I have been wanting to share our story for a while now, but I was thrown into the Autism world like I was hit by a truck. I will never forget the appointment on that November morning in 2013 where I was officially told Jayden had Autism Spectrum Disorder and there was really no telling what his future would be. I thought I was prepared but my five-month pregnant self was in utter shock and I am so thankful my mom had come to the appointment with me since my husband was away fulfilling his duty to the US Navy.
I wish I knew then all the things I know now. If Jayden's Journey helps one family then sharing our story and our struggles will be worth it. Jayden was evaluated and diagnosed by an experienced Developmental Pediatrician. He was very kind and took his time and afterward was very understanding of how emotional hearing the diagnosis was. However, I left that Naval Hospital with his diagnosis, a pit in my stomach and a list of things to do now. I am not kidding I still have that list.
Fast-forward to 2020 I am a full-time Autism Mom, Advocate and know more about IEPs than I thought possible. It took me a while to have the acceptance I have now and I went through all stages to get here.
I was in denial for a long time. I remember my first conversations with people and telling them it is not severe and he will start talking soon.
Then I became the therapy mom who enrolled my son in each and every therapy that I believed would help him. I lived on google and I thought I could somehow fix him. However, the biggest lesson I have learned through our family's journey is that Jayden is perfect.
My goal became to help him through life whatever that means for Jayden. I had to close my eyes to the expectations of “typical children” and I learned to see the world a whole new way.
Most people who grew up with me remember me as an opinioned, outspoken, loud, and outgoing person. I will even admit I was very judgmental. I was supposed to be some high powered Cooperate Lawyer climbing the ranks in Corporate America and I spent many years in college setting towards that goal, the goal I thought would make my life perfect and happy.
The biggest gift I was ever given was Jayden because the lessons he has taught me outweigh every college course I ever took. The joy I feel seeing him meet a milestone is nothing compared to winning a case in court and had my life been different I would still be that that opinioned, outspoken and sometimes inconsiderate person I was before.
Jayden lives his life with a smile on his face every day through any situation. He has been hospitalized too many times to even count because along with Autism Spectrum Disorder he also has Epilepsy. During every hospital stay, his smile stayed on his face.
He has changed me in a way I cannot really explain.
I never will look at another person and immediately have a judgmental thought in my head, instead, I lead with compassion.
Through our journey which has been a roller coaster ride that has lasted six years, I have found my biggest challenges is navigating my way through the services Jayden needs for success and the resources that exist and how to obtain these services.
I want this to be a place where I can share our journey and the resources, I have found along the way so the next family that just receives this life-altering diagnosis has a place to start and most importantly has hope and knows they are not alone on this journey.
Be sure to follow our journey on our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.