He’s a big boy now

Josiah's new 'do.

Josiah's new 'do.

Last Sunday morning my little Josiah turned into big boy before my very eyes. We decided to go to Great Clips and opt for a shorter haircut this time. As his moppy, wavy locks fell to the floor he began to look so much older. What happened to my baby? (By the way, I was so impressed with how well he did getting his hair cut this time–didn’t cry at all, and sat there so patiently!)

I must admit, I have mixed emotions about him getting older. With each month that passes, I get more nervous that he isn’t progressing as quickly as I would have imagined. Now he’s only 5 months away from turning 4. It just seemed like we had so much time to “pull him out of autism” when we started all of this nearly a hear-and-a-half ago. We got the biomedical piece in progress, and with the intense therapy and sheer will, we were going to make it! And sure, we’ve made progress, but why does it feel trudging through mud–or quicksand–so much of the time?

I love hearing about, reading about and watching videos about autism recovery. It gives me hope. Just last week, I came upon a couple of great stories. Karen Siff Exkorn’s recovered son was featured on the Today Show, and I gobbled up LeeAnn Whiffen’s new book, A Child’s Journey Out of Autism, in about two days. But something strange happened to me as I took these sort of stories in this time. While I was inspired and so moved and delighted by their successes, I felt fear start to grip me. That whisper in my head came, “It took these families around two years to go from non-verbal autistic behaviors to recovery, and their kids made steady leaps and progress quickly. Same with Catherine Maurice‘s children, and Karen Seroussi‘s son. You’re just not seeing that sort of progress. What if…”

And then I went to a local TACA meeting on Monday. It was a small group, so we had a lot of time to share stories. I was so moved with compassion for these moms–each one trading stories of unhelpful doctors, discriminating grocery store onlookers, insensitive comments they heard about “autism being the result of bad parenting,” insurance policies with autism exemptions, emptied bank accounts and piles of debt for therapies and treatments, diarrhea and constipation, temper tantrums, neighborhoods not wanting them to move in because “the house values would go down with an autistic child on the block.” One lady has a child who’s almost nine, and she said name the treatment and she has done it–even stem cells in Mexico. HBOT is finally helping, but he’s still severe.

I left that meeting, knowing the challenges of my own family’s journey, but realizing that so many people have it so much worse–and I can’t imagine the burden they carry. I just prayed to God, “Have mercy! Help these families. Help these precious children. We need healing and deliverance from this bondage. Bring our kids back to us.”

I admit, as Josiah gets older I feel sad that I’m missing those years when those precious little guys say the funniest things. One of co-workers talked about how her 2-year-old daughter picked up a piece of broccoli and said, “Oh cute! A little baby tree.” Am I really so selfish that my heart still drops when I hear stuff like that? I would do anything to hear Josiah say something like that. I’ve got the sweetest little boy who I just love to my toes, but I do feel like autism has taken who he was supposed to be, and I want to get him back. Like this video articulates:

As I was slipping into a bit of pitty party in my head the other day, I believe the Lord brought a new passage to my attention to remind me that my hope is in Him. No therapy or treatment or discovery can compare to the power, hope, and healing He can provide. Through Him, there is no “closing window” that He cannot open wide. I’m going after my kid! I’m getting him back and he will have a great future! Don’t you lose hope either! God’s Word is truth. There is hope!

Jeremiah 31:16-17 (Amplified Bible)

Thus says the Lord: Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord; and [your children] shall return from the enemy’s land. 

And there is hope for your future, says the Lord; your children shall come back to their own country.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow, Josiah does look so much older! What a handsome boy!
    Putting all of our hopes in various therapies and treatments will often leave us discouraged and exhausted. Still learning that our hope must be in the Lord, the One who loves our kids more than we do. They are not mysteries to Him. Thanks for the reminder, Tahni!

  2. I agree.

    I started biomedical treatments VERY late and my Natalie is quite severe, but there have been some small improvements. Her overall appearance is much healthier so much that those who have known her as long as I have noticed also.

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