Friday, April 1, 2011


I think the first time I realized what a challenge my son was going to be was the day(2 years old) we took him down off the roof...then there was the day he went shopping(4 years old), moving a 250 pound sofa sleeper, unlocking 3 locks to get out the front door. Running down the street, entering the grocery store , grabbing a cart, and methodically heading up and down the aisles choosing items. The shopkeepers recognized him, we were regular shoppers in our neighborhood grocery store.The manager said they  assumed I would soon follow, so they let him shop.That was the day I put bells on the door.

Or was it the day when he was 5 years old and he slipped out--he had an uncanny knack for taking advantage of my bladder--of my auntie's front door, ran down to the intersection of a one lane street and a 4 lane thoroughfare. STOPPED traffic with his hand upraised, crossed the thoroughfare, and calmly entered the convenience store,where kind people called the police,and bought him an ice cream while waiting for the police and mom to show up! The police and I got there about the same time.

Perhaps it was the day in third grade when they called to inform me that my son had hacked into the school computer system and locked everyone else out! They wanted me to help convince him to tell the IT guys what he had done. When I asked him to tell the IT guy what he did he responded "He is the computer guy he should be able to tell." I said "Well, he can't, you have to tell him." Then I heard a sigh and a few keystrokes and my son said,"There I changed it back." We discovered that he had stolen his teachers password, not by watching, but by hearing her type it in. He could tell the sound each key  made. So, William had to go into the hall with the classroom door closed whenever his teacher wanted to log in.

He has kept me on my toes through the years, and it is evident to all who meet him that he is a unique individual. The most amazing person I have ever met.This week we met a new challenge, illness. He has been a very healthy young man. All of his life. So, when he let me know last Sunday that he was in pain, I knew it was serious.The pain was in his lower right abdomen, so of course, the immediate thought is appendix. When we finally got to see a doctor in the Emergency Room, that was her first thought too. So, off we went for a CAT scan.Fortunately I am not squeamish, so I was able to be with him through all of his procedures.

I felt like a really bad Mom, because as we answered questions, it turns out the pain had started several days prior to my finding out. I had been questioning him, since it was evident he wasn't feeling well. But, I didn't ask just the right question until Sunday. So, we wait, all day Monday, in the ER. The CAT scan comes back, and the first diagnosis is possible ruptured appendix. That scared the hell out of me, but I couldn't let him know. He was already stressing out, and shutting down. Autism at it best. In order to deal with pain,  he could just retreat into his world, where it doesn't exist. But, in order to help the doctors and nurses find out what is causing the pain he has to be able to communicate with them. Now, we need the translating skills of Mom.

As we are admitted to the hospital, he is using all of his coping skills, and doing an amazing job. Then, during the day it happens. The nurse is not having much luck finding a vein for the blood draw. She is hurting him. He does not cry out, does not yell-all things I do when I am getting my blood drawn. He closes his eyes, grits his teeth, and reaches out and grabs my hand.

The surgeons come, they poke and prod and then leave to read the CAT scan. Miraculously they find a healthy appendix. But right next to it is a large abscess. It must be removed, but how? Fortunately a wise surgeon decides that surgery is out of the question. We do not know yet what type of infection is contained in the abscess, so we go off to the ultrasound department. The doctor is going to attempt to draw out some fluid from the abscess to culture. He looks at the image on the screen, even I can understand what the image shows. He changes needles, and he decides that he can totally drain the abscess. Everything is explained to us, I explain to my son,  the doctor uses a local anesthetic,and once again my son reaches out for my hand and I watch through tears as the abscess disappears, its contents in several large syringes.

 I can not remember the last time my son allowed  me to hold his hand, and here he is holding on to mine. At this moment in time, all of my grief, all of my fears, all of my stress do not exist. There is only my son holding my hand, and me thanking my Creator for choosing me to raise this child.

At my  infant sons christening I asked Most High to help me make sure that my son would experience the magic of childhood. The answer was the gift of autism. The most amazing blend of special needs, genius, and faith that is my son. My son believes that God will always provide, and that whenever we meet a challenge, Mom can find the answer. My son trusts me to help him learn to navigate a world he has trouble understanding. It seems miraculous to me that he is holding my hand. I will never forget the feeling of his hand in mine. I am humbled by his trust and faith in me, humbled by God trusting me to raise this special child. I am overwhelmed by emotion. I am truly Blessed.

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