Monday, April 30, 2012

Living with Autism

The main purpose of this blog is to share paper crafting projects with you. I also throw in a bit about me and my family because sharing scrapbook pages is a little more personal than other types of blogs. There are real people with real families and real life struggles behind every scrapbooking blog and sharing some of these struggles helps others see that they are not alone.

Many of you probably know that my son Christopher is autistic. You also may know that his birthday is coming up because I've mentioned it a couple times in previous weeks. Today is his big day. Today Christopher turns 11. On what is supposed to be a very special day for our family, Christopher woke up in a bad mood and threw one of his worst tantrums ever.


It's a reminder that we live with autism. Some days seem very 'typical' and then some days are a reminder of the difficulty and struggles that come with autism. A lot of the time we have no idea what sets off a tantrum like this so it's difficult to foresee and take steps to avoid which is the best weapon against tantrums. Christopher has a history of not liking April and his birthday. For what reason(s) we don't completely understand. This year seemed different. He's been maturing quite a bit over the past year and his tantrums have decreased significantly.


As I type this post, I'm at a loss. I don't know how to precede with the day. Christopher is too upset to go to school. Starting the day this way usually makes it too difficult for him to get through the school day. If we try to send him, we would most likely get a call from his school asking us to come get him.

His father and I hardly feel in a festive mood. Do we put on a smile anyway, bake a cake, cook a special dinner and unwrap presents as usual. Do we try again tomorrow?


We don't have the answers. We do the best we can. We make mistakes. We struggle. Living with autism is difficult! Sometimes it makes me so mad! Mad because this 'condition' took away the 'typical' little boy I thought I gave birth to 11 years ago today. We didn't sign up for this. But it is what it is.


This card was created with Doodlebug products: Create a Card, Boys Only Collection and Doodles Card Stock Stickers.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Kathy

15 comments:

Laurel said...

I love your card! (((hugs))) to you and your family.

cnelson said...

BIG HUGS to YOU!!! I am so sorry that what should have been such a special day turned into something you did not anticipate. I surely HOPE tomorrow is better. I KNOW you are wonderful parents and Christopher is very blessed to have you as his. Sometimes LIFE is just plain HARD. Once again BIG HUGS to you!
**Your card is so AWESOME.

Laura O'Donnell said...

so sorry to hear this, Kathy :(

I hope the day turns around for you. Maybe cooling off at home will make him feel better for later.

((hugs))

Sherry Wright said...

Great boy card Kathy! Your post really touched me. Big ((hugs)). I know some days I go through the day and autism doesn't cross my mind. And others it's so obvious and my heart breaks all over again. I hope tomorrow is a better day!

Jennifer Harkema said...

I'm sorry for what you are having to go thru. I wouldn't force celebrating if he's not up for it. I would wait until tomorrow. I can't begin to imagine how frustrating this must be for you and your husband. I hope you receive unexpected little blessings and lots of encouragment and prayers to get you thru this day. I'll be praying for you.

Alice Wertz said...

sending you big hugs, Kathy. truly hope that things turns around as the day goes. i love your fun and delightful boy card and hope that your boy will enjoy it when his mood changes, too. again, sending you big big hugs! =)

Meghan said...

What a perfect boy card! Hopefully Christopher likes his unbirthday tomorrow better! Your work inspires me daily! You are amazing!

Nathalie said...

Sending you strength and courage, Kathy!

Diana Fisher said...

Sending you a hug. {squeeze} and strength for your days. Your card is lovely, though. Didn't want to leave the post without letting you know it is an amazing card.

Aphra said...

Hope your family's day gets better and that you have a beautiful tomorrow!

Lynn said...

Kathy, I'm so sorry to hear that your beautiful Christoper is having a hard time. Sending you lots of hugs my dear friend. And prayers for better days to come.

I adore his card.

Ruth G said...

Kathy, I can relate on certain levels, especially with not knowing how to prevent all meltdowns, because I too live with a son (almost 11) who has a hard time coming back after he's lost it in an autistic fit. There is so much anxiety that he can't express except through yelling and screaming and I can't help him because he is just ranting and terrified. Hugs to you that your son has such a hard time with his birthday. Perhaps you can celebrate somehow with your husband since this is a very important day to you, too, and then with your son when he's ready. I hope that my son's attribute of being in total awe and appreciation for all things made by individuals holds true for your son, too, so that he makes your day with the smile your awesome card should create!

Christine said...

First off, I want to say Happy Birthday to Christopher. Eleven years ago today was the day a very special person entered the world and even if he's not in the mood to celebrate, I know you want to. But that doesn't mean there has to be birthday cake or anything tangible. You can just celebrate with your memories of that tiny little baby that has grown up so fast and has given you plenty of wonderful moments since that day! Remember those times for him today and then let him celebrate when he is ready!

I love your card!! It is so bright and fun. A wonderful birthday card!!

Big ((hugs)) for you, my friend!! I know that you will get through this. You are such a wonderful mom, positive person and a fantastic and talented crafter. Tomorrow will be a better day!

xoxo, Christine

Wanda G (stampcat) said...

Hi Kathy, What a nice, heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us. I can tell you are such a wonderful mom and I'm sending you a big giant hug. This card is just adorable. XOXO

Audrey Pettit said...

Well, phooey! I'm so sorry to hear that Christopher's big day didn't turn out as hoped for! I know it isn't easy for Dan and you to deal with the struggles of raising a child with autism, or for Christopher to struggle with emotions and feelings that he cannot express and even understand himself at times. Thank goodness tomorrow is another day and thank goodness you all have each other!
Beautiful birthday card, my friend! And ((hugs))

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