About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Yesterday, I read a blog piece that really made me sad. Not sad for
myself...I don't wallow in the self-pity of having children with Autism.
Sad for the child about who the piece was written for.
A child who's mother views as "dead"..because, for goodness sakes,
she has Autism. The child she used to have (before the autism) is dead...

Confusing...I know !!!!

As you read on in the piece, you see this child seems to have come a very
long way. She is now considered "recovered" by the mother. But, I guess
that is just not good enough either. This beautiful little girl happens to have
been born 7 days after my youngest son.
I am amazed how 2 women..mother's of children who are the same age...can feel
so differently about their children.

In our home, we live with 2 severely disabled autistic individuals. The bookends
of our children...the youngest and the oldest..
Kiernan 8 is non-verbal and a ball of energy. He is what keeps us on our toes. He
is beauty and grace. He is our last child, but he has always fit into our very
unique family. He receives therapies and has attendant care, because he requires
a lot of energy to take care of...but, he is worth every minute.
Caitlin, 18, is verbal by choice. She will answer your questions, but they better be
worth her time to answer. She also requires attendant care, because mentally,
she is like an 8 year old. She attends regular high school with a 3.7 grade point
average. She is complex and unique.
Erin and Patrick both have PDD-NOS. Although you cannot tell them apart from
their peers, they have sensory issues. She wears her Ipod and headphones when she
needs to shut people and noises out. We approach their issues individually. Erin
needs a drawing pad and something soft to rub on where ever we go. Patrick needs
a video game or a ball to squeeze. These items keep them focused and able to stay
on task.
Deirdre has Asperger's. She is inquisitive and wants to learn new things. She reads
all the time. Deirdre also listens to her headphones when she is annoyed or irritated.
Deirdre loves older kids, she can keep up with adult conversations and is up on current
events. She is as close to brilliant as their is. In fact...She is the smartest person I
know, and I am the dumbest person she knows ( in her mind, anyway).
Meaghan, our NT child is just that NT...and with that comes all of the angst and heart-break
that a normal 6th grade girl should know. The right hair, clothes, Ipod, boyfriends,
swimsuit, bra, etc.....whew !!!!

I know that God put me on this Earth to be these children's mother. He knew that
they would be loved and cared for. He knew that I would never judge them or their
behaviors. He knew that I would accept them and with this, their Autism.

My children have come such a long way. They have surpassed what others told us they
could never do. They have continued to amaze their instructors and their therapists.
They will continue to do so as they get older and mature. We have seen this in our
older children and will see it in our younger children also.

Autism did not ruin our family. Autism did not take my children from us. They are
right here in front of me. They are beautiful and funny. When they enter a room,
I feel my face light up and my heart fill with so much love. They are meant to be here
and they are meant to be mine.
These children will NEVER feel that they are not meant to be.
We will continue to raise them and adore them. We will continue to enjoy this roller
coaster of a ride that was chosen for our family...and I will continue to thank God
every day for letting me be these children's mother.

BTW..today is my husband's 44th birthday. Me and the kids...yes, all 6 of them,
will be heading out to get the cake and ice cream for tonight's festivities. We will
prepare his favorite dinner and enjoy being around this amazing man...a man who
has never questioned why he is the father of these children, but a man who
works 2 jobs to make sure they are taken care of. A man, who at this very minute,
is at the ball field running a clinic for kids who need a bit of help with baseball, so
they can catch up with their peers (free of charge, of course)....selfless, loving and
strong...Happy Birthday Patrick !!!!


kathleen said...

Thank you Jeanette..I so need to be reading things like this today..I am astounded by all the vitriol in the world..I hope that my incredible kids never have to know about it..Happy Birthday to your husband-I hope that you have a wonderful celebration.

KWombles said...

Happy Birthday Patrick!

Excellent, inspiring piece, Jeanette, so palette cleansing after reading AoA's continued comments and Julie's assertion that: "This is the kind of stuff I can't stand, frankly. I don't care if YOU think Autism isn't worse than cancer or getting hit by a Mac truck. For ME, it was. And I'm allowed to feel that way, and it doesn't make me a bad mom, or an ungrateful mom, or anything else. It makes me human."

But, Julie, it doesn't say much good about your character. So, if it's not representative of it, fix it.

KWombles said...

I meant to ask, as well, would you post it the Countering Facebook group, too, in case folks don't mosey over here?

Sirenity said...

beautifully said. Hugs for you

furious feline said...

I love how you accept your children for all that they are and appreciate their accomplishments. I love reading your positive posts. I have 2 hf autistic kids and they are wonderful people too!

KWombles said...

hey, no ugly comments! wow. what a difference, Jeanette. Maybe they're all busy at AoA?

KWombles said...

I guess we kept John Best busy enough over the weekend that he didn't have the chance to get over here. :-)

Molly said...

Jeanette, can you clarify something.

Caitlin attends regular hs, as in she is mainstreamed and takes all the same classes as every one else? Does she have an aide? Since mentally she's like an 8 year old, is that in terms of academic ability, self care skills or interests?

I'm just interested because I think of all the kids I work with (I work at a camp for kids with autism) and I'd love to see them like Caitlin one day!

and Patrick is my kind of kid! I carry silly putty around. I need something to hold during classes and dr appts or I get super anxious.

Mom26children said...

Caitlin has had a full-time aide ever since she was inclusioned, since kindergarten.
She has made the progress she has because of these aides and their dedication to her and her education. They do not help her, but make her stay on task when necessary.
Caitlin is mentally like an 8 year old when it comes to personal choices. She still enjoys her YuGiOh cards and her video games, but she has a brilliant mind when it comes to math and science.
Hope this helps clarify that a bit.

Zhu Que said...

Hi! Your blog's awesome!


your kids must be very well off to have a mom like you. One of the things I hate most is when people don't value their kids' lives, eg, say they're dead or the kid that was born died of Autism. That's the true tragedy...

Are you Pentecostal? So'm I. :D

Hope the hubby had a great day!