As a parent of a child with special needs, I have learned the importance of celebrating even the smallest accomplishments and counting each and every blessing that comes my way. However, from time to time I have to stop and remind myself exactly where Jaxon started his journey, where we are today, and where we hope to be tomorrow. I am constantly reading stories of recovery, stories of new diagnoses, and stories of parents who fear that their newborn might eventually fall somewhere on the spectrum. This month, I am making it a priority to “get back to the basics”…celebrate each and every milestone, rejoice in the fact that RECOVERY IS REAL, and reflect on the many blessings Jaxon, as well as my other two boys have brought to our family.
A few months ago we were forced to “recalculate” our path of recovery with Jaxon. A you all know, change itself can be very scary, but what made it especially hard for us was the fact that we had been seeing the same practitioner for nearly four years and could not have been more happy with the success we had seen. Because I didn’t have a choice in the matter, I decided to make the best of it and take a faithful step into the unknown. Scary as it was, it turned out to be a step in the right direction! Jaxon is yet again on a new path of recovery and I am learning more about Jaxon, more about myself, about our strengths, and about how to overcome our weaknesses. I would have never imagined that “getting back to the basics” in terms of treatment for Jaxon’s autism, could work all over again. In fact, Jaxon read the fortune out of a fortune cookie…all by himself… for the first time a couple weeks ago, an accomplishment that we definitely celebrated.
Here are my thoughts for you in the coming weeks….if you are stuck in a rut or feel like your child is not edging forward, look outside the box. Reflect…allow yourself to reflect on what has worked in the past and consider “starting over” or “going back to the basics”. Celebrate…make a point to celebrate every success whether it is big or small. Live…make sure to count each blessing and live your life surrounded with thoughts of hope and recovery. Being a parent to a child with special needs can be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but they don’t call us Mother Warriors for nothing…we are (according to Jenny McCarthy) a nation of parents healing autism against all odds!
My name is Dr. Jill Tschikof; I am the mother of three, and a military spouse. We have had struggles and successes raising a child with autism while serving in the military and I hope that my future stories will act as a form of guidance for others navigating this same path. You can find my personal blog at www.autismdeal.com; I hope that you will email me if you have any questions.