It's been almost 5 years since our Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. That day, the doctor told us that as he grows and develops, you'll notice some symptoms fade away, while others pop up. As some parts of his brain are stimulated, you'll notice meltdowns in other areas. So over the past 5 years, we've seen significant sensory processing issues, social anxiety, panic attacks, depression, food sensitivities, bipolar tendencies, ticks, dyslexia, focus issues, obsessive behaviors, and more... they ebb and flow. It's literally either one thing or another all the time. For 3-4 weeks we can't get this kid to wear pants... then for 3-4 weeks all he wants is to wear a fleece sweatsuit in July. He wants to be home all day... then he only wants to go places. For 2 months we have anxiety at school and reading delays... then he's suddenly the most popular kid in school and reading on grade level, but can't add numbers anymore. The really frustrating part is that it may switch from a more outward struggle, to an inward one, giving the impression that he's not "as bad"... until a few weeks later, he loses it and we're taken off guard. Life on the spectrum is a rollercoaster, to say the least.
We've found an amazing supplement and essential oil routine that has been the PERFECT foundation for him physically, mentally, and emotionally. I feel so blessed to have these options that give us control over our health. Without them, my son would be drugged 24-7 and I guarantee you, he would not be the same kid as he is today. If we medicated every symptom instead of learning how to support his body better, he would never have learned the coping strategies and skills that will now carry him through the rest of his life. Yes, it's hard, but as we say every day, "I can do hard things."
A strategy we began this past fall was positive affirmations. I mean, when your mom is a Doula, you get a few extra tricks. I use the same strategies with him as I do my clients. The key is to train your brain to respond to specific triggers when you need it. However, it won't work if you only use these tools during the bad times. You have to actually train yourself, so that your body knows THIS equals CALM, or THIS equals HAPPY. So we began combining doTERRA's Emotional Aromatherapy line of essential oils with positive affirmations every day. He has a routine of 3 oils that we place in specific locations. With each oil applied, he states his positive affirmation. Then, he holds all 3 under his nose, takes a deep breath, and recites all 3 affirmations. He does this 3 times.
I am strong.
Every day. No matter what. I like him to do it every morning and every evening, but sometimes life gets busy so we take what we can get. I can't tell you what a difference it has made! We still have meltdowns and we still have moments, but what he has begun to do...
We were already using oils, but now that we've begun to be very strategic at using them, along with these affirmations, it has given him more control of the situation.
When he's scared... when he doesn't know what to say... when he is frustrated...
no matter the circumstance, he knows he is strong, confident, and can do the hard things.
Two weeks ago, he started football. He's playing with his best friend at school... his FIRST friend that the has ever made on his own, without it just being one of my friends' kids. He made a friend. He had this friend over during spring break (another first) and made a list of about 20 things they would do together. This list included "have a chugging contest", "lightsaber battle", "teach him how to armpit fart"... it was one of the greatest days of my life to watch him play, giggle, and armpit fart with his friend. He's doing the hard things!
Last week, he was chosen to do the announcements and pledges over the intercom at school. He woke up that morning having an anxiety attack. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. So we did like 5 sets of oils/affirmations, basically every half hour. I contacted a very special teacher at his school who he adores, and asked her if she could meet us at the door to help. She helped him take his stuff to class and take deep breaths. Then, I waited in the parking lot, because I knew I could hear the announcements and pledge from there. As they began, I heard a familiar voice. You guys. He was paired with his little bestie. They were doing the announcements together! Cue mommy crying in the parking lot. I was sent a text with the video from his special teacher and I have watched it probably ten times in the last week. He did hard things!
The biggest moment of pride though, came last night. It was the Second Grade Musical. My sweet boy, who can't handle crowds or loud noises or bright lights... stood on a stage, with a huge crowd of children and bright lights in his face, in front of an auditorium of people. He not only stood there, but he smiled, danced, wore a costume, SANG A DUET with another kid, and had a great time! You have to know that we were extremely nervous about this night. He insisted for weeks that it would be fine. In my heart, I want to push him to try things. In my heart I want to believe in him. In my head I thought, "NO! RUN!" Haha! What I love even more, is that he created one of the props for the program. Art and drawing is one way that he really is able to express himself. Music and art have been an outlet his whole life. He told me to watch for an orange snake that he made all by himself. I had no idea what he was talking about, but seeing that giant orange snake made me just smile.
HE DID HARD THINGS!
He also did *his* thing.
I have never been more proud of him. Yes, we have rough days. Yes, he struggles when we do anything outside of his normal routine. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has Anxiety. He has Dyslexic and Bipolar tendencies. Those things are what he HAS.
But he doesn't let it define who he IS.
I am a mommy of SEVEN (yes 7) beautiful kids! They are amazing, wonderful, hilarious & the greatest babies I could ask for! I am married to my best friend & high school sweetheart, Michael.
I love to craft. I love to decorate. I am passionate about natural living & natural birthing. Sometimes I write stuff. I plan parties like my life depended on it. My favorite color is pink. My house is definitely NOT taupe. I typically cannot keep plants alive. I am only allowed to have dogs as pets because all others tend to have the same end result as the plants. Luckily my track record with kids is pretty good! Also, I drink a lot of coffee. And I really like tacos.