World Autism Awareness Month

I really can’t remember what the first sign was, or at what point my child began to quietly slip away from me. For some reason it was easier to deny, than to ask why.

Did I dare become aware? After trying unsuccessfully to shake the awful suspicions from my mind, I finally gathered the strength to face the unknown enemy.

Nothing could have prepared me for the devastating news. My worst fears were confirmed. I felt so desperately helpless and overwhelmed that I couldn’t imagine ever laughing or feeling good about anything ever again. There were no magic potions to take this pain away.

Once the shock wore off I was paralyzed with fear, anger, grief and resentment. How could I fix this?

That was fourteen years ago and my son is now seventeen. There was no recovery or cure, but in some ways he’s like every other teenager. He likes loud music, junk food and computer games. He also hates to clean his room or listen to his mom. In other ways he’s different than other teenagers. His inability to interact socially, robotic speech, one sided conversations and obsession. There have been ups and downs, good days and bad, triumphs and tribulations.

My son has autism and I can not change that fact, but I have learned to see through the autism. To see the child, my child.

World Autism Awareness Month

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About maggiemyklebust

I grew up on the Jersey Shore and now live in Norway. I have also lived in Houston and the Netherlands. I have written a memoir called Fly Away Home.

Posted on April 2, 2012, in Family stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. …..and what a wonderful young man he is !

  2. I thought you seemed strong and wonderful; now I know it.
    Joy to you and your son,
    ~ Lily

  3. My nephew is autistic. Like you, my sister-in-law is a wonderful mother and a loving parent to her lad. My good thoughts and wishes go out to you and your son. He is a fortunate young man to have you for his mom.

  4. Brian is a wonderful young man with a beautiful loving family and a great support team in Norway. He will succeed beyond your dreams ❤

  5. Hi Maggie, It’s my first time visiting your blog and I see we are both concerned with writing about what the heck “home” is … and why it matters! 🙂 And congratulations on your book!

    Are you by chance in Bergen? Our 10-yr-old son was diagnosed with Aspergers last year. We are looking into some Aspergers/Austism programs for kids in the area. I haven’t yet written about it — don’t know if I will, but I agree with your comment above: the hardest and most gratifying experience of my life. I suppose where I am right now is searching for how to deal with the things you mentioned about your son: how to interact socially, his robotic speech, the one sided conversations and obsessions. I’m looking desperately for a way to connect to my son, but it seems I just end up feeling more sad.

    Tips? 🙂

    • I live in Egersund (small town south of Stavanger)
      We were lucky. My son was diagnosed fourteen years ago and we got a lot of support from both the school (Norwegian) and the ‘kommunen’ town.
      The only tips I have are patience, persistence and love. Did I mention persistence? PERSISTENCE.
      There’s a chapter in my book called ‘Under A Stone’ which is about our experience with autism. We had to first connect with him through pictures (pictograms). I know only to well the sadness you feel, hang in there and I promise the rewards will be great.
      Thanks for visiting, you’re welcome anytime!

  6. Maggie – you and Harry are wonderful parents. No matter what comes your way, you always get through it because you have to. The unconditonal love and support of you, Harry and all his brothers and sisters helped Brian become the wonderful person he is. This is a testament to your family’s strength. We all love Brian, he is a wonderful boy.

  7. annie siersema potter

    so true ellen! the myklebust family is second to none! ❤

  8. I take that as a real compliment coming from you Annie, because you really are “Mother of the year” !

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