I know it had been such a long time since I have written a blog post and I apologize! Judah and I have moved to Front R0yal Virginia and school will be starting for me very soon at Christendom College. The campus is breath taking and I can't shake the feeling that I am where I belong. Where I have always belonged....
As we settle in to our new life here in Virginia, God contiues to bless us in extrordinary ways. My little son Judah has always been a "hand-full." Anyone who knows us knows what I mean. As he grew older I started to really notice that something was not right. All the times I blamed myself for his massive temper tantrums in public and his innability to adapt to social situations...all the times I allowed myself to think that everything was my fault. It turns out none of that was true and God has revealed to me the answer of why Judah acts the way he does.
Judah has autism. A doctor recognized it because of his intense love for dinosaurs.
Through a series of strange events, God placed my son and I in the office of a local pediatrician. After coming in and being with us for a while, she asked me if Judah really likes dinosaurs, since she noticed a theme. Judah was wearing a dinosaur vest, had dinosaur toys in his dinosaur bag and kept talking to her about dinosaurs during our visit. I told her that in fact, YES, Judah LOVED dinosaurs and obsessively memorized all their names. I mean, he is three and can say the longest most complex dinosaur names. For a long time I would hear him recite their names, and I just thought he was making them up. Then one day, I picked up a book he had with dinosaurs and their names in it and realized that he was in fact naming all his toy dinosaurs correctly! I mean, I almost dropped the book when I realized it! Judah has an amazing memory and very intense focused interest, which is common for children with Aspergers syndrome. Some of these children, like Judah have incredible vocabularies and often have higher than average IQ's. Judah's memory is astounding and he amazes me every day with his ability to memorize words. At his age he can recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, Saint Michael prayer and many others. Children with high functioning autism suffer with social interaction however and this can cause problems for them especially later on in life. They can have special gifts in very focused areas of interest, normally math or science. For Judah, at three years old, it's dinosaurs.
During the visit, as the doctor asked me more questions, every one of them I answered YES! Does Judah ever wander off? Does he run away? Does he have problems with body awareness and transitions in daycare? Does he have "melt-downs" that seem extreme given the situation? Does he "line up his toys" and meticulously organize them instead of using imaginative play? YES YES YES!
Now everything is making sense, all the pieces are coming together. My poor little Judah, all this time I did not know what was going on with him and did not know the right way to help him. God, in His mercy, allowed this doctor to recognize what was going on with my son. As a mother, I KNEW that something was not right. I pushed it back in my mind, thinking that because Judah looks normal he must BE normal, neurologically speaking. I know now that this was not the right way to look at it and to follow my gut instinct. As his mother, no one knows him better than I do.
This has been quite a blow for me and yet for some strange reason, I am RELIEVED! I am not crazy! and there is something wrong with my son! And now we can take the steps we need to help him. Now we can start all the early intervention therapies and whatever else he needs as treatment. If you have a special needs child, REJOICE in God's great gift to you! Do not despair for these children are precious gifts to our world and can help us become holy on our way to God.
God has blessed me with a special needs child and in His infinite wisdom, I trust that He knows best. I don't know what the future will hold for Judah, but I will be there with him at every step. Together we will help each other get to heaven. I know that Judah is my best friend and has been my little pal since the beginning of this journey back to life. When I look into his beautiful, deep blue eyes, I think of Blessed Father Solanus Casey. Everyone said he had the most piercing, deep bluest eyes. I ask Father Solanus to pray for Judah and to help him cope in his day to day life. Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward.
God bless you all and God bless my sweet little Judah!