Monday, April 29, 2013

The Day is Almost Here...

More than three years ago JD was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and at that very moment my entire life changed. Like any mom who was faced with this type of news, I went into research mode. I spent hours upon hours on the internet, finding out as much as I could about his future and mine. Pretty much immediately I became what is called an "Autism Warrior Mom" - the mom who fights for therapy, who works the system, who knows everything there is to know about: Speech Therapy (SP), Occupational Therapy (OT), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Play Therapy (PLAY) Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), Health Care Plans (HCPs), Early Steps and Part B. Very quickly my life became one acronym after another. I learned insurance codes, kept ongoing spreadsheets of therapy costs, and researched all the best therapies. It was a full-time job, and luckily at the time I was a stay-at-home mom. But with three kids, ages 3, 2 and 5 months, it wasn't easy even if I didn't have a 9-5 job.

It feels like a blink of an eye. JD was 2 then and now he's 5 and a half. He can talk now. He can run, jump, climb, even ride a bike. He can color, write his name, and draw detailed pictures of Spongebob, including his spatula! He's amazing. He is loving and funny. He stands out from the crowd - and I don't mind it anymore. He's quirks are what makes him... well, him. I love him more than words can ever express. He has taught me more about life than anything I have ever experienced. 

But tomorrow... ohhhhh tomorrow. Tomorrow we meet for his kindergarten transition IEP meeting. For anyone that has a special-needs child, you know what I'm talking about. And when this meeting is all said and done, I will go into more detail. Until then, all I can say is that this is a HUGE day. It determines SO much. I'm more nervous than I've been in a long, long time. I'm already planning my post-stress migraine. Why? Because I've been working up to this day for THREE years. 

I think I'm ready. Wait, I KNOW I'm ready.  Because if there is one gift God gave me, it's the will to win. To those on the outside, this may seem kind of funny. But any Autism Warrior Mom or Dad can tell you that's not the case. This is serious business. 

Tomorrow will be a good day. And I can't wait to blog about it. Until then, what I want to say is THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who has supported JD. Who has been there for him, followed his journey. I know I don't write as much as I used to, but that's because things are a little smoother now. Blogging has always been my outlet during stressful times and I'm so thankful for the friends and family who have stood beside me through it all. 

I'll leave you with a recent picture. One that shows just how much JD has grown up. I don't know where the years have gone, but I do know that this little boy, and his brother and sister, have made my entire life worth living for!