Guiding Light

Dear Addie,

So there we were. Dad and I sitting next to each other, holding hands as I was telling the story of you aloud. Across from dad was a young woman eagerly taking notes, and across from me was a woman that we were so anxious to meet. A woman we’ve affectionately been referring to as the beacon. That’s right my love, we were actually meeting with her and sharing our story.

I was practically shaking with excitement feeling very optimistic, but anxious and nervous all in the same breath.

I wonder if she knew how much our “complicated case” needed her.

After some brief introductions, her simple words “how can I help you?” nearly sent my waterworks into action (seriously mama we just got here! Get it together!) As I sat clutching a folder thick with countless evaluations and test results, ready to share if asked, daddy began to speak of the roadblock we’d seemed to stumble upon recently, and our need for fresh eyes and guidance on our journey.

You see Ad, when we are in the thick of some of the harder parts of Autism (the behavioral issues & developmental delays etc.) it’s hard to take a break or a step back and look at the big picture. Everything we do from therapy, medication, techniques and the like, they all take time - 30 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, everything has a time in which you ”should” see improvements.

There are days when you question yourself - whether sticking it out on these timelines are worth it. You always try to stay optimistic. Then there's the defeat when you've made it to the suggested finish line and nothing’s changed or worse - regression sets in…

Anyway, back to the meeting. She asked us to walk through your story. The WHOLE story – from pregnancy all the way through present day. Complications, milestone, lack of milestones, evaluations, any diagnosis’, therapies, medications - all of it. Little known fact about mommy, I've filled out so many sets of paperwork involving history reports that I have your life memorized. For real baby.

This was my cue.

As I rattled off your history from NC, to NY, to TX and back here to NC again, I officially started to cry. We had been so many places in your young 8 years seeking advice from so many people - yet here I was. Completely broken. She was quick to hand me a box of tissues with a soft, sympathetic look. Somehow I felt like I wasn't the first mama in her office crying.

As I gathered myself together, she began to give us her thoughts. She was professional, careful with her words about our path traveled and decisions we’ve made along the way so far, all while staying compassionate in her response.

She agreed a clean slate evaluation would be best, and had a new quarterback in mind already tailor fit for our family and most importantly – for you. As simple as it sounds, this basic and sage guidance already made dad and I start to feel encouraged.

“Yes, a new quarterback…” I could see the wheels turning in dad’s head – but then needed to remind him that we were talking about you, not the Lions…

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We were on our way baby.

Love,

Mom