Living with a child with Autism is hard. But the support we receive from our friends, family, colleagues, and sometimes even complete strangers makes it much easier.
My 6 year-old son Max has Autism
Living with a child with Autism is full of ups and downs. My wife and I basically had to restructure our whole lives to adapt to what is required to help Max learn and grow. He has had therapy since he was 18 months old and didn’t start saying three word sentences until he was five. He wasn’t even potty trained until January of this year.
Max will have involuntary episodes where his mind goes into a “fight or flight” mode and my wife and I will methodically calm him down using techniques that we have had to learn through therapy ourselves. Learning to deal with Autism is a learning process for the entire family.
It is very easy to become frustrated, full of doubt, and just plain done. But then it happens– he will reach a milestone that leads to, in my opinion, the most joy a parent of a child with autism can experience. To see him learning and advancing makes it all worthwhile!
In the last year alone, Max was potty trained and his vocabulary has more than doubled!
Yes! Go Max!
Max brings joy and blessings to our family every day. He is the sweetest, most loving, generous, and kind little boy in the world. He will always show concern when we’re sad or hurt by giving a big hug and kiss while saying “I lush you” (Max’s version of I love you).
His affection and love are shown when he gives a simple pat on the back and says “Iss ok.” He has a smile that will warm anyone’s heart and a laugh that will brighten even the worst of days.
Max is Not Autistic
Max is not autistic. He has autism. It’s true he is different than other children his age and we celebrate milestones on a different schedule for Max than we do with our younger son Owen. But different is not less. Autism does not define who he is, but rather enhances his ability to teach me far more than I could ever imagine.
At six years old, he has taught me a different– more understanding and forgiving way to look at people in general. People have such complicated, stressful and busy lives, that it’s easy to forget how wonderful life is and is meant to be. Max is that reminder. He helps me approach life with a much more positive and optimistic outlook. He brings out the best in me and is the puzzle piece that completes our family. I love you Max!
World Autism Awareness Day
In honor of Nick and Kelli Schroeter and their son Max, the LVM team wore blue on the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2015. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.For more information on Autism or to learn about their awareness campaign, Light it Up Blue, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/LIUB