Yes, but… – Autism

A blog follower recently contacted me saying how exciting it is to see how much Emma is progressing.   Whenever someone says this to me, my first reaction is surprise, followed by a shot of hopefulness and finally curiosity.  What exactly do they see?  How is she progressing in their opinion?  So I almost always ask, “In what ways do you see her progressing?”

I then listen intently, making a mental note of the various things.  And then, and I’ve noticed this happens almost every time, I think – Yes, but _________ .  Here is the current list of my “Yes, buts…”

Yes, but she still sucks her thumb and as a result the shape of her mouth has changed, resulting in her front top and bottom teeth no longer meeting because of her massive over bite.  (This thought usually leads to a whole laundry list of anticipated horrors about dentistry, orthodontistry, the worry of how we will have to have her hospitalized to have braces put on – this is what we had to do when she had a cavity) and the exorbitant cost of  all of this.  I become acutely aware of how fast my heart seems to be beating.  Suddenly I am nauseous, can’t eat and wander around feeling ill.  Which leads me to my next – Yes, but:

Yes, but she only eats a half dozen things, all of which are either dairy or wheat and though we put her on a wheat free/ dairy free diet when she was first diagnosed to zero effect, maybe we did it wrong.  A vegetable has not touched her lips in more than six years.  Maybe we missed something.  Maybe there’s something else here that we should be doing.  I then am led to Google and several hours later I emerge from the black hole that only Google can provide, having learned about the dozens of diets all with the ominous warning that early intervention is key.  Which, to my mind, means we’ve missed the boat as she is now at the ripe old age of nine and a half.  If I’m feeling really panicked – almost ten!

Last night I mentioned to Richard my current litany of – yes, buts.

“You’re spiraling off again,” he observed, after I’d finished.  Then he looked at me with an expression of concern.  He sighed and said, “I know, honey.”

I understand that my thoughts, shooting off to the next catastrophe, are my convoluted way of protecting myself.  However that “protection”, all those, “Yes, buts” are what block me from fully enjoying Emma’s amazing accomplishments.

Yes, but…

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:  www.Emma’s Hope Book.com

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