Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Autism

It's been nearly seventeen months since I last updated this blog.  I've often thought about it, I just haven't had the time to sit down and type.  Since my last post, our life has been a whirlwind!

Harper-Lynn was diagnosed with Autism last year.  After three opinions and the last one being the Marcus Autism Center on June 8, 2015, I have finally accepted the diagnosis.  Our days/weeks are filled with preschool, therapies, dance class and church.  I drive roughly 300-400 miles a week to keep up this crazy schedule.  Harper-Lynn is worth it so I'd do it 20 times over to keep her progressing.  And progressing she has/is!

Harper-Lynn is in a neurotypical 3-year preschool class. She loves school, her friends and teachers.  H is considered High Functioning on the Autism Spectrum.  Her main issues center around sensory processing, anxiety, ritual type odd behaviors, PICA, transitions and lack of eye-contact.  Our daily schedule is very rigid.  I have to explain each step of our day to Harper-Lynn.  It's become second nature to me, but I know some people get annoyed by constantly hearing me describe what we'll be doing next. 

Harper-Lynn is currently in speech, occuaptional and hippo therapies.  She's doing well in all of them.  She has wonderful relationships with her therapists.  I'm so thankful for the team of professionals we have on our side.  God has truly blessed us!

This Autism journey has been exhausting, difficult and at times isolating, but I have learned more about myself during this than any other time of my life. I have experienced pure joy by watching (and recording!!!) Harper-Lynn say the names of our family members again for the first time, I've experienced grace by God through blessings he has bestowed upon Harper-Lynn and myself, but most of all, I've experienced love that goes beyond anything I ever thought I could be capable of giving or receiving. It is humbling and I am forever changed by it all.
 
Autism, or any other disability for that matter, was never part of my dream for Harper-Lynn's life.  There is a sort of mourning process after you hear your child has Autism.  I went through it and I personally know many other parents who have, too.  I've had many sleepless nights worrying about Harper-Lynn's future, but I had to let all that go.  I now focus on each day as they come. I'm better for it and so is Harper-Lynn. 

There's a lot of unknowns ahead of us.  I hope you'll check back to see where we go from here.