Friday, July 20, 2012

The Aftermath

I can honestly say I had no idea what kind of response I would get when I opened up about our journey with Hudson.  I don't know if I'm just desensitized to the situation because I've faced it for so long or if I'm so aware of how lucky we are to have only this one challenge that I didn't realize how our story would impact people.  Either way, I was caught off guard by the overwhelming amount of people who reached out to us, encouraged us, committed to pray for us, and opened up about their own personal experiences.  I'm genuinely touched and grateful while maintaining a "deer in headlights" degree of surprise. 

Our first appointment with the counselor is tomorrow, and I'm now excited about moving forward in a positive direction.  She is a licensed play therapist and a retired special education teacher, and I feel like she is a great starting point for us.  Strategies that work are especially important to us, but I think a diagnosis is particularly important to me, whether it's anxiety or ADHD or Asperger's or any other possibility.  I have always put a great deal of stock in the field of psychology, and the mind itself is one of the most fascinating components of human nature.  If the body is sick, treating the particular ailment rather than stabbing at the dark with guesses is essential, and the same philosophy should be applied to the mind.  I'm not seeking a label for my son, but I am seeking a direction and an opportunity to arm myself with information so that we can help him in the most effective way possible. 

Thank you for the insights many of you offered me in disclosing your experiences with your own children.  I feel more open minded now and more willing to face whatever direction we are sent.  Our goals include acting as advocates for Hudson and achieving a greater degree of stability and positive energy in our household.  In many ways I feel like Hudson's challenges are a lesson in tolerance for Camden, Lawson, and Scout and a chance for us to learn to make sure each of our children feels special and nurtured.  Further, I hope our kids will learn empathy and acceptance for other kids who face various challenges. 

In all honesty the most powerful needs I feel right now are to arm Hudson with coping skills for every day life, to give him confidence and a healthy perspective of himself and the world around him, and to surround him with friends who look past his debilitating introverted nature and see the silly, loyal kid he is.  I always feel an irrational need to protect him from those who choose to overlook opportunities to connect with him because it doesn't come as easily as it normally would with other children.  I've tried very hard to help family members and friends find ways to reach out to him, and I'm so thankful they have put in the extra time to adjust their interactions to fit Hudson's social needs.  I'm also so grateful for his elementary school's counselor and administration because I know they are rooting for us to find the answers we need and willing to work with us to help Hudson reach his potential for success in school. 

Like any kid Hudson has good days and bad days.  The past two days have been such good days that I'm almost willing to overlook the fact that Scout is twirling around in a tutu singing "stupid butt" because she heard it from her older brothers.  Today it's back to the reality of making our situation work for our family as a whole and laughing at all the funny moments we're treated with throughout the day.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support and for the love you have shown us.  I look forward to speaking to and/or corresponding with those of you who reached out to us over the coming months.

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