It's Thanksgiving, and I've been working on this post since the beginning of the month. Not because Thanksgiving was coming up, but rather because I'd been thinking about the things that challenge him, versus all the other challenges that are common for autistic people. When I realized Thanksgiving was at the end of the month, I decided to take my time and make this a special Thanksgiving post.
Everyone has their own set of gifts and challenges, and these are some of Joseph's.
He might not be able to talk much yet, but I'm thankful that one of the few things he can say is, "I love you!" and you can tell he means it.
I'm thankful that my son is affectionate and loves to give us hugs and kisses.
I'm thankful that my son is ticklish and loves to be tickled.
He might be constantly trying to run away and escape to go exploring, but I'm thankful that my son can walk, run and climb. And so fast too.
He might frequently refuse to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I'm thankful that my son does not have digestive problems.
I'm thankful that my son likes music and can sing Bob Marley songs with me.
He might have trouble paying attention to a lot of things, but I'm thankful that if nothing else, my son can be occupied by TV.
I'm thankful that my son has good taste in cartoons and likes Animaniacs.
It might be difficult to keep things away from him that he shouldn't get into, but I'm thankful that my son is smart enough and determined enough to figure out how to get around the obstacles we put in his way, because some day those will be obstacles to his happiness and success that he is overcoming.
I'm thankful that I have family nearby that can help with both of my kids so that I can take a break every once in a while so I'm better able to take care of them.
He might not be able to be in typical classes yet at school, but I'm thankful that we are in a great school district for special needs students, and my son has spectacular teachers that he loves.
He might not be able to tell me about them yet, but I'm glad my son seems to be developing friendships with his classmates at school, and that they seem happy to see him.
We might have financial problems, but I'm thankful that when my son needed to start the various therapies at Children's Hospital, he had Medicaid coverage so we could focus on what he needs and not how we would pay for it.
He might have trouble getting to sleep because he and is sister keep each other awake, but I'm thankful that once he's asleep my son is a sound sleeper.
I'm thankful that whatever my son chooses to do, he does with his whole self.
I'm thankful that my son got his mother's ears and not mine. :)