I am so proud of you.
I have watched you grow into an amazing little man, thank you for choosing this path in your life so that we could do this together.
You have changed my life and my heart forever.
I remember when you started your ABA therapy.
You were 5 years old, and you had a vocabulary of about 10 words..."juice...no...park...car...dog..."
If you needed anything you would either attempt to get it yourself or physically grab me and drag me to the item you wanted.
You couldn't put your own shoes on, you couldn't get dressed by yourself, and you were still in diapers.
Look at you now...
You can talk using 4-5 words in a sentence...."Mamma, I want food please"..."Can we go to park"..."Goodnite mamma"...
I love that you can finally call me something..."mamma"
I also love that you can use the potty by yourself now :) What an accomplishment for you, as you struggled for a long time with that one...no more diapers!
I remember how scary and difficult it was for you to have strange people come into our home and demand things of you...all of course for your benefit, but you had no idea what their intentions were.
They wanted you to sit down for 15 minutes at a time, which was very hard for you to sit at all...and after sitting you down they would work you for 2-3 hours at a time, for 4-7 hours a day, 5 days a week.
It was like a job...you were a 5 year old with a job...
You had the most difficult and important job...fighting for your life, fighting to get through to yourself.
I remember how often you would cry yourself to sleep at night, and sometimes not sleep at all due to the stresses of your everyday routine.
You simply could not process what in the hell was going on in your own mind...why you could not talk, why everything felt so fuzzy and out of control...at least that is my interpretation of it all...
I remember laying next to you trying to calm you down while you would kick and cry and hit me out of frustration. I hated seeing you so upset...I hated seeing the bite marks on your arm and the bruises everywhere.
You would do this every single night...you would only sleep 2 hours or so, sometimes not at all...and you would get up and work all day the next day.
I know this lasted for about 7 months, and that it felt like our home was a prison...no sleep, no happiness, just getting by day by day...just work, work, work.
What you have to know by now though is that it wasn't your fault.
You have Autism.
So this means you have to work harder than most people do for the simple things.
You have to fight every day, just to get through to yourself.
You had to make that transition into the "rest of your life" work...
Look at you now baby boy...
These "strangers" are now your friends.
They love you and you them.
You can sit down now for 15, even 20 minutes and work peacefully.
You still have to do it every day for 4-7 hours a day, but now you laugh more, your focus is there, you have an intention within you.
Through working with your therapists I have seen the most amazing creative person come out of you...your drawings, your sense of space and proportion are simply fabulous.
You can express yourself now through different mediums...it's so great to see all of this happening for you.
You sleep soundly at night now (for the most part :) )
You aren't restless. You aren't angry.
You are happy.
The bite marks are gone...so are the bruises.
Your tears are now sweat because of how much running around and playing that you do.
You are getting through to yourself slowly...you really are.
You are able to enjoy the little things that used to burden you.
You can tell me that you are mad or sad and I can cry with you now...not for you.
I can look into those soulful eyes of yours and see some clarity.
I can see that you are looking back at me.
You can wipe my tears away now...instead of me always having to wipe yours.
You have a vocabulary now that is unbelievable...
I would guess you know and can label about 150 things, maybe more :)
You can look at a tree and identify what it is.
You can tell me that the balloon is blue, that the dog is brown, and that your name is Kannon.
You can even count to 20, and you know more colors than I do...how about that :)
I am so proud of you.
You are really doing it baby...you are breaking through
You are letting others help you...but what you need to know is this:
You are helping everyone around you in ways you may not know...
You are changing our hearts...our minds...our perspectives on life.
You have shown us that things are not always what they may seem.
You have shown us just how beautiful a soul is.
You have shown what hard work can do...hard life work.
Complexity, humor, tenderness, consideration, love, hope and strength.
This is you...in my eyes.
In my eyes, you are growing up to be quite the amazing human being...the best I have ever met.
I am so proud of you.
Someday when you can read this, I hope you can look back and remember your journey with a smile and with pride.
I hope that simply someday you can read...that you and I can talk...that all the times I have talked to you late at night after our long days together you can tell me you understood exactly what I was saying...that all our tears were worth it.
Lastly, I hope that even when I am not on this earth anymore you will know with every part of you how amazing you are...that everything you are today is because of you and your hard work, and believe me you worked so hard for it.
AND...how you made my life better...not just better Kannon, you truly MADE my life.
Love always :)