1. I am at home today because my stomach is in revolt against me. Either the stress of yesterday or the “Moolatte” from Dairy Queen has taken my lactose intolerant self on an all night ride through the land of misery. I barely slept. So I’m home from work and don’t even get to enjoy it.
2. For years we have struggled to understand our daughter. When she was younger she was diagnosed with the severest form of ADHD the experts had ever seen. For a few years we have suspected something more. Yesterday we received a firm diagnosis of what we had suspected. High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder with learning disabilities in a couple specific ares.
That was harder to type that I imagined it would be.
Our emotions are mixed, to say the least. On one hand the diagnosis names the struggle and gives us an idea of the road we need to travel. (And we know we will not be traveling that road alone.) But naming it makes all the more real.
Nothing about Emma changes. Our love for her and commitment to help her is only strengthened. In the midst of all our frustration and fear, we love the Emma God has given to us. We may never know, “Why?” And yes, we’ve asked that question into what seemed like a silent sky. I suppose it would be enough to encourage another parent in a similar situation.
We are so thankful for the love and encouragement of our friends and family. Thank you for loving Emma and loving us so well. And the kindness and help we have received from Mitchell’s Place is breathtaking. Those people are heroes. I am in awe of them.
If you’re the praying kind, pray for Emma. And for us too.
3. Last night we found out our city’s school board has rezoned our street and the street behind us. This would send our boys to a school outside of our close-knit neighborhood. The Elementary School is the hub around which the community we live in spins. Geographically and historically where we live has been part of this community, we are now made to be separate. Six months ago my sons would not have been eligible to take the bus because they were said to live too close to their school. Now they are deemed too far away to continue attending. More than angry, we are sad to be on the losing end of a decision devoid of logic, which betrays a staggering lack of care for our family and the families we are surrounded by.
4. Yesterday was a hard day. The kind of day we will not forget. The kind of day that wounds and then leaves a scar. But the gospel is still true. The good news of the kingdom established by the King is all the more true today.
My friend Russ sent me a text yesterday as we were walking out the door to get the results. I told him what I was doing and he asked me, “How about a new heaven and a new earth?”
I told him, “Make that a double.”
Matt, thank you for sharing, and yes I will be in prayer for you and your family, especially as you grow to work through Emma’s education. I did want to share, as a former teacher who has worked closely with high functioning autistic kids that while this is a scary thing to learn, there is so much out there with regards to help and teaching methods designed for these kinds of struggles. The key is patience and being willing to allow your daughter to teach you how she processes information. It will be different than the standard classroom methods, but that is okay. I learned so much from my students and they blew my mind. I recommend finding a tutor who has a background in high functioning autism. This person will be able to help identify the areas where Emma is strong and weak, and this person will be able to help you work with Emma in a way that she can be encouraged as she is presented with challenging environments. Blessings to you and your family. John Shelley.
When you get a diagnosis for your child there is a grieving process, less than but similar to when someone dies. In a way part of your hopes and dreams and desires for your child die with the seeming finality of that diagnosis. I think it’s scarier waiting for the diagnosis than it is to move forward once you have it. High functioning Austism means that she can function and can even be brilliant. Take heart, all things will be made new.
Prayers are coming.
Praying much for you guys. Much love.
I’m so sorry for such a hard Thursday. Praying for you guys, for Emma, and for you to feel better.
I’m also an autism parent. My son is about to turn 17. He’s somewhere to the left of middle on the spectrum, left being high-functioning, right being low-functioning. Life has been very challenging with him . . . but also very rewarding.
My oldest son has Asperger’s and is on the higher functioning side of the spectrum. While challenging, it has not been the ‘end of the world’ we had envisioned. My wife educated herself in special education and services and we availed our son of the services he qualified for. It’s made a huge difference. Praying for you guys…
PS Don’t be afraid to bend a few rules to keep your kids in their school…
This evening, I’m supposed to teach 4th – 9th graders a Biblical view of suffering (in a 15 minute Bible lesson). It is one of the most difficult things I can imagine trying to teach children. Or adults. Anybody. Because every inch of me wants to scream, “It’s not fair!” when I see suffering, especially that children experience.
#4 – If that is all these kids take away from what is said this evening,what else do we really have? This hope of the Gospel to cling to in these dark and lonely times.
I know I’ve never met your family in person, but I hope that it will still encourage you to know that I will be praying for your family.