Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taken Down.

Autism kicked my butt today. Really. Whomped me good. And I don't like to admit defeat.

However, after 15 straight minutes of trying to get our 5-year-old into his church classroom, I gave up in utter defeat. Not defeat like - okay you're coming into our service.

No, defeat like - I took his hand and walked him (with my husband trailing behind wondering what I was doing) back through the church biting my lip to hold back the tears. Defeat like - I grabbed my coat and LEFT.

I knew I was going to blow, and I didn't want to sit in a pew during service crying my eyes out over the fact that my son's special needs had gotten the best of me. Of course, I probably would have walked out feeling much better after being there and listening to the message. But at the moment, I just wanted it all to stop.

So instead I cried all the way home - quietly, so he wouldn't know I was crying and think that it was his fault. He can't help it. As bad as I feel, it has to feel a thousand times worse for him.

Most days I handle this role I've been given with as much grace as I possibly can. Then there are days like today, when I dig as deep as I can and still can't find it in me.

I know I am incredibly blessed to have these three boys, each with their different needs and issues; and I love them beyond measure.

Here's hoping that this week brings renewed strength and a fresh outlook.

photo by davi sommerfeld


  1. "So instead I cried all the way home - quietly, so he wouldn't know I was crying and think that it was his fault. He can't help it. As bad as I feel, it has to feel a thousand times worse for him." That statement right there shows what an incredible mother you are.

    When I read those words I had my own little breakdown. Thank you for reminding me that while I may be frustrated at a situation I need to keep in mind how it must feel to my child dealing with his learning disability.

    You set me straight girl!

    Love you :)

  2. Holly: I fully understand your frustrations about your children and attending church. My husband and I have a 7 year-old son (only child) who has autism, ADHD, and sensory processing issues. We stopped going to church approximately a year ago due to issues very similar to yours. My husband and I need to go to church for my own spiritual needs, and it does not feel good not attending church regularly. However, it was not a good time for our son. Our church says that it can accommodate our son, but church volunteers (to work with our son one-on-one in a play environment) became scarce to non-existent.

    Churches are supposed to be inclusive, but I just don't know anymore. I need to start researching other churches in our area.

    Take care,
    Shay West
    @shaywest on twitter

  3. Shay - fortunately, we attend an awesome church that is like our 2nd family. They have accommodated Seth since the beginning and really, the way they took him into their hearts is one of the biggest reasons we stayed.

    However, we attend a large church (not mega, but large), which can accommodate special needs much easier than a smaller one. I hope you can find what you are looking for.

    I could not handle being a special needs mom without my church family. The spiritual aspect of my life is nearly the only aspect that gets me through the rest (besides my awesome relationship with my husband).

    Our church recently began staffing a special needs room - wahoo! Although Seth has not needed to go in there, with the trouble he's been having lately, we may be trying that next.

  4. Thank you for this posting. I cried as I read it, being all too familiar with those days. My 5yo daughter has an ASD, and while a lot of days are great, the hard ones are STILL SO HARD! Don't beat yourself up. Our children's minister has a son with autism, so life at our church is a blessing, but still a little difficult for our kids sometimes. Accomodations don't always make it work for them. Some days, it will be just one of those days.

  5. I know this is a slightly older post and you don't know me from a hole in the ground, but I hope it's okay to offer you a *hug*, from one Mum to another. I get it - I truly do. Our ten year old son is blind & has "high functioning autism" (one of the terms often used), among other things. Love is still love, even when you've run into that wall. You're a good Mum. <3