This is five

“I am sorry to tell you but we estimate you have 6 months to live”

We sat there in shock looking at each other. This was at a meeting for my mother in law, who had been going testing for months and they finally diagnosed her with pancreas cancer. She was 48 years old. She was a huge presence in Alyssa’s life in all of our lives.

She said no tears

We fought to hold back the tears of course there we were silent ones escaping, rolling down are our cheeks.

As we adjusted to this Information, me and Alyssa’s father decided we would get married. He was the oldest of four children and we wanted her to be able to see at least one of children get married.

I wanted a traditional wedding and we had limited time to plan it. I also wanted my daughter to be a part of it, I didn’t know how realistic this was.

Autism was in full effect. Alyssa didn’t exactly go with the flow. She still has no language and was very set in her way about things, like shoes, a fancy dress and a cute hair do were not likely.

You have to try. If there is any advice I can give it is to try,because you never know until you try.

This was my wedding and I wanted my little girl to be my flower girl.

She had come a long was in these past two years. She was fully potty trained, less aggressive and a little calmer. Although she could turn on a dime and needed structure and routine.

I Paired her up with my niece and on a beautiful October day she put on a dress. ( we made it as simple as we could) with sneakers and her hair in a pony no fancy headbands or curls for her.

She walked side by side with her cousin and her basket of petals and she did it. It was a miracle, or at least felt like one to me.

I knew to be realistic and that it might not happen. I knew she might not be able to handle it. It was okay I was prepared. Her teacher was there and was ready to intervene and help with Alyssa if needed.

She looked so beautiful and was happy. She squealed and clapped as we stood at the alter. It was as if she knew.

This may seem like a typical expectation for a five year old but I can assure you for her it was not.

I was so happy that she was able to participate.

I didn’t want her excluded. To be the only one on the family not there.

My mother in law was the happiest I had ever seen her. She was glowing. We were at the six month mark and she was still going strong. She laughed, she danced with her son,she was radiant.

It was a magical day, not because it was my wedding but because I had had my daughter and my mother in law on this occasion.

In that moment I was so grateful and I realized that autism isn’t the worst thing. Losing someone you love is far worse.

You can very easily become consumed in the day to day struggles, the inconsistencies, and the difficulties autism can bring. It also teaches you to appreciate what you do have in a way I don’t think I would have with out it.

My daughter had her struggles yes, but she is beautiful and healthy. She is vibrant and full of joy and life. She is here to love and hug everyday ( even if she resists)

I look at my son, and realize how lucky I am that everyday things come so easy to him. He is curious and chatty, and full of personality. I know that is not a given as I once thought.

My husband is an amazing father. I am lucky to have married my best friend. He loves all of us with his whole heart.

I have a new baby growing in my belly. A very unexpected surprise. I was just 10 weeks along. I was happy but scared. I don’t know how Alyssa would react. I was worried. At the same time it gave us something, it gave my mother in law something.

Hope. A new baby, a new life.

She was over the moon and you couldn’t help but follow suite.

Five brought a lot of changes. We were able to leave her with my parents while we went on our honeymoon, we went on a family vacation and it was successful.

She wasn’t where I hoped, but there we major wins.

Hope prevails

Autism awareness day 5

Alyssa age 5

autism #autismawareness #autismacceptance #hope

My flower girl

When me and my husband got married Alyssa was 5 . She had gotten over the hump of the worst and most difficult times but was still pretty challenging . You never knew what could trigger a melt down , cause her to bolt or anything in between .

But I really wanted her to be my flower girl . I knew it might be a disaster but I wanted to try . Some thought we were crazy because honestly it was going to be an extraordinary challenge to even get her in a dress . To think she could handle walking down an aisle in a church no less was almost ludicrous . But I didn’t care I was going try ..

You see the thing with autism is you have to try and a lot of times it’s gets the best of us . It’s scary and overwhelming . It can be frustrating, embarrassing and down right heart breaking . But the successes are the best thing ! It’s feeling true happiness , relief and so much love all rolled into to one .

Unfortunately you need to go through a lot of fails in order to get the successes , I won’t lie sometimes it’s a down right disaster .

The exposure is everything it helps them so much .

I am incredibly stubborn ,so is my daughter and so is autism ~it doesn’t always end well .

I also am also realistic ,I knew that my daughter might not be able to handle it . I made a game plan .

I wanted Alyssa there ,the whole family was there and I wanted her there too .

I had my niece who was 7 be a second flower girl . That way she could help guide Alyssa . Also If Alyssa refused or melted down we still had a flower girl .

I hired a teacher from her school to come and help with her . She could take her out if it was too much without disrupting the wedding .

She wore the dress and walked down the aisle and it meant everything to me 💙

We truly didnt know what would happen . She did it and If I didn’t try and let fear dictate I would of lost out . It’s not always easy but it’s so important to try.

The experiences help them learn to tolerate the environment. It takes time but they do learn and it gets easier .