Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Start of a Journey

Every year, I think to myself, I need a blog. I start writing one, get it all designed, then I quit about a month into it and boom, I forget my blog title and where it is and I give up. I'm lazy like that. Or, maybe it's just because life in my house is chaotic and unpredictable and, sometimes, life just gets in the way. In case you are finding yourself here and you don't know who I am, my name is Regan, and I am a mom, a warrior, and CEO..  of my household that is. I have a wonderful husband that works hard to support us, and allows me to be home for our two children, one is Autistic (Hence the chaotic and unpredictable household.). Bryce and Dylan are my world.  Bryce is 9 and Dylan is 6. Along with Autism (or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)), Bryce also has ODD (Opposition Defiance Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), Anxiety, and Depression.  Yes, that's a lot of initials. They list them all out on every single form, though most of these disorders are actually not separate from the Autism. If you have found your way here through researching Autism, then you have probably heard the saying "If you have met one child with Autism, then you have met ONE child with Autism", because not every child with ASD will exhibit the same symptoms or behaviors, though most will fit a common pattern.  Our journey with Autism did not officially begin until Bryce was 4 years old, and in Pre-K, though he has been Autistic all his life, we explained away his behavior with excuses ranging from "Well he's an only child" to "He's just sensitive". We were living in blissful ignorance. Bryce became a big brother about a year prior to his diagnosis, so he spent 3 1/2 years as an only child, and we always assumed, since he didn't attend daycare or any other child care programs, that his social awkwardness was due to that.  When he started Pre-K, I still used the "he's only had a brother for a year, and he's still a baby, so that's why he is not being social with his peers" excuse. However, his most awesome Pre-K teacher recognized what we had been turning a blind eye towards. Now my life is filled with therapy visits twice a week and constant trips to the school for meltdowns. He is a lucky kid, his peers seem to love him in spite of his "quirks". He may not know all their names, but I see them. I see them helping him, guiding him, as best they can, and it warms my heart.

This blog, it is going to be my journal of  our journey. I will journal about Bryce's behavior, and I might even track his behavior in coordination with things he's eaten, the lunar cycle, and, even, the weather patterns. I am a believer that weather and lunar cycles can have just as much effect on our bodies and moods as the food we eat. Some posts maybe funny, other's maybe stress filled ramblings of a mom that is doing her best, but sometimes, it is just too much. Like I said, my life is chaotic and unpredictable, but I will let you in on a little secret... Through the tears, the struggles, the laughter, and, yes, the occasional meltdown (mine, not Bryce's), I wouldn't change a thing about my life, or my son. One common phrase you will read from me throughout our journey will be "We will not let Autism define us, instead, we will define Autism".  This is why I named the blog A "Peace" of Autism. Because while a "piece" of my son is Autism, we are at "peace" with it, as it makes him who he is, and who he is is pretty dang awesome.

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