Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Super (Tired) Mom!

I made this card for my daughter. We found out in the summer of 2019 that her one and only child is autistic. 

I found out my middle child was autistic after he turned 18. Back then, calling autism was not an easy task. First, my son did not have some of the tell tale signs. He did not rock or flutter his fingers. He did not walk on tip toes. He was very affectionate. He struggled with the written word. Both, reading it and writing it... and math... forget about it! So as an adult, once he turned 18, we were told he had Asperger's Syndrome and we were given pamphlets. My daughter read them first. Son's counselor came to see me while I was at the office and gave my daughter the information. Once I arrived home, he came back to see me, but by then, daughter and I had already discussed the pamphlets. We saw it all so clearly then! Counselor just wanted to speak to me to give me the official diagnosis and to answer any questions I might have. Son is very high functioning. He has held down a full-time job since he was 18. He has lived on his own since 2015. What a struggle it was to get him out of the house! LoL He liked living with mom! Mom wanted to live on her own! So, he got his own place. He did drive when he was 16 and when we lived in New Hampshire, he had a driver's license. When we moved to Texas, son did not tell me his license had expired and by the time I remembered, it was too late. He had to take the written part again and he refused to do that. But mostly, because he said that driving in Derry, which was a small town, was not scary. He was scared to drive in Lubbock's traffic. He felt it was too much. So, he lives close to work and rides a bicycle back and forth. He has made friends but he's unable to master the social skills required to snare himself a girlfriend. He's slowly starting to accept that. Makes me sad for him. I did not want him growing old alone. It is what it is. 

So my daughter instinctively compared her son to her brother back in 2019 when we first got the news. Grandson is very affectionate. However, he does walk on tiptoes, but so does his father and daughter thought he was mimicing his dad. He does flutter his hands but my daughter insisted it was his way of saying he liked something. I went along with her thoughts. But this past summer, he was admitted into an after school program especially for autistic children. During the intake, she was asked about the level of severity. She replied she did not know, but the intake specialist replied that he was at the lowest level. Grandson is nonverbal. He's five now and still not potty trained. He is an incredibly picky eater. I mean it is a nightmare trying to get him to eat anything. He does not sleep well. He has awful meltdowns. So, I did suspect something. I was surprised at my daughter's reaction. She was quite devastated. The first thing she said to me was that her son would not be able to achieve the things her brother had. She's really been struggling with this. But I've seen her with him. She's handling the situation as best as she can. Her ex-husband and she share custody. She has him one week and the ex has him the other week. I help when I can. Ex's mother helps when she can. So daughter has a support group. She is still struggling with it but she continues to put one foot in front of the other. I think she's doing an outstanding job with grandson's needs.

I was a single mom. Lived alone in Austin with no family. Father was an absentee parent so I did it all alone. I know how hard it is. I know how awful it can be to not have any support. So I want to tell my daughter, that she's doing great with what she has going on and remind her that she's not alone. I made this card hoping to bring a smile to her face.

All products are from Whimsy Stamps and all images are colored with Copic markers. I used Comics paper pad, Slimline Film Strip die, Mombie clear stamp set and Staz-on ink in black with the sentiments. 

If you did read all this, thanks for doing so. I would be stunned to learn anyone is reading my musings. :)

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