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"Say goodbye to not knowing when the truth in my whole life began..."

Okay, friends. I am going to indulge in one brief moment of venting, and then I will move on. Please excuse the unhinged stream of consciousness that is about to ensue. In 3...2..1...

Gah. I am feeling very discouraged and worried today. As is the grand tradition of this time of year, PJ is sick. My poor dude has a terrible cough, a streaming nose, irritated eyes and has been running a mild fever. I cancelled his Early Intervention therapy today and yesterday because he's sicky and I don't want to risk his therapists passing germs to other kids and/or getting sick themselves. It's his second disruption to his therapy in as many weeks, as "Superstorm" Sandy kept his therapists off the roads for a few days. It is additionally frustrating because we only have a few days of therapy left before he starts school! I am nervous enough about the transition without adding extra to it!

We also have tickets to take him to see Thomas the Train, in person, this Friday! As in, he gets to climb on board Thomas and ride a real, life-sized train! He gets to meet Sir Toppem Hatt. Pete and I seriously discussed waiting until after this trip to potty train him because, when he sees a real, life-sized Thomas in front of him, he is going to poop. his. pants. I bought the tickets in August and have been dreaming of this trip since. PJ isn't yet able to process future plans, so he really has no clue! But, I do, and if we have to cancel this trip, I will be broken-hearted.

And school. School is starting in less then two weeks. So, of course, the news is filled with stories of school bus crashes and teachers sleeping with students and a bus aide tightening the straps on the seat of an autistic child as he cried out for help, leaving him with bruises and worse, too frightened to go back to school. And in two weeks, I am supposed to kiss my toddler goodbye, load him on a bus, and just hope that the people in charge will care for him like I do. Right now, PJ isn't in a place yet where he could tell me if something was wrong. I just have to blindly trust that the people whose hands I am leaving him in won't hurt him. And seriously, I know it's insane. I know I am a crazy, over-protective psycho mama but I am so scared. I am not ready for this. If PJ didn't have Autism, he would be home with me for at least another year before pre-school. I don't usually have these feelings anymore, but right now...I feel like I'm getting robbed. I am angry and frightened and a little overwhelmed.

But, we breathe. In and out. I drink a coffee. I read Perez Hilton and laugh at Honey Boo Boo and try to remember who I am. I look at my son, with his puffy, sicky face, smiling as he watches Monster's, Inc. and half-heartedly eats a purple popsicle. I remember to be normal (or as close as I can get), to know that I have heard nothing but good things about the program he is entering from people I love and trust. I try to reconcile the bus ride with the fact that he will LOVE it, and will be with all of his friends from his small class. I know that school will be an amazing experience for him, and he will thrive. I don't like comparing others problems and sadness to my own, but I do try to keep perspective and remember that we are so, so lucky in all that we have.

Mostly, I just remember that PJ has not once, ever, risen to the occasion in ways that I could never have imagined. I need to remember that, that kid? Has it in the bag. :-)

Comments

Shelly said…
He Willie amazing and so will you dear friend!! You know you are always in my thoughts and prayers!! You can always borrow Ezra during pjs school hours too......:) hahaha
Shelly said…
Ahhhhhh *will* not Willie. Stupid autocorrect
Carmen Mendez said…
omg you have me welling up over here!! You are a perfectly normal, loving, human Mommy!! This is going to also be an adjustment for you! But you will be great!! As you are at everything you do!!! LOVE YOU!!
BluSkies80 said…
You're allowed to vent! I am sure you are going through so much right now and it's hard to process everything. He'll do great, they always do!

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{...stream of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…