Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The story of how I found out about Hunter’s autism is kind of amusing. Well, it is amusing now, but it wasn’t so much then. Now, it is just another leg in our journey.

I was pregnant with my little guy. We were in the car on our way back from one of Hunter’s t-ball games and my hubby said to me, “Hunter’s pre-school director called and they think he might have A-U-T-I-S-M.”

Apparently the school, knowing I was pregnant, had called my husband as not to upset me. Yep, they didn’t want to upset me, so they left it to him to spell it out to me in the car with my 4 year-old in the backseat.  I remember staring at the road in front of us and thinking, “Now what?” and “What is Autism” and “What does this mean for our lives?”

When we first received the news, it was tough. I hit the ground running right away. I made appointments with doctors. I did tons of Internet research. I spoke with teachers I knew about what to expect and what they had observed in their students with Autism. Still, I struggled. I struggled with the opinions of others. I struggled with the “Why us?” and the “Why not us?” questions. I fought the schools. I questioned the doctors. I went into “fixit” mode.

From the moment my hubby spelled the news to me, he had a fear in his eyes. Actually, he had anger in his eyes that was a well-placed cover-up for the fear he was actually feeling. This was not what he had expected. This was his first child. This was his first son. This was everything he had hoped for and dreamed of for many years. The tears in his eyes when Hunter was born were there because of pure joy for this life we had brought into this world. Now, he was scared that the life of this beautiful little boy was going to be hard and scary. He went into denial for a while. He fought the good fight that nothing was “wrong” with our little boy.

Then, one day, not long after, he took my hand and we began this scary, uphill, and amazing journey together. We have had many fights. We have had many struggles. We have had way too many tears to count. We still have all of those.

A lot has changed since that night in the car when neither of us really knew what “A-U-T-I-S-M” was or where it would take us. We have learned a lot as a couple. We have learned how to work together. We have learned how to pull each other up when we are down (and there are lots of those times). We have learned how to parent by trial and error because sometimes that’s all you can do. By trial and error, we discovered that I am “bad cop” and he is “good cop, “so we work that to our advantage whenever possible.
The research shows that divorce rates are high among parents of autistic kiddos. I get it! Trust me, we’ve been there many times. For us, this journey just works better as a team, and that’s how we will stay! Following this A-U-T-I-S-M path one day at a time.