Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taking time off, for a good reason...

As the subject states, I will be taking some time off of writing and blogging. I haven't given up on becoming a published author someday, there have just been some changes in my daily life that need to be addressed first. Right now there simply isn't enough time or free space in my brain to accomplish everything and my family has to come first.

The puzzle piece ribbon is used by some autism...Image via Wikipedia

This past week, my two-year old son was diagnosed with autism (yeah, ironic considering April is autism awareness month...). Now that we officially have a diagnosis, my days are filled with doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and learning how to implement treatment programs. Oh yeah, and going through the stages of accepting this diagnosis. While this whole ordeal is difficult on our son, he's always had it, we just never knew. Us, as his parents, on the other hand, are having to learn everything about this disorder while trying to come to terms with what's in store for him in the future. Right now it feels as if everything is speeding by so fast and I'm struggling to learn everything I can to help my son thrive in spite of this condition.

So, until things settle down and we develop some sort of regular schedule that our son is thriving on, the second draft of my novel will have to wait. Providing the day-to-day support that he needs in order to one day develop some form of communication is truly a full-time job (but worth every minute of it knowing how it will help him later in life). It hurts to think how close I am to being done, but I know my priorities and Family > Writing.

Thank you everyone for your support and advice in my journey into writing my first novel. I'm not giving up on writing and I won't be gone forever, but I do need to take some time off. Maybe I should consider this as time away from the novel so I can return to it at a later date with fresh eyes... Maybe it's just wishful thinking...

Either way, until I'm able to blog again...
Talk 2ya later...

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beth said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis--but glad that you were able to catch it early on. I had a student who was not diagnosed until high school, and it was such a relief for him when people finally realized that some of his problems in school really *weren't* his fault. I can only imagine how tough school life was for him until his diagnosis. So although it certainly isn't the best news, it is good that you were able to catch it early.

I will pray for you and your family. If it's any comfort, I've taught 3 students with autism, and in working with their parents, each parent said it wasn't easy to have a child with a disability, but that they never regretted an instant.

Amethyst Willow said...


Christine M said...

Don't lose heart. There are so many wonderful therapies available to children with this diagnosis these days, and you can get started with them right away. That's a good thing.

On a personal note, my nephew was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He did not speak until he was four. He is now eight and in a mainstreamed 2nd grade classroom with an aide. He works above grade level in math and English. He still has challenges, but he's doing great.

I'll keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I know this feeling, as my son was diagnosed when he was three, although I'd known his whole life it was coming. You're going to hear lots of stories, get lots of advice, and there may be days you sit on the kitchen floor and cry. And that's okay.

This was the most comfort to me those first months -


I'd be happy to chat with you about anything that comes up - sometimes having someone to listen who's /not/ directly involved in your life is a great thing.

PJ Hoover said...

Stopping over from Beth's blog to send my prayers and best thoughts.

Willow said...

You guys have no idea how much your kind words and encouragements mean to me right now. There's just so much to do right now between therapists and appointments and research... It's nice to know that people care.

It's definitely hard to deal with all of these changes, but I can't imagine my son any other way and love him with my whole heart. He always has been and always will be perfect to me, no matter what the tests say he has.

We are lucky in that we currently live five minutes from one of the top autism centers in the country and we'll be able to start sessions there in a few months. Having access to their resource room and all of their books and computer programs is great as well.

Our son is already making so much progress in therapy and he's only been doing it for a little less than two months. Tomorrow we're going to start PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) with him with his speech therapist since I have access to the program through the nearby center. So, fingers crossed that he excels in this as well!

Virtual hugs to all of my friends and double hugs to everyone touched by autism in one way or another! Thanks again guys!

Angela said...

Big hugs coming your way. Look at the good here--you have a diagnosis, and you and your husband are actively working to become informed so you can best support your son, which is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

1a. Congratulations on having your priorities in the right order, and 1b. Remember your me-time so as to avoid burn-out.

2. Read everything by Tony Attwood, possibly the best person out there writing (and speaking, if you're lucky enough to hear him) about all things autistic. (Do message me privately, if you'd like a view that is less 'newbie'. If you're not informationed-out already.)

3a. You are not a failure. Any diagnosis makes the mother feel she has failed, especially if it's the first child. You haven't. 3b. You've done brilliantly to get this diagnosed so young.

4. I won't unsub from your rss, so i'll know when you're back, and i'm looking forward to it.

5. Re your novel: all is not lost.

6. {hugz}

Hey, for once my thoughts are orderly! Well, they were until my ASD son interrupted... ;0)

Robyn said...

I understand. My son, born with a rare brain disorder has had lots of Dr. appointments and he's 23 and still has lots of them. I'll be praying for you!! When you get back you'll see that I nominated you for an award on my blog. Hurry back, you'll be missed!

Windsong said...

*hugs* My son was recently diagnosed with autism as well. It's a hard thing to accept sometimes, but it's also a relief to know because we have a direction to go in to help him.

Katterley said...

Hey, Willow, *hug* my 3rd son was dx'd when he was four, but I knew something had changed (late-onset) when he was about 15 months old. I'm so happy you were able to get your son a diagnosis at this age! My son just turned 13, and lost his dx of autism right before he turned 12 (our state no longer considers him autistic and he is no longer eligible for any services for autism. A blessing to know outsiders think he's come this far, but a little daunting with the whole puberty thing going on...) I love Catherine Maurice's books on autism, as well as Jenny McCarthy's! We did ABA, still do GFCF and low phenol diet, and still do ABA/VB/Playtime/DT kind of stuff on our own. The neat thing about you finding out in April is it's in the forefront and even easier to find out (too much!) information. It's a long road, but one you're not alone on. *another hug*

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