The moment I realized it was autism--and it wasn't really just one moment. There can't be. Not with this one. It's like all these tiny clues add up, until the puzzle piece fits. Perhaps that's where the universal symbol we all know came from. Who knows.
But when I first knew, like deep down in my core I knew this was autism. My first thought was to run. Not me personally, but us. Me, Adam, and little baby Noah. We can move far, far away and maybe if we move far away enough, this won't really be happening. Obviously a little irrational. But hey, it hits you hard.
Then I went through the phase of thinking we could keep it a secret. He's not so obvious or he's higher functioning, so nobody has to know. And we played that game for a while. But I knew it wasn't going to last forever. I knew eventually we were going to reach a point where we couldn't pretend anymore.
And we reached that point around Noah's second birthday. We were doing the early intervention, OT and PT and I realized that this wasn't going away. That this was very real, and this "autism thing" was going to be life changing. For all of us. Then, I hit an all time low.
All I felt was sadness, anger and self pity. Every single day. Looking back I can say that I was depressed. Nothing mattered. I would ask the universe over and over again why? Why my baby? Why me? Why us?
Inside I was crumbling. Thankfully I had such amazing and supportive family and friends there for me. To help me see the light when I could only see darkness. I honestly don't know how I would make it through those tough times without them.
My life was just so different from everyone else's around me. Their's were milestones being met, first words being said, and playing games and with toys.
My world was therapies, early intervention, constant opposition from my kid and overly Googling autism check lists. I almost let it become obsessive. And I realized I couldn't keep living like that. So I instead began searching for something else.
I found other special needs parents, bloggers, people to talk to who actually understood my worries and fears. My pains and frustrations. Finding those who got it, was one of the best things I've ever done for myself on this journey.
We also began biomedical approaches to help heal Noah's body, and within weeks he was a new kid. He started crying less, and looking at us more. And for the first time in what felt like forever, I could finally see a tiny glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. And that's when my thinking shifted.
I began to see my kid for who he was, instead of for all he wasn't.
I created my blog -- Story of Noahism, as a way to speak our truth. To show the world what autism really is, for us. And to hopefully teach a better understanding. To teach more patience, kindness, and acceptance.
I also wanted to be able to share our days just like anybody else. Even though they're different than most.
On this journey I have found a new kind of happiness. I had to accept that Noah's childhood was going to look different than most. I had to be okay with that, and I am now. I want Noah to be proud of who he is and embrace all the silliness, wildness, and uniqueness that he is. And it starts with us his parents teaching him and showing him that acceptance.
I hope to learn, advocate and educate on how we can make lives better for those with special needs. I want inclusion with understanding and empathy.
I just want the world to see what we see.
I want the world to know it's okay to like someone who is a little different. Just meet my Noah, I promise you'll see.