I think every parent has the same goal in mind. Creating the best life possible for their children. That being said, making a lifestyle for a child that far exceeds the one we grew up in ourselves can often be what seems like an impossible task.
Between the world that surrounds us, illnesses, and an economy that seems to change on a monthly basis, there are some elements that simply cannot be controlled. My wife and I had to learn this the hard way.
Creating a new life
After the two of us graduated from college in South Bend, my wife was offered a position that was more than she had dreamed of less than a week after graduation. If she were to take the job, it would require us to move to the Detroit area. I was confident in my ability to find a great job of my own after the move. We decided to start a new beginning just outside the Motor City.
Within two weeks of making our move, I was able to find a great position in the field I had always wanted. Rent became a mortgage. Neighbors quickly started becoming family. Our jobs began to turn into our careers. We decided it was as good of a time as any to start a family. Almost a year and a half later, my wife gave birth to our son.
Once he reached the 18 month age, we began noticing some differences between the way he behaved compared to other children his age. At first, my pride wouldn’t allow me to believe that anything was wrong. Our child was just different.
He was the only boy without brothers or sisters in his daycare group. Even the friends my wife and I had made all had multiple children, so it just made sense that our boy would act differently than the other kids on playdates and get togethers.
By my son’s third birthday, I had to admit that something was wrong. The difference in his behavioral patterns and those of other children were obvious. This broke my heart. I felt as if I had done something wrong, as if I were being punished for something. I read books, studied several different online articles, subscribed to every relevant magazine I could find.
Finally, my wife told me what she thought the answer was. In her opinion, we needed to reach out for the best autism therapy Michigan had available. I had heard the term autism before, but if I am honest, I had no clue as to what I should expect. I finally had a definite topic to research and it felt as if I was becoming even more confused with the information I was learning.
Finding someone who could help
I didn’t know what to expect as our family appointment at Gateway approached quicker and quicker. I didn’t think I was prepared to have another person sit me down to read me a list of things that were wrong with my child. As the day of the appointment grew closer, I was ready to call the whole thing off. Thank God my wife was unwilling for that to happen. Attending the appointment has been the best thing my wife and I have ever done for our little boy.
Not only was the staff full of experts who knew exactly how to approach and work with my son, they were also prepared to deal with my frustration, worry, and pain as his parent. They were able to provide a sense of comfort and safety my wife and I had been unable to experience for a long time.