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‘To Love Un-conditionally’ Our Autism Journey

‘To Love Un-conditionally’ Our Autism Journey
Oby

As a proud loving Mother of two young awesome boys on the Autism Spectrum, my dear friend Yinka approached me to share little nuggets I learned on my journey. 

I. Was. Elated.

So, I decided to share my personal story following the diagnosis stages I went through with my sons. Which I know a lot of other parents  are familiar with as well, on this autism journey.

Stages – From a Parent’s Perspective

Shock 

“Your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Says the Doctor. 

This has come as a shock to you even though you saw the signs, and you knew your child or baby was not quite developing like other kids his age. You literally feel like your world has come to a stand-still, even though it has not. 

Anyhow you want to put it, the words “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” sounds weightier than the actual situation. 

You scramble everywhere and anywhere for a cure. You join numerous blogs that make the situation dire than it is.

  • Denial 

Family and friends tell you your child is “Ok” and “Does not have Autism Spectrum Disorder. He/she is just slow

  • “You know boys are slower” They say… 
  • My cousin was slow, but now He’s great!” They say...
  • You want to believe them. You believe them...

After a couple of weeks, you realize the Developmental Doctor was right!

Your-Child-Misses-Major-Milestones.

  • Acceptance. Get to Work! 

After observing your child for some days/weeks and much research, you accept it.

In this stage:

Breath.

Take a cup of Coffee.

Shut your eyes for a minute.

Then get to work.

  • Research, Research, Research!
  • You will find excellent and great advice everywhere. 
  • You will also find depressive tales and more tales of doom everywhere. 
  • You will also find people who want to take advantage of you (financially), promising a total cure everywhere.

You will need to diligently research to find the right therapist (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst BCBA, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and so on).

Get this information from your doctor, and very good blogs.

Please interview them to make sure they’ll be great fits not just for your child, but also for you and your family.

  • Avoid online scammers at all cost who promise solutions and prey on your desperation.
  • Avoid pity-parties at all cost. 
  • Avoid online groups, that make your situation seem so dire and even make you more depressed, at all cost.
  • Mental Health: 

As the caregiver, your mental health is vital.

Take care of it. 

You must be happy in order to impart happiness onto your child. 

This is important! I cannot stress this enough. 

If uncle Johnny makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy whenever you bring your dear child to visit him, then stay away from Uncle Johnny.

If therapist Jane worsens your situation or does not really care for you or your child, then change therapist.

Have little tolerance for anything that’ll send you off to depression. 

There is hope always! Always!

Escape (even if it’s just for a few minutes) when kids are not with you, or when you have help. Carve out time for yourself.

Look for what makes you happy and take out some time DAILY. For me, I am a hopeless romantic.

I binge on all things romantic from the trilogy book “50 Shades of Grey” to Netflix’s “Love is Blind”. It makes me happy!

  • Support! Support!! Support!!! 

It takes a village! You need the support of family, friends, place of worship, care-givers. 

#YOU-CANNOT-DO-THIS-ALONE!

  • Let your Child Lead You! 

When you see a different behavior, ‘Your-child-is-NOT-WEIRD!

He/she is just different and learns everything about life differently.

Let your child guide you. Follow your child’s lead and discover how he/she learns. When you do this, you’ll see many windows of opportunity to teach your child and bring your child more to your world! It works! 

  • Positive Affirmations:

Because I am a woman of Faith, I believe in speaking words of Biblical Faith daily to my son. Speak words of Affirmation daily to your child. Teach your child to say these words daily.

When my son was much younger, I taught him a simple night prayer and to say the words “I am healed.” Now he says these daily words of affirmation before he starts his day: “I will be taught by the Lord, and great will be my peace and undisturbed composure.” (From Isaiah 54:13).

  • Excel/Flourish:

Once all these are in place, your child will begin to excel!

You will begin to excel.

Your family will begin to excel.

You are happy!

You laugh!

You play!

You rejoice!

Remember to jot down achievements, no matter how small (or big).

I call them “Praise Reports.”

Always remember that God is good, and that NO-ONE is a biological accident.

Your child is a blessing full and LOVE.

Your life and you child’s life have Purpose!

Absolutely! There is meaning to all this! In time you’ll find out. 

I love my BOYS. My life would absolutely be hopeless without them.

They-teach-me-daily.

Our dear Sons are amazing!

They show us the way daily❤️

We Love them dearly! 

I’d like to thank my amazing husband for his awesome endearing Love and full support. He is amazing!❤️

I also like to thank our awesome families for their amazing Love and full support.❤️

Much Love, Oby.

ABOUT HER: Oby holds a Masters in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Bachelors in Electronics Engineering. She worked for many years in the medical device industry with Fortune 500 companies in research & development, as well as leadership roles. She lives in Atlanta, GA and is happily married to Dr. Ekekwe for 16 years. She currently home schools her older son while the younger son attends school.

Yinka & Oby!

“Oby and I have been friends for over 30 years! #FGGC Sagamu Alumnus! A couple of years ago, we started talking more about her son’s autism diagnosis, Oby was very transparent and willing to share her struggles and triumphs, especially after knowing that was my field of specialization and passion. Overtime, she became an active member of my non-profit organization DCN “My Child Thrives” support group. Oby has been a vibrant, assertive and valuable resource to other members on the forum. She is certainly a force to reckon-with! Her witty takes on situations! her abundance of terms of endearment! as she showers group members with hope! ‘Autism diagnosis report certainly has nothing on this sassy lady!

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka!

as I share ‘Not Lucky, I’m Loved’ by Jonathan McReynolds to celebrate – April, ‘National Autism Awareness Month!

 

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When Affection Fails… ‘Are we always in control of our RAGE?

love saves

When Michelle is only 12 years old, she is raped by Reggie, the boyfriend of her mother. When her mother does not believe her accusations, Michelle runs away and begins a downward spiral that includes drugs and prostitution, eventually landing in prison. There she hears of Bishop T.D. Jakes, a preacher who works with women like her. Jakes takes an interest in Michelle’s case and visits her… (Culled from the movie “Woman Thou art loosed).

I remembered the first time I watched “Woman thou art loosed”, I must have glared so hard at the screen, terrified, awed and frozen! Forgotten about my bowl of pop-corn. I couldn’t wait to see how this hardened jail bird would be broken by TD Jakes… but He did! At a moment, I felt myself transformed and imagining the pain and agony she’d encountered for years! And only for the healing words to be delivered through controlled prison walls? Hmmm.

Recently, there’s been an uproar of amazement and bewilderment; many minds are wondering, hurt, confused and still appalled; speculating and disheartened over how far our emotions can take us into brutal rage. How far would we go in professing our love or hatred? How far would we declare our anger in times of pulsating fury? When you remember that love-patch that never worked out for you, do you give a deep sigh, bless God and keep living? Or do you wallow in self-pity over what could have been? Do you regret missing out of a broken relationship? Do you destroy affection by your words? Or do you protect your words with your frenzy?

When your love life fails (marriage or relationship) the once-upon-a-time blissful shower is now a puddle of regret, who do you turn to? Friends who are more interested in your good juicy superficial tales? Family members who could be self-centered? Or just ordinary people who sincerely wants to hold your hands, allow the tears and words to flow and willingly wipe your tears, without being judgmental? Where’s your support system? Who’s your support system? After you’ve prayed and fasted and done all you can…’when you are so enraged and hurt and cheated on by life, what do you do? When Love itself stops loving you, do you walk away and hope you get it right next time? Or you just fix it based on your current state of mind?

Last week socked me with a one-two knockout punch. The news of the death of another victim in a stormy marriage! Death has punched hard. Shockwaves of grief are running through the veins of all who know and love them. It seems so wrong. So upside-down. Excruciating. Inconceivable. Unfair. Crooked.

My soul is restless with questions.

If life in Christ is promised to be abundant and full (John 10:10), then why are there times when it seems so empty and broken? Why does pain sting so violently? Why do good people die young? Why do we sometimes allow the devil’s workshop to occupy a space in our idle minds? Why do honorable Christ-followers face such compelling hardships?

So, for all of us still living and silently enduring a painful relationship, let’s cultivate a habit of SPEAKING OUT when we are hurting! even when the one-two punches come, we can trust God – not because we understand all the circumstances, or even like them – but because we know HIM. And because we know HIM, we can trust that He will provide all that we need to process pains, heal from wounds, and move forward in strength, grace, and peace.

When we are intimately familiar with God – when we don’t just know about Him, but when we KNOW Him – the most crooked roads we travel are made straight. Not because life is easy. Hardship stings and life is complicated. Not because all that we experience is just. Much of life is unfair. But because when we know God, we know:

His strength that is accessible in our weakness

His comfort that meets us as we mourn

His mercy that withholds the punishment our depravity readily deserves

His peace that defies our unrest

His joy that kisses the cheeks of our sorrow

His courage that emboldens our weary hearts and casts away fears

His redemption that reworks our brokenness into beauty

His love that binds us to eternity and delights over us with singing

 

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka Lawrence

Reference:

www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

 

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