Autism

Mother’s Day and Autism: An open letter to the little boy who made me a mom

mother's day autism awareness autism day april proloquo aac ipad app communication special need blog mommy blogger mum parenting pinterest autistic toddler baby actuallyautistic asd development Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. I’m not used to being celebrated myself because I still feel like I’m the one who should be calling my mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. The reality is I’m a mom too. A young mom, but a mom twice over. Charlie made me a mother 4 years ago and other than being born with 6 fingers on his right hand (one of which has since been removed), he was healthy as can be.

The Autism Diagnosis

Two years later, Charlie was diagnosed with autism.
Our journey has been hard, and the first year following his autism diagnosis was difficult. Between 2 and 3, most children start to verbally interact with their parents. I was watching my friends kids do all those things I had dreamt about doing with my son but Charlie wasn’t doing any of it. In fact, he was regressing. I had friends whose kids were autistic too but their struggles were completely different than ours. I had no one I could relate to. It was lonely.

mother's day autism awareness autism day april proloquo aac ipad app communication special need blog mommy blogger mum parenting pinterest autistic toddler baby actuallyautistic asd development Those damn tests and assessments

Charlie failed assessment after assessment, always scoring at the bottom of the scale – the 1st percentile. These test results used to affect me, a lot, until one day… it’s like something switched in me. I changed my perspective on the matter, I started seeing autism and all those tests from a different perspective. Today is Mother’s Day so I want to look back on that day because I strongly believe this was a changing moment for me. It’s the day I decided I couldn’t keep mourning the child I thought I would have – the day I realized how important it was for me, and for Charlie, that we focus on his abilities as much as we focus on his disabilities.

Around one year ago, I wrote this letter to Charlie, and you can read it here now.

A letter to the little boy who made me a mom

“Charlie,

Today was one of those days. We got the results back from your PPCD speech assessment. They evaluated your ability to communicate. If your delays in speech and communication were significant enough, you’d be eligible to attend the special-needs classroom. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that you would qualify. Still it hit me kinda hard when the speech therapist called back with the results. You scored in the 1st and 2nd percentiles for the two speech and communication tests. The bottom of the scale. “The gap is quite severe”, she said.

You know what Charlie? Those tests are stupid. Albert Einstein said, “If you judge a fish by its inability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”.

I wish they would have evaluated your amazing ability to sort objects by size and color! I wish they’d evaluate your creativity when playing with blocks and the shapes you make. I wish they would evaluate your ability to make high towers and be so delicate when doing so. I wish they would evaluate your great taste in music.

Your inability to communicate and speak doesn’t define you. Autism doesn’t define you. You are unique, and you can do so much more than they saw at first glance. Let’s just forget about the numbers and focus on what you can do. I have a feeling that one day you will show them – one day you will tell them what you can really do.

I love you,
Mom”

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Picture by Cloverbud Photography

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Blaison
    2017-05-14 at 2:44 PM

    C’est très émouvant ❤️Magnifique ❤️

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:55 PM

      Merci de votre commentaire.
      Amicalement,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Stacy Miller
    2017-05-14 at 3:10 PM

    ?

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:55 PM

      Hello,
      If you have a question for me, I’d be happy to answer.
      Best,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Tanyi Melvis Bechemnyo
    2017-05-14 at 9:07 PM

    I know how hard it is for you two. However, keep being strong for the little one. I believe in miracles. His miracle is on the way.

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:56 PM

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. We’re optimistic.
      Best,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Sandy Horner
    2017-05-15 at 10:00 AM

    Love your blog

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:56 PM

      Thank you for reading! It means a lot to me!
      Best,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Mishelle Milne
    2017-05-15 at 10:40 PM

    Being defined by an illness at a very young age is so frustrating. Let him flourish and become his own wonderful human and you will never be more proud.

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:57 PM

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. We are already so proud of him!
      Best,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    courtial michèle
    2017-06-05 at 7:08 AM

    Magnifique déclaration d’amour à son fils c’est sublime jolie et tendre maman <3 <3 <3

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 4:55 PM

      Merci d’avoir pris le temps de laisser un gentil commentaire.
      Amicalement,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Mariet
    2017-06-05 at 4:55 PM

    Eileen, tu est la maman la plus incroyable, formidable et courageuse que je connaisse……une maman si frêle mais avec une force immense comme celle d’une lionne…. quelle bataille tu mène pour l’amour de ton petit garçon et des tiens….!
    Et pour ce combat que tu mène, tu as tout mon respect et mon admiration…
    Tiens bon Eileen, tiens bon pour lui, pour ton Charlie. Continue à croire en lui et en toi….
    L’amour transporte des montagnes…..

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 5:00 PM

      Merci beaucoup pour ce gentil commentaire. Cela me touche.
      Amicalement,
      Eileen

  • Reply
    Mimi
    2017-06-05 at 4:57 PM

    C’est une vraie maman , qui donne tout pour ses enfants , c’est ce qu’on fait quand on a un enfant différent ( enfin ce que devraient faire toutes les mamans et encore plus quand un des nôtres a une particularité ) tout en essayant de ne pas frustrer les autres ! Ce n’est pas facile ,mon 2ième est parti pendant 1 an lorsque le dernier avait 1 an ,3 mois d’hôpitaux entre Paris et Troyes et direction Roscoff centre Hélio marin , quand il est revenu à la maison mon dernier ne se souvenait pas de son frère , et il a fait un blocage , qui l’a marqué toute sa vie ! L’autre était plus vieux c’était différent ! C’est pour cette raison que je comprends Eileen ! gros bisous aux petits comme aux grands !
    Mimi

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-06-05 at 5:01 PM

      Bon courage a vous aussi et merci pour ce commentaire touchant.
      Eileen

  • Reply
    christiane DEVERTU
    2017-06-07 at 9:33 AM

    Eileen, inutile de te dire la maman que tu es, au fond de ton cœur tu le sais. Pour moi tu es unique, ta lettre est très très émouvante, ça montre a quel point tu es une vraie maman. Je t’admire, et pense que beaucoup de personnes le pensent aussi. Continue et reste relle que tu es, tout simplement A.D.M.I.R.A.B.L.E. Des bisous a vous tous

  • Reply
    Lori B.
    2017-06-29 at 8:37 PM

    I absolutely love that letter. Some day in the future, Charlie will come across that letter and understood exactly how you felt about him. And I think you’re right- you definitely show them, and tell them what he can really do! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      The Autism Cafe
      2017-07-03 at 1:41 PM

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog!

  • Reply
    Sutthida
    2018-01-17 at 10:08 AM

    I feel like I read my diary, my son is 4 and got diagonose at about 15months old. Before that he was speaking more than 100 words, ’till now I remember my world was torn out in the silent reason why my son has this, I feel like those little one is still in there and lost the way to going to hug me again.
    Your love is growing stronger everyday, Love your blog.

  • Reply
    Kendy
    2018-08-13 at 2:12 PM

    I felt I was the one who wrote this. I’m so proud of my son with all his capabilities. All those assessments does not matter. We will continue on supporting him and focusing on what he can do. I love all your posts it gives me much more support I ever needed right now. *sorry for my bad english.

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