Every Bride Needs Something Blue

Tales Of An Educated Debutante

on life, loss and the joy that rules the day.


The future is far away and scary, but today is lovely.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD

This Is Autism

This Is Autism

Sunday, April 02, 2017 Adrian Wood Comments (10)

Adrian, meet autism. Autism, meet Adrian. I've never really minded you, you know. I was writing a story about Julia, praising the new character with autism on Sesame Street, the very morning of the day that we were introduced. The day before, Al Roker shared that you were part of his family too and truthfully, I thought that was pretty neat. It was neat until you jumped ship and got ahold of my family. We were doing just fine on our own, therapy plans, a great classroom and now your presence feels like a foreboding wrench.

ABA, Teacch, holistic diets, experts, advisors, summer programs, parent training sessions, dozens of blogs devoted to autism, family resources at the state and national level, more people, men and women, ones covered by insurance and ones that will break the bank. How do we choose? When will I find time to weed through all the carefully offered advice? I don't want to miss a chance for Amos and yet, I can't stop thinking you're at the wrong house.

You see, I've got more than enough going on and plenty to keep me busy. We've been doing pretty good and gotten quite used to saying Amos has "extra special needs." Really, I can handle that, but now you? I'd like to lock the gate to my precious family and throw away the key, but somehow I don't think you're going away so my heart tells me to grin and bare it. Bare what? That's the thing, I don't even know. This autism thing seems like a complicated sea of prehistoric animals swimming along futuristic creatures. You never strike the same way and so, I'm scared of what to expect. I'm scared you're asking too much. That's all. Perhaps strength feels like more of a philosophy than a truthful qualifier.

Just give me a little time, okay? I'll get used to you. After all, Amos stole my heart long ago.

Opus commented on 02-Apr-2017 04:27 AM
I've only recently discovered your blog. I enjoy your stories. I'm glad that you finally have a diagnosis for Amos - it's awful to not know what you're dealing with, though it can also be equally awful to know. There's a lot to get used to, but you have been dealing with autism all along; now it has a name. I hope that you will find support out there for your unique situation and that Amos will be all that he can be. With you behind him, how could he be anything less? Hang in there.
Anonymous commented on 02-Apr-2017 06:38 AM
This is my first time reading your blog. I follow Alicia Keys on Instagram and read all about the sweet exchanges between your children and her son, Egypt. As a woman, mother, teacher, wife and friend, I want to say thank you for sharing yourself with the world. I often tell my 2nd graders people are more alike then they are different and your honest writing proves just that. ❤️
Wendy Simpson commented on 02-Apr-2017 10:56 AM
I have been reading some of your posts over maybe the past year or so. I am also from Eastern NC (live in AL now) and have a son with high -functioning autism - or what they called Aspergers Syndrome when he was finally given a diagnosis at age 9 - he is almost 14 now.

The challenges did not show up until he was pushing 3 years old and since then I have done behavior therapy, speech therapy, all kinds of testing until finally I got an answer.

I just wanted to reach out and tell you I know the path you are on. A different path than mine but they are all challenging. I feel mostly sad that I wasn't paying enough close attention because as you referenced Amos' extra special needs I thought you already knew it was autism . . . . Because I did. And of course it is not my place to give a diagnosis - I just thought I was occasionally skimming a blog about a mom seeking help for her child with autism - and maybe if I had said something a year ago you would have gotten this answer a tad sooner. Not that it makes any difference . . . Because you have it and you have it while he is young.

I feel for you on the path of seeking help. It is exhausting. Contact me if you ever want to talk - we have a lot in common! Go Heels!!
Newsletter Signup commented on 02-Apr-2017 12:40 PM
Adrian, Your heart is so precious and fragile. Your children are all beautiful and that perfect Amos makes me smile on the worst of days. Your strength in dealing with a diagnosis you dreaded, your honesty and your joy in this life...has given me strength as I deal with my father's dementia. It takes time for it to sink in and search the information and choose the best options and now thanks to you and your transparency, I live with the joy of what is still a wonderful father, Carolina graduate, intelligent human of the highest honor. Bless you dear one!!!
Anonymous commented on 02-Apr-2017 02:27 PM
Autism never met you before. God will provide. You've got this girl.
Kyla commented on 02-Apr-2017 02:33 PM
I have no idea about the specific struggling that comes with autism but none the less the little that I have read thus far is POSITIVELY mesmerising. Your writing seems to exude hope and integrity and I am inspired to be a better mom. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to discovering more. I think you are pretty awesome xxx
Anonymous commented on 02-Apr-2017 08:16 PM
Keep on writing. It's good for you and good for me.👍
Tricia Wilson commented on 03-Apr-2017 07:10 AM
Dear Adrian, I thought of these short blogs that I wrote several years ago when I read this. You are in my heart and prayers as you navigate, grieve, and make peace. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Mamie commented on 04-Apr-2017 04:26 PM
. . . and you stole all our hearts 42 years ago this very day! We are reminded so often not be anxious about tomorrow, but that seems easier said than done as well. We walk this journey with the support of so many, some of whom are not even known to us . . . yet! With admiration, always, to a much-loved daughter, son-in-law, Thomas, and the cherished four, Thomas, Russell, Blair and, last, but certainly never least, Amos
Anonymous commented on 09-Apr-2017 06:23 PM
Dear Adrian, I know it hurts and there is little To comfort you. But you and Amos are special and deeply loved.
Judy Dempsey

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