Tuesday, August 19, 2008
After 12 months of bad news, failure after failure, and countless well meaning professionals telling me all that is wrong with my sweet daughter... finally... a nugget of good news. And yes, success is so much sweeter after all the bitterness. Avery is smart. Maybe not in the ways we are used to defining that term, but she knows things... lots of things. Getting her to show you what she knows on the other hand, is the really hard part. Avery's ABA therapist who has been working with her several hours a week for the last two months made the discovery that Avery knows ALL of her letters, both upper and lower case. She also can spell a few words like dog and hat, and can pick out some words in a book. I have known for months that Avery can point at dozens and dozens of pictures when asked, but this was a new one to me. We hadn't even worked on letters. Given that Avery doesn't regularly wave bye bye or say much of anything, it wasn't a skill I thought she had the ability to attain. Sometimes I love it when I am wrong. So now what. Great right? But she still can't communicate well or relate to others. Well... I'll tell you why I think this is good, if not magnificient news.
If you use wikipedia and look up "autism" you will find a massive amount of information... some of which talks about HFA, and LFA (high functioning Autism and Low functioning Autism.) You will see lots of discouraging statistics describing poor outcomes, poor quality of life, etc etc. What you will also see, is that the individuals who fare better as they struggle through our would with the unfair diagnosis of Autism, are those who have a higher IQ (HFA). You can't teach IQ. So, this discovery carries with it so much hope and erases a few of the many fears of the unknown. We have no idea what the future holds for us and for our precious little girl. I always say this journey we have started to tread has become the greatest lesson of all in patience and in living for today. I am coming along in my personal acceptance and reminding myself by the moment to look at each day as a blessing. If I start to project on what could happen with Avery's mastocytosis or what "might be" with Avery's Autism, I literally lose my breath I get so anxious and overwhelmed. So... hip hip horray for today. Today I am certain that there is so much locked away in Avery's brain for us to discover. I wait with wonder at what we will find out next.