Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An open letter from Jon Gilbert

All I can do is cry as I read this, nod my head and remember when.....remember when this was US. This was my son to a "T", right down to the light switches which was a fascination of his. We got to the point where I avoided going places for this very reason. This was us.....but it is NOT anymore. Autism can be treated. Read this, relate to it then read my part again that says it USED to be us. Get empowered, every small step you take can help your child. I thank God for biomed everyday. And I do say, it will not give EVERY child the same results but if there is even a chance, isn't it worth a shot? There are tons of parents out there to help mentor, myself included. NEVER GIVE UP HOPE ON WHAT YOU OR YOUR CHILD CAN ACCOMPLISH, no matter what path you choose! There is hope out there, my son is proof.

An Open Letter
By Jon Gilbert
The other day that mom with the little boy who was making so much commotion in the fast food restaurant noticed you staring at her. He was a handful, wasn't he? His screaming was incessant

and the way he was challenging his mother: unacceptable. It's understandable that you would never allow your own child to holler at you like that, or bounce between the booths. You found yourself wondering what would possess her to bring an unruly child like that out into public in the first place. As your respectful children stood beside you in silence, you wondered when he would just be quiet. And you wondered what kind of mother she must be.

If you only knew what that mom wonders.

She wonders what she can do to get him to stop screaming. Sometimes it lasts all day, and lately, it's been almost every day. Then, while you put your kids back in the car, she wonders if he'll keep his seat belt on for the entire ride. You will get them home and they'll head right upstairs to play together nicely. She wonders if he'll decide it's time to begin switching the lights on and off repeatedly, or throw to everything that's on the desk onto to the floor.

When your kids fall down, you can ask them where it hurts and they can tell you. It hurts the other mom that all she can do is hold her little boy and wonder when he'll stop crying. Later, while you wonder what story you will read to your child tonight, the mom you know nothing about will once again cry herself to sleep in her husband's arms.

You wonder later why God would give any child to "that kind" of parent, yet she's thankful that God chose her. You judge the stranger based on that one incident, while she wonders why you didn't just ask if you could help. She probably wouldn't have taken it, but she would have appreciated the gesture.

Your four-year-old has mastered the art of conversation. She find's it triumphant that her son mumbles, "go school" and "want eat." You already wonder what your child's high school prom will be like. Meanwhile the other mom wonders when her four-year-old will potty train.

You wonder who your little one will marry some day, while the mom with the rambunctious son worries that he may not graduate from high school. You plan to send your child to the best university, and the lady that you
never met wonders if she'll have to care for hers as an adult.

While she's not jealous that your kids obey, talk and dream, she does wonder what it would be like to be able to call her son "normal." He is who he is. There's no altering that, and his mother wouldn't change him for the world. But feeling your eyes burn through her melts her soul. She does the best he can, and wonders why you judge them both.

She doesn't ask for your sympathy, just your understanding. Her family puts a lot of time and effort into helping him become the best somebody he can be. You don't see it, but that's all right, because his mom sees it every day. She sees the victories as well as the defeats.

You cast your judgment based on the one day you saw the unruly child in public. No one faults you for that, because the other mom used to do the same thing, back before her son's diagnosis. All the mom asks of you today is compassion and consideration.

Tonight, when you tuck your kids into bed, be thankful for the children you have and for who they are. Understand that, while you are getting butterfly kisses from your little angel, there are parents wondering when theirs will be able to say the words, "I love you."

1 comment:

Shari Goodman said...

Man do I relate with that. I remember carrying Tate out of Costco when he was out of control screaming, my pants were half way down my legs but I couldn't put him down or he would have run in the street. Everyone was looking at me and I knew I was being judged in every way. I wanted to post a huge sign on me that said, "I am a good mother, he has autism." Instead, I wore a half grin then got him to the car and cried like a baby. I am soooooo glad those days are over for us but I try really hard to give all mother's the benefit of the doubt now when I hear out of control kids. It sure changes your perspective when you have walked the line! Thanks for sharing.