Cliche’ or not – Success Tastes Sweet!!!

May 6, 2012

Best Buddies Forever!

Zak & Katie’s birthday party was a huge success!  I think it was the biggest “kid” party we have ever hosted.  It was so exciting to see about 30 kids show up and have a great time swimming, going down the huge waterslide & jumping on the trampoline.  The best part was all the kids that came from Zak’s class at school.   It is a sign that all the hard work we are doing (myself, ZAKSDAD & of course ZAK himself) is paying off.   Some days it is so hard & we are so tired, but we remind ourselves Zak needs us and it is worth it.  And, some days it feels like we are not making any progress.

I am sure many or all of you can relate to that so, when you are feeling tired, angry or sad DO NOT GIVE UP and if you haven’t started advocating for your child – get moving.  I cannot tell you how frustrated I get when I meet parents of a child with Autism who do little to nothing to help their child.  I hear comments like “I do not want him/her to be labeled”.  Well, I hate to break it to you, but even if you do not tell school, friends, and neighbors about your child’s special needs, they tend to figure it out.

Another comment that bothers me is “I love my child the way they are; I do not want to change them”.   If we could cocoon our children from society and live on an island with them, that might be  fine (ZAKSDAD always talks about being Harrison Ford and going Mosquito Coast on us) but the problem is that is not very realistic.  All parents need to prepare their children the best they can to be functioning members of society, special needs or not.   Everyone has weaknesses and areas they need to improve on.  Just because Zak does speech therapy, physical therapy & social skills classes does not mean that I do not love him just the way he is.  However, I want him to be able to have the necessary skills to function & hopefully excel in the real world.  I want him to have strong friendships, be able to get & hold down a job that is in an area of interest & hopefully find a loving relationship.

Helping Zak is not only helping him it is also helping the community at large.  Our goal is as an adult, Zak is self supportive and most importantly happy.  People and society can be harsh – even for “typical” folks & I want Zak to have the best possible life so I choose to continue to fight, advocate & research for ways to make Zak even more amazing than he already is.  It isn’t easy…..therapies are time consuming and can be expensive.  Don’t get me started about the GFCF diet!!!  It is so hard because you want your child to be able to eat what they want & you do not want to have to say no to them (more on the diet in future blogs).

I know that success is not easy.  I just have to keep believing that one day we will see our goal.  Sometimes the steps necessary to get there suck, but it tastes so sweet when you get to see it pay off.  Keep advocating for your child.  We have seen what success looks like and that is why we keep going.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley Booth May 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Brian,
I wish there were more parents like you and your wife. You really care about your children. God knows the sacrifices that you make and what you do for your family. You will be blessed. People can say what they want but God knows their hearts. We don’t know why some people have to go through different things but in the end it is all worth it. Your children are also totally blessed. Thank you for you and your wife caring about the children and their future. If you ever get really discouraged, just look up and give it to God. He will never leave you or forsake you!
Love you,
Shirley

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zaksdad May 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Thank you so much. We just want to do the best we can and then celebrate when things are working well. That is not everyday in this house so we take them when we can. Thanks again.

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Jen May 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Amen.

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