In life, you’re either heading into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm. You have just been told that your child has autism. You’re in the middle of a storm. But have no fear, you can weather this storm as long as you prepare yourself with the proper storm gear.
You have just been told that your child has an autism disorder. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you for this moment, and there’s really no way to describe how it feels, and everyone reacts differently.
Immediately after receiving the news, I started an obsession with finding out everything I could about autism. While I told myself I wanted to be educated on the issue, in all honesty, I was really trying to discredit the diagnosis we had been given. Instead my research confirmed what we had been told.
So I cried, daily. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. And I’m an emotional eater, so I packed on the pounds.
And there’s always that lingering blame game devil sitting on your shoulder.
If you are a mother, most likely the first thing you did was blame yourself. After all, you are the one that carried your child in your body, right? If you’re a dad, you might be questioning whether that therapist even knows what the hell she’s talking about. You’ve probably been told by people who mean well that you’re looking for problems where there are none. You both might be super-focused on whether that last series of immunizations did it. Was he acting that way before?
You can’t even remember. You’re in a fog. You’re in a storm. And the truth of the matter is, right now, none of these things matter. Not right now. It’s all a bunch of coulda, woulda, shouldas.
After going through all of this, I decided it was time to center myself. I can tell you what centered me….7 days of fasting and drawing near to God for strength and guidance. After girding myself with my storm gear for 7 days, I was ready. Through my fasting God confirmed for me that the diagnosis was correct, and reminded me of 2 Timothy 1:7: God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. I wasn’t sure what the future would bring, but I did know that He would see me through it.
Right now, this very moment, your child needs you. You may be grieving, and that’s okay. Get.It.Out.
If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. If you need a drink, drink. If you need to run, run. If you need to overeat, overeat.
There’s nothing wrong with lamentation.
Just don’t stay there too long. Its not healthy for you, and your child is waiting, waiting for you to get him or her the help they need.
Figure out what your storm gear is. What is going to prepare you spiritually, emotionally, and physically, and then arm yourself with it.
If you still have doubts about your child’s diagnosis, get a second opinion. It may take a while to get one, so in the meantime, operate as if the second opinion answer was the same as the first.
Remember, your child is waiting for you.
Until next time….