Our Family Today

Part Five of a Five-Post Series about one woman’s experiences with her son who has autism.

For the past four days I’ve shared my stories and tips for helping your child with autism start a path to recovery. Now cut back to our little family 10 months after the initial diagnosis. I still don’t have all the answers nor do I claim to know all the facets of this disease since it seems to just get bigger every day. I am here today to tell our story because we have had so many special people in our life touch the process, so we in turn want to pay it forward and help others trying to figure out their puzzle pieces.

I know for as much heartache as the kids and I have faced in life, we have also been blessed that our struggle with autism pales in comparison to other families. We are also lucky to live in a city that has so many resources and so many people who want to help.

So where are we today? The twins just turned 4, and Tommy is well on the way to recovery and making strides all the time. He has come so far that his teachers, therapists, and I are often stunned by some of his milestones. There are still struggles we are working on: his speech, fine motor skills, and confidence in social circles. But everything is on track and our goal is within our reach.

I remember when I met with Tommy’s developmental psychologist to hear the diagnosis all those months back, and she asked me what dream I had for Tommy. “To see two backpacks going off to kindergarten, together side by side.” I see that image in my head every day and I believe it more than ever.

Recently, we were at another birthday party, and I was sitting on a bench watching my boys roll a hula hoop down a hill together. At one point they walked up the hill together holding hands: a miracle in itself. At the top Mikey proudly says to me, “Momma, I am helping Tommy.” Tommy smiles, looks me in the eye, and says, “Momma, Mikey is helping me.” They both laugh and look at each other like all brothers do and went off together to start climbing the tree stumps.

I sat there with tears in my eyes and realized in that moment that we were winning the fight. Tommy is going to be just fine. It was the first time since I had lost my husband that as a family we had found such peace. It was a moment captured and one that will forever be etched in my heart because it emulated all the goodness of life and the goodness to come.

Never lose hope…

Published on: July 04, 2008
About the Author
Photo of Kelly Austing

Kelly is a 36-year-old single mother of twin 4-year-old boys, Mikey and Tommy. In 2001 Kelly landed her dream job as an event producer at In Style, a leading fashion and lifestyle magazine.

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