Autism Series Part 3: Special Needs Therapy

mother and son with autism

Becoming a mom is the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. Becoming a mom for the second time was just as uplifting, and I had never felt so blessed. Any mom would know exactly that same euphoric feeling, right? And any mom would understand that we would do anything for our children, no matter what, right?

When my son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, I thought my world was crumbling around me.

Actually I think it really was doing just that. Either way, of course it was something that I would have to accept, and not knowing what the future would bring for my son, it was pretty scary! So, if you are a mom of a special needs child, no matter the severity, you understand. But, even if you are not a mom of a special needs child, you understand the love for your child, regardless of any circumstances. It is just what we do, and there is really no explanation for it. It is just natural.

And that is why I decided upon my son’s diagnosis that I would essentially fight back.

I had heard that early intervention was the key to establishing speech and improving sensory difficulties, so I decided to enroll him in therapy. Well, not just one type of therapy, but several (yeah, I was going crazy). After I got off work, for three days a week, we would travel 45 minutes (the closest city; I live in a tiny town far away from big things) to take him to animal therapy one day, music therapy another day, and water therapy even another day. This is in addition to the speech therapy he was getting two days a week.

So, every day of the week was filled with fueling his mind in some way.

Being a working mom, I found this extremely difficult to do with the energy it took to partake in all of these extra development opportunities, as I had to be right there with him as he rode the llamas, interacted with gentle Great Danes, participated in different musical activities, and eventually got into the swimming pool (with me, of course).

Factor in the financial burden it did indeed create, and the fact that my husband and I also had a 6 year old who we didn’t want to “leave out”, and the Tiredness (with a capital T!), we were in a stressful blur called life. These interventions lasted about a year, and, yes, my son did learn to talk (actually he just starting talking in complete and detailed sentences), and I wouldn’t change what I did for anything. When I think back to how exhausting that period in my life was, I always remind myself of what his life would be like if I hadn’t taken the initiative.

Well, he is now a teenager, and extremely intelligent.

The biggest struggle we have with him is in the area of obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory difficulties, and social development. However, I feel that we are over the hump with the most difficult delays, and I know there are going to be more challenges ahead in terms of the areas he still needs to work on, but hey, I would not change my son for anything in the world! A mother’s bonded love is so very deep, unbreakable, and unconditional. And we are amazed by our children every single day.

male autism