Did you know that snow helps kids with autsim??

If you’re in the San Antonio area please come join us at Bahama Bucks on Tuesday night to help our daughter raise money for autism awareness.  Money raised will be donated to the Autism Community Network.  If you bought a Team Justin shirt don’t forget to wear it and send us pictures in your t-shirt. Thank you for all the love and support you have shown our daughter and our family. God bless.

 

 

10431458_10153083677840358_6896833146085684483_n

I’m Jenny McCarthy

bugs (1)

 

I’m reposting this because I’ve been watching this wonderful little girl play by herself all morning, in her own world, making up wonderful stories that she’s become engulfed in.  I have an overwhelming sense of protection over her. I would fight to the death for all of my children but this one brings out the bull in me.

An article came out in Time magazine (in 2010 by the way) stating that Jenny McCarthy’s son doesn’t really have autism. It goes on to call her corn-fed looking and put her down in what I’m sure they feel is tactful. I think the point of the article was to state that she was irresponsible to advocate anti-vaccinations but I didn’t take the time to finish reading it. The internet has blown up in the last few days with its opinion on this woman and why she is horrible for advocating and scaring parents about vaccines.

A blog that doesn’t deserve a name drop popped up on facebook bashing her and has been re posted several time. She is being called irresponsible, ignorant, “a menace to public health” and recklessness.

I am Jenny McCarthy.

I have a 7-year-old daughter who has autism. Well, that’s what she was diagnosed with at the age of 3 and that’s what we believe in our hearts is what she has. Maybe years down the road they’ll find something different in her and tell me that it was never autism but rather something totally different. In the mean time I will advocate for her autism. I will fight for her to have every advantage in life that she can. I will defend, protect and raise awareness at every opportunity.

Jenny’s son was diagnosed with autism by a doctor. I’m pretty sure that she took him to one of the best doctors she could find. She is most likely not limited in resources, choices in doctors, locations of doctors and the many other factors that most of us are so I can only imagine that her son was diagnosed by one of the best.

She didn’t go into a state of denial and hide her sons diagnoses like I have seen so many parents do, mostly out of shame. She didn’t try to pass her son off as “normal” (whatever that is) because she was in the public eye.

She bulldozed any and every obstacle she thought was in her sons way so that she could give him the best chance at life possible. She also wanted, like most parents with autistic children do, to know what “caused” her son to be this way. That’s a momma bear defending and protecting her child, not a reckless mother.

Millions of people believe that vaccinations cause autism. I’m not one of them. My daughter is an identical twin out of a set of triplets. They’ve all been vaccinated at the same time, by the same vaccinations and on the same schedule. She’s the only one with autism and her identical shares the same DNA. No argument can convince me that vaccinations cause autism. I believe that my daughter is simply wired differently. I believe that God created her exactly the way she is supposed to be and I believe that we are all autistic…but that’s another blog post all together. That doesn’t mean that I think Jenny is a moron for advocating for years that they do. I’m sure she talked to several doctors, did tons of research and believed that on some level these shots were harming our kids.

Does that make her reckless and a menace to society? No, that makes her a mother that was doing whatever she could to fight for her son and all the other children that she thought were being affected. That makes her a mother that had a loud voice and used it to her sons advantage. If mothers based their decisions for their children’s lives and future on what a celebrity said instead of doing the research themselves then that make them the reckless parents not Jenny.

Why do we believe the article? Why do we believe the sloppy blog post by some random guy that has no idea what the truth is? Jenny tweeted to clear things up a bit but we love the controversy so most of us will cling to the article and continue to fuel the mess.

If you have never had to face hearing a diagnosis of your child that you never expected then go ahead and bash her. If you have always handled everything in life with perfection and do not carry a single flaw then go ahead and bash her. If you have absolutely perfect children mentally and physically then go ahead and bash her. If you have never struggled to make sense of something that is out of your control then go ahead and bash her. If you have never had a single fear for your child and their future then go ahead and bash her. Other than that, zip your lips.

Jenny,
Mother to mother I commend you for doing whatever it takes to stand up for your child and for using your voice to try to advocate for the things you think might be harming our children. We might not see eye to eye on vaccinations but we most definitely see eye to eye on plowing over every speed bump our children come across. If I had a voice as loud as yours I would be using it at every turn and no one would be able to silence me when it came to fighting for my little girl. You are not the irresponsible one in all of this. The irresponsible party is the one who writes a deceiving article or blog that twist things in a way that society will cling to and create controversy and more readers for themselves. God bless you and your son. I pray that you find all of the answers that you need to help him excel and that you continue to use your voice to stand up for him and for what is in your heart.
– A fellow mommy of a special needs child.

New Research Shows That Autism Is Contagious.

10296578_10152800868966007_179177935005197254_n

It only took 8 months but she’s finally playing with her baby brother. He adores her.

It seems like every other day a new study on autism comes out. Some are outrageous and weird, others kind of makes sense and are less desperate than most but for the most part I think we’re just grasping at straws trying to figure out the mystery behind the diagnoses.

I’ve been doing an intense study on autism for the past 8 years. I didn’t realize that I was doing the study, it just happened. I wish I had charts and graphs to show you what I’ve learned but there’s a few problems with that.
1- I’m lazy and that seems like a lot of work.
2 – I don’t think you can accurately chart a humans behavior and be consistent and precise.
3- I’ve never written a single thing down that I’ve learned in my research.

I’m going to just have to spout this off by memory and through pictures.

Through my research I’ve come to discover that autism is contagious. Wait, before you run out and get a hazmat suit lets hang out just a bit longer and talk about this. If you don’t have someone with autism within, let’s say half a mile then you should be safe for the time being.

One of our triplet daughters has autism. We’ve known it since she was only months old but she was officially diagnosed at age 3. It wasn’t a surprise and there was no denial from our family. We accepted it and embraced it.

Shortly after her diagnosis I started to notice a change in our family. Even though we had known she was “different” for a few years, we now had an official name and could explain to her why her mind saw things differently than the rest of us. It lessened the anxiety for all of us but mostly for our daughter. She began to accept herself, her thoughts and her actions that she previously couldn’t understand. We became more relaxed and we all became a little more open and unfiltered.

This is when my research became intense and the results are mind-blowing.

Autism is contagious!

“Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”
Our little 8 month old son erupts in laughter at his sister’s obsessive word that’s going on nonstop in her head, through her mouth and out into the car on the way home from school. She can’t stop saying waffle and he can’t stop laughing. Everyone in the car is smiling ear to ear. Two more kids chime in, “Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”. Giggles are coming from every corner of the car, myself included. I want to pull over and watch but I keep my eyes on the road and enjoy the noise coming from the back of the car. I think to myself that before I knew she honestly couldn’t stop saying the word I would have freaked out. “STOP SAYING IT!” would have been what was yelled in the car previous to her diagnosis but now I get it. Everyone in the car gets it. It’s awesome. We’ve all become a little autistic with her and instead of letting the obsessive saying of the word freak us out, we all join in. “Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”. No longer is it like fingernails on a chalkboard but more like listening to Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace.

I’m not a fan of McDonalds, never have been but they are clever and sneaky and often win. I think we all know that kids only want to go there for one reason, toys. Our daughter use to lose it when we passed a McDonald and didn’t stop. When I say lose it I mean absolutely go into another world all together, lose the light in her eyes and almost hyperventilate. I found myself taking the long way home just to avoid passing one. Once we realized that she honestly couldn’t help it, we started to accept and enjoy it. I don’t mean that we enjoyed the freak outs, we enjoyed the toy mind games that McDonalds plays with us. We, well our daughter and her sisters, check every so often to see what the next toy is that will be shoved in a box next to “food”. I will make an excuse to buy it. And I will. I’ll cave to the meal or I’ll drive through to just buy the toy. Pre-diagnosis I would have stood my ground but now I get it. It’s the obsession of the year. A picture of the toy plays over and over in her head. She sees it when she tries to sleep and she see it when she’s awake. She can’t erase the image from her mind until it is satisfied. This too shall pass but until then the whole family will obsess over the next carrot on a stick that McDonald’s uses to pull us into the abyss.

My family stopped caring, not about people or feelings but about thoughts and judgment. When we go out in public and our daughter is wearing mix matched clothes, two different socks (one knee-high the other ankle), a glove (just one)  and her hair hasn’t been brushed in so long that she now has dreadlocks, we over look the stares.
When she’s dissecting her meal and eating it in her normal ritual, we no longer question her or try to convince her to eat it the way everyone else does. A few of us actually try it her way, maybe she’s on to something, maybe it taste better that way.

10438496_10152800869006007_6620551751258432939_n

We’ve all gone mad!

We’ve thrown out any definition of normal and realize that we’re all a little strange. We’re all different and on some level we’ve all become a little autistic or maybe we’ve always been this way and our daughter’s diagnosis just showed us how cool it can be.

Autism is contagious.

You can’t get it from airborne germs or by the exchange of bodily fluids. You won’t get it from touching an autistic person or using the same fork they used. It’s not going to latch on to your child at daycare and get carried home.

You can get it by loving someone with autism. You will get it from spending time with them and opening your eyes and heart to the way they see the world. It will latch on to your heart and change everything about you.

Once you’ve caught it life will never be the same. There’s no cure and you won’t search for one. The symptoms creep up on you and the effects hit like a little league player up to bat in the world series.

A quirk becomes a personality trait.
A word becomes a story.
An obsession becomes tradition.
A fashion flub becomes runway material.

It will make your heart melt. It will steal your kisses and rob you of your hugs.
It will open your eyes to a wonderful new world.
It will make you questions everything previously known as normal.
It will make you drive through McDonald’s while yelling “waffle, waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle!”

Autism is contagious. Once you’ve caught it you will never be the same and won’t ever want to be who you were before you got it.

10426524_10152800868941007_3384843824126463450_n

This is what autism looks like. She’s beautiful and kind. SHe’s compassionate and loving but most of all she’s absolutely hilarious.

Be Beautiful, Do Beautiful and Evolve.

Our worth is not defined by the circumstances in our lives but rather how we react to those circumstances.

We are beautiful because we were created by the loving hand of the Lord and He only makes things that are wonderful and perfect.

Be Beautiful, Do Beautiful.

I try not to be a vain person, really I do. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look presentable but I don’t hold my worth in my appearance. I do my best to eat healthy and get some form of exercise when I can but I don’t measure any of my value from what the scale reads. But a few weeks ago I failed. Miserably failed.

I received a message from Savvy Media Marketing asking if I would be the November model for Evolve Boutique. Last month Evolve launched its Be Beautiful, Do Beautiful campaign and their goal is to highlight different women in our community who “do beautiful”.

Vanity bomb!

The last thing I really wanted to do is have my picture taken and posted on the internet. I gave birth 8 months ago and I am not one of those women that can walk the runway days after birth. Actually, I’m not one of those women that can walk the runway, ever. I’m usually pretty comfortable in my skin but right now my skin is recovering from a very complicated birth with many obstacles that have slowed my healing process.  I wasn’t ready for pictures. On top of that the owner wanted me to tell her how I do beautiful. That might have been more uncomfortable than taking pictures. I found it hard to say how I do beautiful.

Reality Bomb!

A few days before the pictures I was at church with a group of my close girlfriends and I was telling them how stressed I was about the pictures and about how to express how I do beautiful. It just seems weird to talk about yourself that way. One of my honest and hilarious friends threw a humble pie right in my face. She look at me with a grin and said “Oh you mean like you had us do for your True Beauty post, except you actually get to wear makeup and fancy clothes.”. Thank you Amber and I truly mean that.

Point taken.
Vanity in check.

I went home, wrote how I think I do beautiful  then stood in front of the mirror and reminded myself that my worth and value do not come from the reflection in the mirror but from the reflection of my heart and God’s amazing love for me.

I am honored that Evolve Boutique and Savvy Media marketing chose me to represent them. I am thankful that they looked at a curvy, fluffy mother of five and decided that it’s what beautiful looks like to them. Evolve carries beautiful clothes that allow women to be stylish yet modest and I’m all about dressing modest. Their goal is to enhance the beauty you already posses inside. Expose The Heart photography did an amazing job helping me look and feel feminine and beautiful and I think we can all agree that proper lighting doesn’t hurt a girls confidence. . But honestly, aside from all that silly earthly stuff, this entire experience humbled me and made me even more grateful that God has a plan for us and that He will put us through test so we have a testimony, give us a mess so we will have a message and give us the gift to be His hands and feet.

Visit Evolve Boutique Blog to see their Be Beautiful, Do Beautiful campaign.

10678787_10152762193351007_148044030099563330_n

I got to sit down with Erin from Savvy Media Marketing and Victoria, the owner of Evolve, and we talked about what makes someone beautiful. We talked about how having a special needs child has impacted my family’s life and how we know that it is easily one of the greatest gifts God has ever given us. We talked about forgiveness and we talked about God.
In our conversation I mentioned to Victoria how brave it was of her to put scripture on her company website, not because I think  she should hide it, I am proud of her. It is simply a bold move by a business owner to post her religious beliefs on her company page knowing that it might lose a few customers. She responded with amazing grace. She said that the store was an act of obedience to God on her part and if she didn’t put God in the center then it simple wouldn’t be anything.

God is good and days like today are a reminder that He makes good people.

Victoria has decided to donate some of the proceeds from her online sales to the Autism Community Network in our family’s honor. This makes my heart want to leap from my chest. Please visit her at Evolve and not only grab something classy and modest for you or a loved one but help support autism awareness at the same time.

My autistic daughter’s current best friend is a sponge and I love it.

I was just about to pour my coffee when I heard her little voice next to the sink. She was talking in a different voice, like she was someone else. Much to my delight she had the dish sponge and was pretending that it was talking to her.

“Justin do you want your own sponge?”

“Really mommy?”

I pulled out a new sponge and handed it to her.

The look on her face was that of a young woman being handed a diamond ring by her love. Priceless.

When we headed out for the day she asked if she could take the sponge with her. It wouldn’t have mattered what my answer was because the sponge was going. That’s just the way it goes in our little autism world. We roll with whatever the day  brings, think outside the box and accept things out of the norm. Once she becomes attached to something there is no separating until she is ready.

She was not and is not ready.

The sponge never left her hands.
Not through shopping.
Not through lunch.
Not through the car ride.
The sponge never left her hands.

I welcomed the smiles and the concerned looks. Who wouldn’t stare at a kid that was carrying around a dish sponge and holding a conversation with it? I talked to the sponge as if it was listening. We saved it a seat at lunch. I almost let her talk me into buying it a t-shirt , almost.

Justin is a square peg and this world is a round hole.
She simply doesn’t fit in.
I think it’s one of the most beautiful things about my family.
I know it’s the most beautiful thing about her.

She told the other kids in her Sunday school that she was going to be President and there was nothing they could do about it. She never brushes her hair because she says it looks better that way. Her clothes never match. Her shoes are rarely tied. Occasionally she has a random band-aid on her forehead for no reason at all. She talks to herself constantly. She has several inanimate objects as friends. She takes naps at restaurants and she’ll tell you straight to your face if she sees anything weird about you.

She doesn’t want to be like anyone else. She doesn’t look around and try to do what others are doing, wear what they’re wearing or act like they’re acting. She just does what makes her happy and right now having a sponge as her best friend is what makes her happy. If it makes her happy then I love it.

I find myself trying way too hard to fit in. I see what others are wearing and even if it’s not necessarily my style I wonder to myself if I might be able to pull it off. I go to people’s homes and it looks like Pinterest threw up all over it and I find myself planning some ridiculous crafting project to throw on my wall.

We aren’t designed to be like everyone else.
We are made to be unique, special, one of a kind.There isn’t a single person like you anywhere in the world. There is no one as beautiful as you, it’s impossible. From the tip of your eye lashes to the tip of your toes you are the most beautiful you that there could ever be. From you thoughts to your actions, from words to your whispers you are one of a kind.  I think that’s amazing. I think we should embrace it, go with it, love it and completely accept that we are our own perfect selves. We are all square pegs.

I think I might grab a sponge out of the cabinet today a make myself a new friend. He’ll go to lunch with me, shopping, hang out in the car and help me clean up the house a little later if I’m lucky.

Today I’m going to look at things through Justin’s eyes and I’m going to welcome the stares, they just might find me as beautiful as I find Justin.

 

Lunchtime with Sponge. sb1

 

 

Just hanging out in the car with Sponge

sb2

 

 

Shoe shopping with Sponge

sb3

 

 

You know you do it too. Old Navy with Sponge. 

sb4

 

 

When your daughter asks you to take a picture with her sponge and she wants you to make “this face” you just do it.

sb

Autism Speaks….oh and how sweet the sound.

 

the buggy - Edited

Last week a few families from our life group decided to load up our collective 14 children and 8 adults and venture 5 hours away to vacation at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Yep, 14 children and 8 adults.
Yep, we’re crazy.

Packing for my family is a huge task, even if it’s only for three days. Packing for a teenager, three seven-year olds and an infant boarderlines on insanity.

My biggest challenge was planning for what obstacles our seven-year old autistic daughter would face on this trip.

Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel with an indoor water park. It’s massive. The lobby is like Vegas for kids. Lights are flashing, music is blaring, arcade machines are cha-chinging. There’s a build-a-bear station, fake tattoos, pedicure salon, pizza parlor, ice cream station and so much more.

If I was overwhelmed I can’t imagine what was going on in my little girl’s head.

Then there iss the actual water park. Slides, wave pool, lazy river, a huge bucket that dumps water, hot tub, life guards with whistles and on and on.

You would have to be a parent of an autistic child to truly grasp how intimidating this can be, not only for your child but for yourself as well.

I was on pins and needles the first day waiting for the melt down.

It never happened.

My sweet little girl never missed a beat.
She hit the grounding running and we had to rush to catch up with her.
I watched waves crash in her face.
I watched her speed down the slides.
I watched her float the lazy river.

I watched her smile from ear to ear.

Thank you, God.

Late that night while everyone else was hanging out in the lobby, Justin and I went to bed. I thought she was sound asleep and I was about 5 seconds behind her. Then I heard her little voice.

“Mommy…..”
“Yes, honey”
” I don’t ever want this to end”

And it was like sweet music.

She’s braver than I could ever be. I fear her autism for her but most of the time she doesn’t even know it’s there. I always but on my brave face for her and for anyone around me but inside my heart pounds for what might be going on in her precious mind.

She always amazes me.

Autism Speaks….oh and how sweet the sound is.

I want to be brave like Justin.  I want the freedom that she has to completely be who God made her to be without any worry of what the world expects of her. I want to be as confident as my little girl. I want her honesty, her fearlessness, her humor and her smile.  I want the courage it takes to let the waves crash in my face, speed down the slide and calmly float the lazy river.

I want to be strong enough to lay in bed at night and instead of stressing over what tomorrow might bring, I want to calmly whisper ” I never want this to end.”

 

aaa

 

aaaaa

 

aaaa

 

aaaaaa

 

 

a

Fearing The Broken Speaker

speaker

 

*repost*

We have a pretty amazing attraction in our city. If you’re from San Antonio,Tx you’ve more than likely been there.We can boast about the Alamo, Seaworld, Fiesta Texas, The River Walk, SPURS and so much more but there’s a hidden gem tucked away that only locals know the road to by heart.

Kiddie Park (kiddiepark.com) is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country and every single child in San Antonio and most adults that grew up here have been invited to a birthday party there or had their own birthday party there.

You won’t find big fancy rides, games with prizes or concession stands full of novelties. You’ll find a simple park on a few acres that consists of the original rides that found their way there in 1925.

Our children now go to parties with their classmates at the same place I went to parties with my classmates. That makes me happy.

I took the triplets to a birthday party there a couple of weekends ago and I’m not sure who was more excited, them or me. (It was me by a long shot).

The birthday girl was from Bella’s class but her mom let all the triplets come. That doesn’t always happen for us so we were pretty excited to spend the day at Kiddie Park all together.

The second we got there the kids were off. Several little 6 year olds were making a mad dash to get on any and every ride. I was just trying to keep up. After a few rides they all made their way to the school bus. It’s a miniature school bus attached to some tracks that slowly makes its way in a huge circle.

Simple enough.

I watched all the kids pile in and noticed that Justin, my autistic daughter, was in the back and her face had a worried look. I assumed it was because of the tight space filled with lots of kids. I was blocked behind the fence that keeps everyone out of the area of the ride so I yelled at Justin’s sisters to check on her.

It’s didn’t work, they both said she was fine but at this point she had her ears covered and I knew the melt down was only a few seconds away.

Then came the scream of terror and cry of desperation.

I pushed through the gate like a bull coming out of the pen and ran to rescue my little girl. She wouldn’t take her hands off of her ears and kept saying “the buzzer doesn’t like me, the buzzer doesn’t like me. I need to go home!”

I hadn’t noticed the bright red speaker that was mounted on a pole in the center of the ride.

I explained to the ride operator what was happening and asked if the speaker was going to make a noise. He assured me that nothing was going to come out of the speaker because it was broken.

I knelt down next to my daughter and calmly explained that nothing was going to come out of the speaker but she couldn’t understand it. She was so upset about it that she couldn’t accept that nothing bad was going to happen. To her the speaker meant a noise that was going to hurt her ears.

We had to go to the other side of the park and skip the rides in that area.
My little girl missed out on half the park because of a speaker that was broken and no threat to her at all. She couldn’t even trust that I was going to take care of her if the buzzer went off and ended up missing out on some pretty great moments.

We miss so much in our lives waiting for the buzzer to sound.
We lose sleep wondering if it’s really broken.
We own anxiety because we can’t fully trust in the One who will protect us.

The speaker might not ever make a noise.

I wonder what we’re missing when we waste our time worrying about what might happen. We’re staying away from half of the park because of a speaker that we aren’t even sure is ever going to make a sound.

What are we missing by not fully living in the moment?

I’m afraid that my little girl is going to get made fun of because she isn’t like the other kids, you know the “normal” ones, and I spend a great deal of time thinking about how I can prevent it.

I’m worried that we will find financial ruin because of unexpected expenses that we never planned on having in our lives but are forced to deal with. I get anxiety about it and stress about what it will do to us.

I’m concerned about my teenager who is in middle school and facing peer pressure that she has never seen before. I want to protect her and take away any fears she might face.

I’ve been exhausted due to many sleepless nights.
I’ve had stomach aches caused by worry.
I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and tried to cry out my stress.
I’ve let my mouth ruin moments because of harbored bitterness.

Not a single one of the things that worry me have ever happened.

The speaker has never made a sound.

I’ve wasted half the theme park trying to avoid the noise that doesn’t exist.

Today I’m putting full faith in the One who is here to protect me. Whatever happens tomorrow is part of God’s plan and I won’t waste today worried about it.

I want to experience the whole theme park and I won’t let the fear of the speaker make me miss out.

Are you going to live in the moments or let the fear of tomorrow steal the beauty of today?

Let’s Pray

Loving Father show us today and the beauty that it holds. Help us love today and all the hidden blessings that we are overlooking. Remind us that tomorrow is already taken care of and all we need to do today is follow Your son. Take away the fears and anxieties so that we don’t miss a moment of the things that you have given us today. In Jesus name, amen.

When all the kids ran to get cake and ice cream I stayed behind with Justin to go on a ride that she had been waiting in line for. When we finally made it back to the party table the cake was all gone. I almost started crying, I didn’t want my little girl to feel left out or start completely freaking out. I immediately worried. My other daughter saw what was going on, got up from the table and handed her plate with cake and ice cream on it to Justin. My fear was intercepted by the loving bond and compassion of my little girls.

What I desperately need my daughter to know about her autism diagnosis.

team justin

 

My Sweet Justin,

It’s April again and you know what that means, Autism Awareness Month.
There are some things I want you to know, listen closely my sweet girl.

During the month of April I shout about you as loud as I can but make no mistake, I fight like a bull for you every single day of the year. I’ve made it my mission to make sure you have every advantage  life has to offer. Go big my sweet girl.

When you choose to play alone instead of with the group of kids it makes me proud of your independence. A huge smile flashes across my face because I know that you’re in your happy place. Do your thing my sweet girl

I don’t feel sorry for you. I never will. I refuse to. I know that you don’t feel sorry for yourself. I know that you are proud. I’ve watch you march up to complete strangers and introduce yourself with “Hi my name’s Justin and I’m autistic. That just means I see the world differently”. Wear it proudly my sweet girl!

For the rest of your life people are going to try to understand you, study you and figure out why you are the way you are. They are going to give you their opinions on what caused you to be the way that you are. They’ll blame vaccinations. They’ll point the finger at me and my actions while I was pregnant from what I ate to where I lived. They’ll blame red dyes, TV, bread and anything else they can think of.

This is when I really need for you to listen to me. Listen carefully.

You are special. You are unique and you are definitely one of a kind.

You are autistic.

I know why you are the way that you are and I want you to hear it from me.

You are the way you are because God makes everything perfect and that’s exactly what you are. There was no mistake made when He crafted you with His very own hands. You were intentional, thought out, planned and formed in my womb by the hands of our Creator just the way He wanted you. You are not flawed. You are not less. You are Gods gift, His work of art, His child.

The angels ran to God and pointed you out while shouting to Him “There she is! She’s the one!”. They danced and sang has He told them how wonderful and unique you were going to be here on earth. Tears fell from their face, not because they were sad for you but because they delighted in the generosity that God was going to lay on you.

I have no idea why God look down and picked me. I haven’t accomplished anything huge. I’m not famous, rich, brilliant or talented. I’m simple and haven’t done anything in my life to deserve the honor of being your mommy but I promise to spend the rest of my life honoring the gift that God gave me. I promise to always honor you.

Justin, you’ve always had autism my sweet girl but autism has never had you.

You are my sunshine.
Love
Mommy.

I’m Jenny McCarthy

bugs

A rant from a mommy with an autistic child.

An article came out in Time magazine (in 2010 by the way) stating that Jenny McCarthy’s son doesn’t really have autism. It goes on to call her corn-fed looking and put her down in what I’m sure they persevere as tactful. I think the point of the article was to state that she was irresponsible to advocate anti-vaccinations but I didn’t take the time to finish reading it. The internet has  blown up in the last few days with its opinion on this woman and why she is horrible for advocating and scaring parents about vaccines.

A blog that doesn’t deserve a name drop popped up on facebook bashing her and has been re posted several time. She is being called irresponsible, ignorant, “a menace to public health” and recklessness.

I am Jenny McCarthy.

I have a 7-year-old daughter who has autism. Well, that’s what she was diagnosed with at the age of 3 and that’s what we believe in our hearts is what she has. Maybe years down the road they’ll find something different in her and tell me that it was never autism but rather something totally different. In the mean time I will advocate for her autism. I will fight for her to have every advantage in life that she can. I will defend, protect and raise awareness at every opportunity.

Jenny’s son was diagnosed with autism by a doctor. I’m pretty sure that she took him to one of the best doctors she could find. She is most likely not limited in resources, choices in doctors, locations of doctors and the many other factors that most of us are so I can only imagine that her son was diagnosed by one of the best.

She didn’t go into a state of denial and hide her sons diagnoses like I have seen so many parents do, mostly out of shame. She didn’t try to pass her son off as “normal” (whatever that is)  because she was in the public eye.

She bulldozed any and every obstacle she thought was in her sons way so that she could give him the best chance at life possible. She also wanted, like most parents with autistic children do, to know what “caused” her son to be this way. That’s a momma bear defending and protecting her child, not a reckless mother.

Millions of people believe that vaccinations cause autism. I’m not one of them. My daughter is an identical twin out of a set of triplets. They’ve all been vaccinated at the same time, by the same vaccinations and on the same schedule. She’s the only one with autism and her identical shares the same DNA. No argument can convince me that vaccinations cause autism. I believe that my daughter is simply wired differently. I believe that God created her exactly the way she is supposed to be and I believe that we are all autistic…but that’s another blog post all together. That doesn’t mean that I think Jenny is a moron for advocating for years that they do. I’m sure she talked to several doctors, did tons of research and believed that on some level these shots were harming our kids.

Does that make her reckless and a menace to society? No, that makes her a mother that was doing whatever she could to fight for her son and all the other children that she thought were being affected. That makes her a mother that had a loud voice and used it to her sons advantage. If mothers based their decisions for their children’s lives and future on what a celebrity said instead of doing the research themselves then that make them the reckless parents not Jenny.

Why do we believe the article? Why do we believe the sloppy blog post by some random guy that has no idea what the truth is? Jenny tweeted to clear things up a bit but we love the controversy so most of us will cling to the article and continue to fuel the mess.

If you have never had to face hearing a diagnosis of your child that you never expected then go ahead and bash her. If you have always handled everything in life with perfection and do not carry a single flaw then go ahead and bash her. If you have  absolutely perfect children  mentally and physically then go ahead and bash her. If you have never struggled to make sense of something that is out of your control then go ahead and bash her. If you have never had a single fear for your child and their future then go ahead and bash her.  Other than that,  zip your lips.

Jenny,
Mother to mother I commend you for doing whatever it takes to stand up for your child and for using your voice to try to advocate for the things you think might be harming our children. We might not see eye to eye on vaccinations but we most definitely see eye to eye on plowing over every speed bump our children come across. If I had a voice as loud as yours I would be using it at every turn and no one would be able to silence me when it came to fighting for my little girl. You are not the irresponsible one  in all of this. The irresponsible party is the one who writes a deceiving article or blog that twist things in a way that society will cling to and create controversy and more readers for themselves. God bless you and your son. I pray that you find all of the answers that you need to help him excel and that you continue to use your voice to stand up for him and for what is in your heart.
– A fellow mommy of a special needs child.

A Shot Of Autism

Justin as Horton

The Great Debate

One of my sweet friends posted on her facebook about her concern over her two month old getting his shots. Her concern was that he was getting so many at one time. She was not against the immunizations just the amount  on one visit. She mentioned that she heard  immunizations can cause autism.

The comments started flowing.

It’s a subject that can really get people going.

There is no solid evidence of what “causes” autism but there are tons of opinions.

Some people think red dye in food cause it or has a negative effect on it.
Some people think that immunization shots cause it.
Some people think that it is hereditary.
Some people think that  environmental agents cause it.
Some people think that it is something  the mother did when she while pregnant like stress, alcohol, infection, diabetes and the list goes on and on.
Some people think that it’s a result of too much television viewing.

I could go on forever with a list of reason that have been thrown out to try to figure out why these kids have this “mental disorder”.

I respect everyone’s opinion about autism. I understand that we tend to grasp at anything that would explain why our children ended up this way.

I don’t believe any of the above reasons and here’s why.

I have triplets. Two are identical and one is fraternal. It’s a strange and rare occurrence, identical can happen to anyone and are a genetic “fluke”.  Spontaneous fraternal twins require a woman to be extra fertile.

My identical twins share the same DNA.
One of my identical twins is autistic and one is not.
All of my triplets have had their immunizations on the same day, same shots, same time, same place.
They received the exact same thing in the womb from what I ate to my level of stress to any infection that I might have had.
They’ve eaten the same thing since birth, including red dyes.
We have lived in the same house since they were born and they have attend the same schools.

If any of those things “caused” autism then all three of them would have it or at the very least her identical sister would have it.

I believe that it is a wiring in the brain issue that happens at conception and while the brain is developing but don’t take my word for it. I’m not a professional anything. I’m not a doctor. I have not spent countless hours researching autism. I have not participated in studies and I have not subjected my daughter to any testing aside from getting her diagnosis. So the only true experience that I have on autism is my daughter.

Autism Causes

I don’t know what causes autism but I do, for a fact, know what autism causes.

Autism causes belly laughs, the kind that make you lose your breath.

Autism causes cracks of sunshine on the cloudiest day.

Autism cause you to reevaluate your entire way of thinking, living and loving.

Autism cause smiles to come out of places so deep inside you that you didn’t even know they existed.

Autism causes the people around it to have compassion that melts your heart.

Autism causes friendships that you would never have thought possible.

Autism cause courage and strength in a mom that could take down a pack of wild hogs

Autism causes late night chitter chatter to spill out from your child’s room.

Autism causes a fashion sense that could take on the runway.

Autism causes a little girl to be exactly who she wants to be without fear, concern or worry.

Autism causes a family to experience the world through eyes that see beauty the rest of us could never imagine.

Autism causes a little ninjas to come out of the wood works and rally around your little girl in their best effort to give your daughter her best chance in life.

God made my little girl.
God made her autistic.
God made her exactly the way she is supposed to be.
He knitted her together in my womb with his very own hands.

She is not the result of immunizations, infections, environmental agents, red dyes, gluten, television or anything else a researcher can come up with .

She is the result of my heavenly Fathers amazing love.

I will never try to explain to her why she is different from the other kids. I will never tell her not to be herself. I will never tell her that she has a “mental disorder” or that she is in some way handicap.

I will tell her that she is Justin.
My Justin.
Daddy’s Justin.
God’s Justin
And all of those things make her the perfect Justin.

Justin is not someone who we need to fix.

Justin is someone who we need to learn from.