I just got off the phone with a mom from Baldwin County. She just entered the autism family. Welcome to the fam!! It's a crazy ride! I call it family because sometimes I can relate to the other autism moms better than my own blood relatives. She got my number from my uncle and called me because she found out last week that her 3 1/2 year old son has autism. We talked for a while about treatments, advice, therapies, vitamin regimens and diets. I started reminiscing about what life used to be like for us and I became overwhelmingly blessed with how far Jacob has come.
I remember having to reward Jacob with smarties in the car just for not crying because we went a different way than he thought we were going. I also remember having to reward him in Walmart for not freaking out at the bright lights. It was somewhat similar to training a dog. I would have smarties in my pocket and would reward him every time he behaved correctly and I'm pretty sure that "good boy" came out of my mouth a few times. I began laughing as I told her about the smarties rewards. I had almost totally forgotten about rewarding him in that way. His behavior has changed so much that it's almost like having a totally different kid.
There are memories that I don't laugh about so much. Like the constant poop smearing activities that went on in Jacob's room. Those memories are free to fade!! It's never fun getting woken up from a deep sleep but getting woken up from a deep sleep and walking into your child's room only to step in warm, wet....well you know!
It's amazing how many people I've met over the years that I never would've known had it not been for autism. Some of them have turned out to be pretty great friends! I remember calling strangers to get advice and information. One of those lady's is the one that asked me to be on the Near His Heart team. Who would've have known that a phone call out of autism potty training desperation could have lead to such a fun ministry.
I'm so thankful to all of those that have been there through the years, whether it was a one time phone call or a few phone calls that turned into friendships. I love getting to pass on the encouragement to other moms new to the journey.