Well…..its been sometime since my last post, although I did mean to post around Christmas time again like I do every year ……so lets start there!
For Christmas this year not only did we go to stay with good friends of ours in Cape Town, we also did a bit of a road trip staying at various places along the way for one night. As most parents with autistic children know, change is sometimes a devastating factor for an autistic child. They crave routine and they love the security of their own homes or places they know. This holiday to put it in one word was AMAZING – It was almost as though there was no stress with regards to new places and not being in a routine as such. (Well for Jordan anyway…..it was pretty stressful for me helping pack the car ever day and making sure nothing was left behind 😉
An example of J’s most amazing coping abilities is that we took the boys to Sutherland to visit the Southern African Largest Telescope (SALT). Not only had we just come from a one night overstay in Victoria West, but we were only staying one night in Sutherland too – no biggy for J now – he picked his bed in each place and was pretty happy – slept well no issues. But the biggest thing for me in Sutherland was we went stargazing at night – gone were the days when we couldn’t be out at night because it was dark. Gone were the days of a child stressing in the car that we weren’t going to get home before dark. J took an interest in the whole excursion – looked through the telescopes and enjoyed seeing the stars and moon etc. And getting back to our accommodation at about 22h30 was not an issue – Now thats what I call one giant leap!…..
As you can see Jordy even had fun pretending he was actually on the surface of mars and under Saturn! This was done in a photo booth inside the SALT museum. It was so amazing to have him be interested and take part in everything we did.
After Sutherland it was on to a further two one night stop overs and then to spend time with amazing friends in Cape Town. These friends also have two boys and it was awesome to spend time with them and watch Jordan interact and hold his own. playing games, swimming and having fun. Just having him hold a conversation with other kids still gives me great joy and a feeling of amazing accomplishment – If you have read my previous posts you will understand just how far we have come.
I also have started to feel like a child again on Christmas mornings. The joy I feel inside my heart watching Jordans real excitement grow for Christmas morning, as well as ripping open his presents is amazing. It wasn’t so long ago when he wasn’t to interested and I would end up opening his gifts myself. And so every Christmas now I am happy to feel that lump in my throat watching my children rip open their gifts because I know what a blessing it is to have children behave like children, to have children who can talk and to have children who can do the basics – and so for those parents who have never walked in our shoes and who have never felt what it is like not to have this, try and feel that amazing blessing because it is so worth it.
Also to other parents of autistic children or children with other delays or disabilities my advice is when YOU feel your children may be ready… take that leap of faith to push them to do things that you haven’t previously been able to do – They may just surprise you and you can then enjoy life to the full with them. And the best part of this is experiencing things through their eyes and always having that amazing feeling of love and accomplishment.