Admittedly, I am not a perfect writer. I’m certain that I have run-on sentences, errors in punctuation, and mediocre word choice. However, I have a story to tell. I have a journey to share. I am the mom to six “children” (two are actually adults). Four of those kids are technically my stepchildren, but in my heart they are all just my kids.
My husband Kelly and I officially combined our families nearly five years ago. We have three daughters and three sons. Yep, just like the Brady Bunch. Our youngest son, Sean is almost ten and is the inspiration behind this blog. Honestly, he’s the inspiration behind a lot in our family.
Sean has autism. Sean has PANDAS too. But these two labels do not define him. They make his life a struggle at times, but it’s not who he is. So who is he then? Sean is such a beautiful boy. He has a terrific sense of humor. He has a pretty strong stubborn side to him too. He has amazing eyes and a dimple which will melt your heart. Sean is so smart. He’s not smart in the ways that kids are typically “tested” for intelligence, but that doesn’t mean he’s not intelligent. If you really get to know Sean, he touches your heart in so many ways. He’s my biggest challenge in life. He’s changed me more than anyone else I’ve ever met. There are days that his behavior makes me want to throw in the towel and just give up. However, on most days he helps me to stay determined and keeps my fighting spirit alive. He is my heart and I am his voice. I’ve been fighting for him for nearly a decade and I’m not about to stop now–even on the hard days and nights.
Sean is severely affected by autism and PANDAS. So often autism is shown in the media as a movie or television character with just some quirky behavior. Sean is not Rainman. Sean is not The Good Doctor. Sean doesn’t just have a few quirky character traits. Sean is non-verbal. Sean has had seizures in the past (most likely from the PANDAS), but they are controlled with medicine. Sean gets really frustrated at times because he can’t communicate with words. Trust me, he communicates in other ways! Sean is a little boy who works really hard at therapy every single day. Sean is the youngest in our family (aka number six) and he is very loved.
As a special needs mom, I often feel pretty lonely on this journey. My husband is fantastic and is a true partner, but he’s not a mom, if that makes sense. It’s not often that I meet another mom that I think can really relate to all of this and truly understand. I belong to multiple FB groups, but there is one in particular in which I can relate the most to and it’s because it’s a group of parents, mainly moms, who have kids similar to Sean. I can vent there. I can empathize. I can really struggle there and they “get it” pretty well as their children have similar behaviors and struggles.
I want to document our journey, but I also want to connect with other moms who can relate. I want to give hope and encouragement to others. I want to share the truth about this journey. I hope I’m able to do it all justice…
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton