Apprehension as Guilt and Anxiety Tries To Creep In.

All week I have been saying to myself and everyone else that I am looking so forward to this Saturday. It’s true, I am.

I was doing really good until today when the old familiar voices of Guilt and Anxiety tried to sneak in. This is because Sarah is coming home for a visit.

This will be the first time she has been home since she went to PCL almost 3 years ago. I started to have very much apprehension about this even though I am looking forward to seeing her.

I have come to learn that I don’t want to listen to those those voices because they rob me. Resist the devil, I resist his voices as well. I will not let anyone rob me of my joy any longer. I am worth more than that and so is Sarah!

We are going to have a great time 🙂

Mother murders her Autistic son

I have read about Dorothy Spourdalakis’s unwavering pursuit to get her son the help he needed. I am sorry that she felt she had no other choice but to murder her own son whom she tried so hard to advocate for.

Let me tell you, for a mother to get to the point where Dorothy Spourdalakis was is horrifying. She had been trying to get help for her son but there was none. Finally all hope had evidently gone from her and she took the only avenue she thought in her disturbed exhausted mind that would put an end to the pain. That was to murder her son Alex who was diagnosed as severely Autistic.

This is a very sad and tragic situation and I am concerned that situations like this will become more and more evident if something is not done to help families that are caring for an Autistic family member.

When your child is diagnosed with Autism there seem to be all sorts of resources for them unless they are to challenged. When they are to challenged with Autism then professionals will mention that the only way you may get help is if you put your child in a state institution under the psychiatric ward.

They can be in the psychiatric ward for usually no longer than 3 or 4 months. If they are not under control by then and are rejected for group home placement ect…. they will get to go back home and then you are back at square one.

I know this from experience and it is one of my guilt factors that I have to press through every day.

I am in no way excusing Dorothy for what she did. What she did was wrong on many levels. I do however understand the exhaustion and frustration of trying to help your challenged child and getting either no response or the run around. I am so grateful to God and my family that I did not get to the point of hoplessness.

People, when you see a family going through this situation don’t scowl at them, help them. A kind word and kind actions go a long way. Just remember this could have been your family just as easily as it was theirs.

1 in 88 or even 1 in 50 diagnosis of Autism is way to many, and it seems to be rising at a rapid rate so don’t ever think it won’t happen to your family.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/mother-murders-severely-autistic-son-cops-article-1.1371310

Hands

We take so much for granted and our hands are one of them. Since Sarah and I believe in God and  is now using her hands more and more to create beautiful things and my hands are growing older, I thought I would share this.

Hands

This is good. I’ll never look at my hands the same!

Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat, I wondered if he was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine.
Thank you for asking,” he said in a clear strong voice.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to him.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” he asked.
“I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making. Grandpa smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak have been the
tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.

They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.

They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I
was married and loved someone special.

They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse
and walked my daughter down the aisle.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and
cleansed the rest of my body.

They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.

And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works
real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again
continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the
ruggedness of my life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will
reach out and take when he leads me home.

And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there
I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God
reached out and took my grandpa’s hands and led him home.

When my hands are hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he has been
stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too,
want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

All Autistic’s Atheists? NOT!!!

Ok, this subject really bothers me. I cannot believe that some leader in any country would say that all autistic individuals are atheists. I am glad he apologized.

The head of an autism association in Turkey has apologised for suggesting that autistic people were natural atheists, and that atheism could be a form of autism.

Sociologist Fehmi Kaya, head of the Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children, was reported in numerous Turkish media outlets as saying autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”

“That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.”

“Autistic children were atheists from birth without being aware of it,” he was quoted as saying. “Research says atheism and autistic children are linked. Researchers in the USA and Canada say that atheism is a different form of autism.”

“We cannot expect a child who cannot recognise a picture to recognize God. We need to help the autistic child recognise objects through therapy by targeting areas of senses in the brain.”

As I said before, I am glad that he apologized. I have to wonder though at the damage he may have already made making those untrue statements.

Our daughter Sarah is a verbal high functioning Christian young lady with the diagnosis of Autism and other challenges. She knows who God is because she has a relationship with him. She prays to God and believes Him and in Him. I admire her faith in God.

Just because Autistic individuals are stereotyped as logical thinkers does not mean that they are stuck that way. Do not underestimate people diagnosed with Autism! They may know more about God than any of us so called “Normal” individuals.

Leaders of our countries, think before you speak……on second thought pray before you speak! Your words can produce life or death.

Sarah and her walk with Autism

Sarah and MeI am Sarah’s Mom. She has given me permission to blog about her walk with Autism. She wants me to make everyone aware of Autism and other disorders and what can be done about them.

So far I have blogged about what can be done, but I have not blogged very much about Sarah and this is my time to remedy that.

Sarah had hip dysplasia when she was born, she also had a dislocated shoulder that was set. She was in a hip brace for the first nine months of her life.

Sarah was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism at 2 years of age, low muscle tone and sensory perception disorder as well. She had early intervention. She learned sign language and that helped her to speak. I have read some articles that say that a person with Autism has no empathy, that is just not true. Sarah has a lot of empathy and compassion for people and things that she cares about. Sarah had to be taught not to be so rigid and she learned to be more adaptable.

When Sarah was 9 years old she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. A few years later she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and Bi-Polar with psychotic Episodes. She told me that the Autism doesn’t bother her as much as the Tourette’s does, and she really hates schizophrenia.

I wish I could say this has been an easy walk for her but it hasn’t. She goes through her ups and downs like anyone else does and her emotions and behaviors are a little more extreme, ok a lot more extreme at times.

Sarah is a very social person, however to many people (especially little children and babies) bother her. She loves God and her family.

Sarah is 24 years old now and she lives with a roommate and staff is there to help her when she needs it. She is now able to go out into the community with staff and has more good days than bad. She has overcome every obsticale that has been before her. The Dr.’s said that she would not be able to do certain things or speak and she has proven them wrong  just like Jacob Barnett was able to do.

Sarah has 3 part time jobs and does very well at them. At one point the Governor and his team were going to take away jobs for special needs people and she and her staff went to the Capitol Building to protest. She told them that if they took away her jobs she would fire each and everyone of them. She wrote her concerns in a letter with staffs help to the Governor with the expression she would fire him too. She got to keep her jobs 🙂

She is doing better now than she ever has. We talk on the phone nearly everyday and skype also. We see her quite a bit. We are even able to sit in a resteraunt with her, have lunch and a great time.

Sarah and I want people to know that just because you may be diagnosed with something, it doesn’t mean that you are limited to that diagnosis. You are so much more than a diagnosis or a label. Sarah is doing really well right now and she wants to give everyone hope.Sarah Herbert