My name is Tracy, and my son Aidan and I became part of the Generation Rescue Grant Program in January 2012. Aidan is our poem, our puzzle, our heart, and none of us can take our eyes off him until autism gives back what it has taken from him. On the surface, we are a mom, a dad, and three amazing boys age 14, 5 (Aidan), and 3. Like many parents, we are trying frantically to keep some semblance of normalcy for our children while the economy and autism shred everything but love and hope.
We want to share our story with you, and that is terrifying for me, because I don’t know how the story ends yet. So, instead of starting our story at the beginning where everything was sad and scary and we were lost, I’ll start with simply how we got to today because today is clear and we have our destination in sight.
Autism is a long twisty path with lots of dark places and just enough bright spots that we have the courage to keep traveling. When we get lost, we choose a path and stick to it and hope that it leads us to where we belong.
Three years ago my house was much too quiet, and I hoped and prayed just to hear Aidan’s voice. It took months of therapy, but he finally gained a few words and his voice was musical. I began hoping he would learn to put words together. When he began putting 2-3 words together , I began hoping he would learn to tell me what he wanted. Finally, one day he could.
Two years ago, I began hoping he would learn to ask questions, use real sentences, tell us he loved us. It happened.
Last year, I began hoping someday he would be able to tell me about his day. The first time he did, I had to pull the car off the road to hug him.
Two months ago, we joined the Generation Rescue program and I started hoping that if we could just figure out how to clear the fog that seems to cloud him, he would learn to carry on a meaningful conversation.
Today my little boy told me he loved me, what he did at school, what he wanted to do on the weekend, asked me about my day, won an argument with his brother, asked me questions while I made dinner, looked deep into my eyes and laughed.
And, for once, I knew I could hope for anything.
Can I say he is recovered? Not by a long shot. But I know he will be. He is fighting his way back and we only just started down this biomedical path. Every word, every milestone, every glance until now has been fought for so hard and so long. There have been countless setbacks.
I wonder where we would be today if we had found this path years ago, had known we could try to heal his damage instead of only trying to overcome it. Watching him swing through the effects of the diet change and supplements has been scary. There have been days that he is completely lost, running and pacing, talking to himself and I am terrified I am losing him even more.
Trying to heal Aidan feels like being in the ocean, trying to keep his head above water. No matter how hard I hang on to him, sometimes a wave crashes over him and I have to just hang on tighter and help him surface. I’m terrified he won’t come back up. The beautiful thing is that each time he surfaces now he seems clearer, more relaxed, more connected. I like to think that one day soon we are going to ride a wave safely to the shore.
I am so grateful to be able to share this journey with you, and hopefully reach out a hand to someone who might feel lost.
About the Author:
Tracy Weinstock, Mommy to 5 year-old Aidan who is currently participating in our Rescue Family Grant Program.