Then there's this whole thing about getting pregnant and having another baby. My heart longs for it, you know that. But then today when he was screaming his head off I thought, "What if the next one is just like this... Autistic". What if they scream more than Gav does. What if they have more gut problems and actually have intellectual developmental delays, instead of genius in them like Gav does. What am I fighting for? Another child with autism? Is the monthly challenges of infertility and multiple false starts really worth it?" Maybe the negative pregnancy test earlier this week was a blessing? Could it really be? Seriously, I don't know. I don't know how I'd do it. I know I've been armed with much more information and tools to help with behaviors since starting intervention with G, but you just don't know where on the spectrum the child will fall and what their needs will be. Its scary. Do I take the risk? I read in a newsletter again the new statistics that research is finding-- 19% chance that our second will have autism. The other side of that is 81%, but for some reason when spirits are down and I'm deep in the trenches of working through tantrums all I see is 19 PERCENT!
Add to all of this the endless number of theories and treatment approaches to autism and its mother load of life challenges and its easy to get overwhelmed. Is this behavioral method really the best thing for G? I'm sticking to my guns, praying that what I'm doing is actually going to help and not hurt him in the long run. It takes sooooooo much strength to listen to your child scream and to "ignore it" and go on happy as a clam trying to redirect their attention. All I want to do is scream back, to yell, "Shut up!" (and sometimes I do). Oh, and just in case you were wondering, it doesn't help! Duh! Redirection and extinction do help, sometimes it takes a while (probably 5 minutes on average, which seems like an E-T-E-R-N-I-T-Y) before G is back to himself, but I'd say 100% of the time if I do my part to redirect and I don't give up he comes around eventually and his happy little self returns.
It's quiet now. He didn't want to part with his 18-wheeler for his nap, but he wouldn't go to sleep with it, he just kept talking and playing. I offered a trade, but he lost it. That one wasn't so bad. He must have succumbed to dreamland. Oh how I'm grateful he sleeps well, something most with autism don't do.
So, I guess I have some more soul searching to do. Definitely some fasting and praying, trusting in the Lord's plan. There isn't much more I guess I can really do than to strengthen my faith and turn the rest over to Him-- Thy will be done.
The screaming has returned. I spoke too soon. I'm off to comfort the weary.