Every day this week, I have sat down to write this same post, and have come up with nothing. It seems my thoughts are intact, until I sit down in front of the computer, and am faced with the white screen staring back at me. Which is where I wait, somehow, anticipating the thoughts to magically appear. But that obviously hasn’t happened. I get distracted, sidetracked, or hauled off to bigger and brighter.
What I wanted to talk about was Josh, and his diagnosis. What I wanted to say was that he is more than what he has been diagnosed with, but what I got was an empty mind, with no thoughts whatsoever until I left the computer.
When I did have said thoughts intact, I began feeling guilty, over the fact that so much emphasis has been placed on Josh lately. Every post has some form of Josh strewn around in it. Some rant, question, or frustration that has come out of trying to understand this kid. In a sense, I wondered if I was somehow pushing the older two out. Not only here, in writing, but in life as well. All those thoughts began coming back, and I heard numerous people telling me over and over again that accepting responsibility of Josh would only compromise what little hope the older two had at a successful future. Am I somehow not offering them the best, by assuming responsibility for Josh as well?
Its not like just recently, since getting a diagnosis on Josh, have people started questioning. There has always been something. Someone. Somehow. Some problem, that has kept people from laying off my case about the well being of the kids.
This week, I was thinking about Josh, in the context of somehow “Ruining” Madison & Dylans future. I watched him differently, as if somehow in the blink of an eye, he would have hold of their futures, and have them ripped to shreds. Was it possible? I looked at him through a different perspective, the outsiders perspective. Trying to see what they saw, if anything, in him. What harm did they see? Was it something I didn’t? I looked at him as more than my nephew, more than a little boy who I love the same as the rest of them, I looked at him as a possible threat. The way, it appears everyone else sees him as.
The thing is, Josh is more than “Autistic” he has more than “Autism.” He has potential, a personality, an identity. He has a future, he has hopes and dreams. He has ideas. He is a human, a boy. He is growing and changing. He is a smarty pants, who often lands himself in situations he really shouldn’t be in. He is Josh. He has a name. Hes a nephew, a son, a cousin. He is smart and funny, stubborn, and shy. He is more than what you see, and goes way beyond the surface level.
But the sad part is, not many choose to look beyond the label, beyond the box he has been placed in. They don’t look past the surface, and instead…get hung up on the one word “Autism.” They back away, as if it is somehow contagious, they stare confused as if it somehow is a complex matter that on a genius could understand. They don’t see him for who he is. They don’t see the Josh…and that, is sad.
Im not trying to say that he doesn’t have issues, he does. Many of them. What Im trying to say, is that he has enough issues, without having to worry about the way people view him, about being ashamed because he stuggles with a problem that other people don’t.
I think its sad, however, that more people cant seem to look past the box that they so badly want to put people in. I think its sad that they cant see past his label, and into the real person…I think its sad, but they are the ones that will be missing out.
Years ago, before Autism was even thought up of in our lives, someone told me that I shouldn’t take on the kids, that if they were to live with me, I would somehow compromise THEIR lives. Their futures. That I would somehow damper their potential. And there for a while, I believed them. I knew (and know) I cant give them the best, or the biggest. I know that I cant offer them name brands, and the most expensive. But what I find odd, is that now. Its not me who is ruining their futures. Its Josh.
A five year old little boy, who wants nothing more than to spend the next 10 minutes with his hero’s…and after that, he doesn’t care what happens.
A boy – who loves to scream, make noise, and drag his bear around. A boy who loves animals, cold peas, and books but hates water, new places, and most people. A boy who can make just about anyone laugh or embarrass the heck out of them, who attends school, is learning to interact with other people and happens to have autism.
His name? Is Josh.
His diagnosis? Autism
His personality, attitude, etc? Limitless