We were given a huge folder with too much information to take in. In fact, we didn’t go through the folder until that evening. We wanted to dissect it together to support one another. We both took turns crying, not intentionally, but I think one of us would cry and then it would set the other off. There was SO much information; schools for autism, Medicaid waiver paper work, types of therapy, diets, a “how to tell friends, family, and siblings” booklet, how siblings can help booklet, support groups, insurance, websites for information about autism.. anything and everything was in there. We didn’t even go through all of it that night.
As Byron was still grieving, I was not sleeping and researching everything I could. Even though I have worked with children of special needs before, I had no experience with toddlers of special needs, not to mention that it is completely different when it’s your child. I have some good friends that work in the autism field and they were amazingly supportive, giving me resources, book recommendations, and information on therapy so that I could start working with him right away. To be honest, I think I grieved for one evening, and then I dove into printing pictures for him for Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), so that I could start communicating with him right away. Friends of mine in the autism field sent me professional information so I could start therapy with him, and I started that same day. I haven’t stopped working with him since. We work everyday all day. Even our “playtime” is work time (he doesn’t know that though).
I guess I look at it as if I have 2 choices. I am going to either spend a lot of time grieving over the child that I once had, or work extremely hard to get as much of that child back. I have chosen to work for his best interest. If he were to make no improvement at all I would love him just the same, but he is improving. He is getting better and better everyday.