young mom raising three energetic boys (one with Autism Spectrum Disorder and another with Tourette Syndrome), I can attest to feeling puzzled, helpless, and exhausted. Mama’s Maze is intended to encourage and uplift Christian mothers as we walk together in the ministry of motherhood. Let’s journey together!
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The "A" Word (Part 2)
It has been a while since my last post (a year almost), but here is the second part to our autism journey. With it being Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to continue to share our story.
By the time Jason
was 2 1/2, he was in speech therapy, a language clinic, and a Mother's Day Out
Program. We wanted to give Jason
everything we possibly could to help him develop. Looking back, I can
definitely see how God was working the whole time. The various people who
worked with Jason, were definitely put in our path for a reason. From the time
Jason started early intervention (September 2012) until the time it ended (May
2013), I saw great improvement, especially in the area of speech. By the end,
not only was he talking well, but he was talking TOO much! Ha ha!
However, even with
all of this improvement, he was still a bit behind his peers in some areas and
I was in denial about him possibly having autism. I just did not want to accept that my son
could be on the spectrum. Although, I knew that if he did have autism it would
be on the mild end of the spectrum, I simply wanted to believe it was just a
developmental delay. But, the problem with denial is that you can miss out on
getting some of the help you need early on.
So when the last
days of early intervention approached, it was suggested that we go through the
school system and have Jason evaluated. Then he could be put in a pre-k program
in the public school for the next school year.
At that time I was very adamant about my children going to private
school, so I went against their recommendation and sent him to a private pre-k
program at a nearby Christian school. Well, that did not work out quite how we
wanted it to and he ended up leaving the program in the middle of the school
I was devastated
because now, Jason was three years old and was not in any program at all. I was
just so afraid of having the "A" word attached to my son's name. So a
few months later, we made the decision to have Jason evaluated by the school system.
The next few days
consisted of evaluations, questionnaires and conversations about my son and his
development. Finally it was time for the meeting to create and discuss a plan
for Jason's education. A wonderful sister from our church attended the meeting
with us. She gave us so much support and professional advice. Her presence was
such a blessing.
After discussing the
results of the evaluations and it was agreed that the best diagnosis for Jason,
Jr. was autism. There it was…the "A" word ….in print. I immediately
began crying. This was not what I wanted
for my firstborn. I did not want him to be "different". But deep
inside, I knew that this was the right diagnosis. I don't think the evaluators expected the reaction that I had. It seemed to catch them off guard. They tried
to give me assurance that everything would be okay. The meeting was soon over
and I found myself driving home alone in a bit of a funk.
Then an amazing
thing happened inside of me over the hours and days following the diagnosis.
After I had a few good cries, my emotions changed from disappointment, to fueling a
determination inside of me that I did not know I had. From that point on, I
resolved within myself that with God's help I would fight for my son and push
through. For the first time, I felt relieved. Now that we had officially
established what was going on, we had a direction to go. And that was the LAST
time I cried about his diagnosis.
Fast forward to the
present….Jason is now in first grade.
And he is doing so well and consistently showing me that nothing will
hold him back. He still has struggles here and there. He is high functioning,
so sometimes you may not realize he has autism. It's noticeable when he starts
talking about some of the things he is obsessed with (elevators, microwaves,
and hotels among others) or when he struggles to stay on topic in a
conversation. Outside of that, he is a typical growing kid and we try and treat
him as such.
I have seen God's hand upon Jason Jr.'s life
and I know that He has plans for our son that we cannot even imagine. God has really been good to us throughout
this journey. Without Him we could not keep pushing through. He was, is, and
will always be faithful to us.
Jason, Jr. at the Walk for Autism in Huntsville, AL
Jason, Jr. at Christmas. He has a "love" for EXPO Markers.
Hey everyone! Thanks
for stopping by to check out my new blog—Mama's Maze. I am truly excited about
starting this blog. God placed this on my heart a while ago so it is awesome to
see it come to fruition. I have never
done anything like this before, so I am thrilled about venturing
into uncharted territory. Writing is a passion of mine, and I love talking
about the goodness of God. So what
better way to put the two together than in a blog.
How did I come up
with the name Mama's Maze? Well, one day
as I was pondering on what the name of this blog would be, I thought about my experiences as a mother. I mean, after being in the game for five years now, what could I compare motherhood to? After much thought, the word "maze" came to mind. If you have ever been in a maze or
played some type of game that had one, you know it can be challenging,
frustrating, and rewarding if you ever make it through. There are so many twists and turns that it
can be quite overwhelming…
It's been quite a
while since I have posted anything to the blog. Since Joshua was born our life
has been turned upside down and all around. Our lives have changed so much
since my last post, I am still trying to process all of it. So where do I
In September, my
husband and I celebrated our 10 year Anniversary. We decided to throw a party
at a local Thai restaurant with family and friends. It was amazing-- Great food
with great people. It truly was an unforgettable
night. But while we were enjoying the company of our friends, in the back of my
mind I knew that things were about to change. For me, the party felt like a
farewell. I tried not to think about it, but I knew it was coming. See a couple
of days from that night, Jason was scheduled to have an interview with a
company in another state. And I knew…before they even talked…I knew within
myself, our lives were about to change again.
Sure enough, within
a few weeks, an offer had been made to my husband. It was too good …
I can remember
growing up wishing that I had a sister. Yes, I had my brother, but there
was only so much he could understand as a male. And with us being 7 1/2 years
apart, we didn’t have a whole lot in common. When I was really small, I was so
desperate to have a sister, I would pretend that Janet Jackson was my sister!
Ha! Although I was young, I longed for someone to talk to that could understand
me and just be my friend. Well, unfortunately mom and
dad never had any more kids, so that was it. No sisters for me--at least not
However, over the
years, I have come to realize that God had a different plan for me. He brought
several sisters into my life at various points to fill that empty spot in my
heart. Some were only in my life for a season and others are still very much a
part of my life today. And as time has gone on, I have come to appreciate what
real sisterhood looks like.
As women and as
mothers we often need those "sister" relationships. These are t…