It's almost Christmas, and I'm feeling sentimental.
Some of our Christmas blessings:
- Hayden is asking "Why" questions.
- He asked me the other day, "How was your day at work today?" (showing empathy. This is maybe only the 2nd time I've ever seen it from him.)
- He is pulled out of his special needs class to attend reading and math time with the mainstream 1st grade class.
- His stomach doesn't hurt all the time.
- Rylie does not have Autism.
- She no longer has diarrhea every day.
- Her eczema is improved.
- Her languag skills are excellent.
- She's bright, and inquisitive, and sweet.
- She loves kisses and hugs.
Most importantly, in light of recent tragedies: my children are alive. We have a home. We are free from want, after a year that has brought some desperate moments. We have people to call family, and people to call friends. We are watched over by several angels in Heaven. We are together, and take care of each other. We have hope for a better future.
Hayden still has his challenges, as referenced in the previous post. He still has rough days. But he is improving, and doing things I never hoped possible for him. Rylie is growing stronger every day, and shows that she is not going to let her illness take her down. Thank you to those people who have made this possible.
A big Thank you to
- The staff, current and past, of Cornerstone Autism Center. For helping children with Autism live better lives.
- Mrs. Hillis, Ms. Childers, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Fox, and Mrs. Gliva at Jeremiah-Gray Elementary School. For helping my son, and his classmates, succeed at school and life.
- My parents and brothers, for continuing to love Hayden unconditionally, and for supporting me as I explore new treatments and new ideas in the worlds of Autism and Nutrition.
- My brothers and dad, for getting me a new website to allow Hayden's story to reach even more families affected by Autism. (coming soon!)
- My friends, near and far, old and new, who listen to my gripes. Who know to call me and catch up, because I get caught up in my kids. Who read my blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets. Who build me up when I'm down. Who remind me that I'm stronger than I think I am. Who remind me to get out once in a while and leave the kids at home.
- The doctors and staff at Ortho Indy, for helping a little boy with Autism go through the process of healing a broken arm with courage and dignity.
- Dr. Leslie Parent, for treating my kids' sniffles, strep, hives and more, and for having the strength of character to let us share Hayden with both her and his Autism doctor without feeling offended that there are many things about Autism that she doesn't know.
- The parents of TACA, for holding parent meetings on their own time, and teaching new parents ways to bring their children out of Autism.
- Staci Small, for answering every last email. For repeating herself because I wasn't listening. For being creative with supplements and recipes. For working hard to help families improve their lives.
- Dr. Mary Lou Hulseman, for treating Hayden and Rylie. For going to conferences and continuing to learn more. For holding parent training sessions on her own time. For blocking out two days a week of her schedule just for her Autism patients. For responding to my frantic late night voicemails about hives and yellow skin. For helping me learn and for treating me respectfully as I ask a thousand questions. And mostly, for saving my children from Autism. Thank you for giving me hope.
To all of you I am so grateful. Thank you for allowing me to share Hayden and Rylie with you. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.