About 13 years ago, I suffered a terrible loss. I was 6 months pregnant, and began having pains, as if I was in labor. I went to the hospital, and they said my baby no longer had a heartbeat and I was losing it. After several days of labor pains, and nothing actually happening, my body could take no more, and a dialation and evacuation / extraction procedure was performed to remove the child that had died inside me just days before. It was not my first miscarriage. I had lost many early on pregnancies (about 6 to 8 weeks), and even lost twins at 4 months. Still, I thought I was homefree by the time I was that far along in the pregnancy.
Even though, I had many losses, the doctor said that since I had one healthy child, there was no reason I could not have another. I thought that was the case, and then I got sick. During the pregnancy I lost at six months, I was sick with pneumonia. I do believe the illness and my own body trying to fight it off may have hurt my baby, because I only got well after the pregnancy loss. I was at the doctor the day before the heart stopped and the ultrasound showed a healthy baby. The next day, the heartbeat was gone.
This loss was so devastating. Even the Doctor who performed the D and E cried. For me, it felt like the end of the world. I decided that day I was done trying to have children, and that my daughter would be the last one.
About a week to 2 weeks after the loss, I was just sitting quietly, thinking, when I heard a voice ask me, “What would you do if you were given a child who was not what is considered normal?” The voice came from spirit. Even my response seemed intuitive, because I did not even think about my answer, when the thought came out of me, “I’d love him.” Yes him. Somehow, I knew I would have a boy.
Despite my doctors belief that I could not possibly be pregnant so soon, it seems I got pregnant during a time that is really not considered normal. (2 weeks after the loss of my baby I became pregnant again.) I had dreams that would reveal problems with my son the whole pregnancy. Many told me I was just afraid, because I had lost so many children. No, I was not. I knew this boy was coming, but that he would be different, and I even gave spirit permission to allow this child to come through me. (It has been revealed to me many times that my son is here for my mother’s growth. Had I not agreed to have my son, he would have come through my brother and his wife, because this soul, and the special needs had to be here, for my mother’s sake. Not only have I been told by spirit, but my mother can feel a different connection to my son and knows for herself.) Maybe the losses I suffered made me more willing to accept this special child, or maybe I would have anyway. I am not sure. It simply happened as it happened.
Jonathan was always behind physically, but he did start talking at about a year old. By 18 months, he said some small sentences and he knew his body and face parts. He could even tell me he loved me. Then, one day, around 18 months, it started disappearing. I was grasping at straws, trying to reteach him words he already knew. I could not figure out what was happening to my little boy. He still could not walk by that age, and now he could not talk either. By 22 months, he finally took his first steps, but the words were completely gone. Stimming became a regular practice at this point for Jonathan, and getting any eye contact or response to his own name became issues as well.
Just before age 3, at 33 months, Jonathan received the diagnoses of broad spectrum autism. At that point, we already knew it was severe. He had severe food allergies, severe autism, and no speech. For a severe case of autism, Jonathan’s behaviors were classic textbook behaviors, except for one thing. Jonathan was always affectionate, while many children on the spectrum lose or do not have the ability to show affection. Jonathan might have spent a lot of time hiding away from everyone as many autistics do, but he would come out if he could get affection.
When you have a child like Jonathan, you spend so much time trying to get services and help, hoping something will work, and you might hear words like “I love you.” again, but nothing happens. Nothing ever seems to work, and the smallest step forward becomes something to celebrate. You cry tears, because you see other children your child’s age, and you know your child will never be able to do the things they can, and your heart just breaks.
As he got older, he became more aggressive and his autistic fits would become more and more violent. This is very typical with nonverbal children, because they can not verbally express or vent their frustrations. Also, think of how frustrating it would be to want something and not be able to get your needs met, because no one understands you. Intuition would become my saving grace on many occasions in dealing with my son’s autistic fits. However, there have been times when I could not figure out how to calm Jonathan down, while he was busy hitting and kicking me during a raged fit.
Jonathan is now 12, and not much has changed, except that I have accepted he is as he is. I do not cry when I see children his age anymore. I simply love my son as he is.
However, he is almost my size now, and as he has continued growing, my fear of how bad he could hurt me has grown as well. As a single mom, I have no real help with him, and I have often wondered how I would deal with it, because there have now been a few times he has hurt me. He has also taken on the habit of doing things to get negative attention, instead of positive, and sometimes, when he is reprimanded for the negative behavior, he will then go into an autistic fit as well.
Thanksgiving weekend was an eye opening weekend, and maybe even a little bit of an awakening weekend for me. My children were off from school for six days straight. During that time, my oldest and my youngest would want to go off and do their own thing a lot. (My youngest is also autistic, but likes to be more independent. He is a different child, and his his autism is way less severe.) Jonathan however, was like my shadow. He wanted to be with me all the time, and I let him. He seemed to want so much affection during that time. I gave it to him. He drank the affection like water for his soul, and I could feel changes happening in him. For him to spend that many days straight at home with no autistic fits seems almost impossible, but there has not been one ever since.
It was during Thanksgiving break that I realized I do not have to worry about my son hurting me anymore, because now I realize what must be done to avoid that. I had the answer all along. Deep down, I knew the answer just before he was conceived. I was asked what I would do if he was mine, and my answer was that I would love him. With that answer, he was given to me. That answer was in fact, more intuitive than I even realized, because love was the answer the whole time. All the therapies and programs in the world have not done much to change him. Nothing has changed him a lot. I get the best out of him through loving him. The more love this child receives, the better he is able to do and the better he is able to cope with his autism.
That beautiful soul is not here to learn great lessons like most of us, but rather to teach great lessons with his presence, and that lesson he is teaching is simply to love!