Saturday, October 25, 2008


A very dear friend of mine sent me this email this evening and would like me to share it with all my readers.

Autism and the 18 wheeler that ran off the road

We are 2 years in. 2 years on Halloween since the Doctor handed me a box of tissues and said "I'm sorry Mrs. Grancarich. Your son has Autism. We can't make you any promises for his future. Early Intervention and therapy is your only hope"... and then we tried to take him trick or treating. I hate Halloween. I always will. It was the day the doctors confirmed what I knew since the day my son was born. Something was very wrong.

I died that day.

I had a newborn baby, a father in law with cancer and a 3 year old son who was like an 18 wheeler that ran off the road and smashed into a million pieces. I can't get a new 18 wheeler, (nor do I want one) I have to take the one I have, put it back together and try somehow to get it to drive down that highway again.

What did I do? I followed all the "crazy" people who said they had kids that were getting better. Kids that were recovering. I didn't know what that meant, but I wanted that too. Before I could do that, I had to sell my house, pack up everything I owned and move to a school district that could give him what he needed.

I learned about Doctors and scientists that said that Autism was more than a brain disorder. It is a multi system breakdown. I changed his diet, I gave him supplements, fish oil, I spent a lot of money that I didn't have. I wanted to believe so badly that he would get better. He started getting better. At first I thought I was crazy, but people started to notice changes in him. Big ones. Too many to list. He started turning his head when you'd call his name, he started sleeping (not well, but a little bit as opposed to the nights when he woke 20 to 30 times. 3 or 4 times waking is certainly better). He started making progress in school, showing interest in his sister. So many things have changed.

The problem is the changes are so slow that sometimes you wonder if they're happening at all. You hurt every day for the boy that you know is in there and every day you try to pull him out. It's exhausting. It is a pain that no parent can understand unless they have a disabled child.

Every day the bus pulls up in front of my house and all the kids get off. They laugh and joke. They ride their bikes and talk. Every day, the little bus pulls up to my house. I take my son off the bus and bring him inside. He's afraid of going outside. He doesn't understand the world. He holds his hands over his ears and screams if someone is mowing a lawn 2 blocks away. I rush him into the house and hope that nobody will ask me how he is doing. I don't want to cry. I hold it in and I bring him inside where he is safe.

He has not slept through the night in his almost 6 years of life. Last week after 6 years of sleep deprivation I had a nervous breakdown. My body shut down. I have not gotten out of bed much for almost a week. I don't feel sorry for myself. I just can't move. I can't talk. It's too hard. I can write and I can think but that's about it. My husband and family have been taking care of my children for almost a week. I have to get up again and I have to keep going.

When he was diagnosed 2 years ago I was afraid he couldn't learn. I was afraid he wouldn't learn. I was afraid he would end up in a group home, that he would never get better. I am still afraid. I am so afraid every day that sometimes I wonder how I can fake a smile and do my job or pretend to be happy.

My children make me so happy. I love them more than life itself. The problem is, before you have children you don't know how much love there is in the world, and once you find out how much there is... it is so scary... because what if you can't fix your kid?

I guess I have to get up again tomorrow and wonder "WHAT IF I CAN HELP HIM? WHAT IF I CAN GIVE HIM A LIFE?"....It would all be worth it if I can give him a life. Sometimes I just don't know if I'll make it.

People always want to say the right thing. They tell me I was chosen, or that God doesn't give more than we can handle. Sometimes I think he does... but I promise, I will get back on my feet again and I will keep going. I guess part of the journey is that we don't know what will happen in the end.

If my husband and I come out of this in once piece, I'm hoping that someone will be kind enough to buy us a drink and celebrate.

I thank God that I am Julian's mom and I thank God that he gave us Sophia. We're 2 years in to this diagnosis. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I think tomorrow I will try to get out of bed.

Victoria Grancarich

then she wrote me:

Please post it, please give my email address. Please tell people that if they need help I will help them.

If nobody ever wrote these kinds of things before me, I would have had nowhere to start. I need to help others find a place to start.

With 1 in 94 boys being diagnosed and 1 in 150 children on the spectrum, someone will need me.

CLICK HERE to donate to the Autism Society of America

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