A plea from a mother with an autistic child
(Jersey City, NJ)
Denial is refusing to admit the truth or realty of something unpleasant. For the most part of 2013 that is the best word in the dictionary to describe me. I’m 34 years old and for the most part of my life I controlled everything. When I was old enough to get a job at fifteen, I started work and held full time jobs since then.
After graduating high school I did not attend college right away since I had a child. My first born was my son he is now 15. Since having him young I decided to wait to have more kids years down the line but not over ten years later!
In 2009 I finally got pregnant and finding out I was having a girl was pretty scary. I had so much loved the weekend football games and wrestling matches, I was dumbfound as to what I would do with this girl. March 5, 2010 Sasha Anita Reese was born.
When I first saw her I was no longer dumbfound I was in love. I thought of all the fun shopping trips we would take, her first day of school,the prom, everything girls love. The only difference with Sasha and my oldest son was that she did cry, A LOT. Some nights I was up half the night then suddenly that phase passed on.
Shortly after that I was pregnant with my third child Sterling, he was born that next year April 2011.Sterling was a sleeper and a big eater so once he was full all was okay. Since I was still nursing and afraid to take birth control pills I once again ended up pregnant with my fourth and final child, Solomon.
Solomon was born June 2012 and was truly a blessing because he would eat go back to sleep and really entertain himself. After Solomon was born I did start to notice a difference in Sasha but I associated her behavior change with the change in her environment since she was no longer the baby in the house.
Sasha began having night terrors, that indeed were very scary and at times almost unbearable to make it through the night. Since everything happened so quickly with the new additions to the family I figure she was just adjusting to not being the only baby in the house anymore.
In March 2013 when she went to a visit for her three year checkup the doctor of course did his routine checks but asked me lots of questions about her behavior at home and seemed as if there was a problem but just not for certain so he continued with the questions.
He finally suggested to me to go see a neurologist since he thought based on Sasha’s social interaction for her age was not on the right level. When I got her out of the office and in the car, the term I mentioned earlier, Denial. Yes that word set in. When I got home I
was very upset and felt like doctors are always trying to get extra money for something that does not exist! I was angry and wanted to leave his practice.
After a few days I began to closely watch her an even though my other son was two I began to see small things I had not notice before because of course you’re not looking for anything other than as long as my kids are happy everything was fine. Since I could not honestly tell myself everything was fine I did call the neurologist and had gotten an appointment few weeks later.
The neurologist confirmed my fear. My only daughter had a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Even hearing this from a certified neurologist I still felt in denial. Mainly because this was something that mommy could not make go away with a kiss.
I did everything the doctor had told me to for prenatal care I stayed in the best shape I could, I was confused and hurt. I did enroll her in the early intervention program at our school district and I try to reach out to people on line to also get help for myself cause not only does the child need the intervention the parent needs it also.
I’m getting help for her but the one thing I was completely unsatisfied with is that when I did visit the Social security Disability office they agreed that her condition did qualify for her to receive assistance but she was denied due to my income. That was a slap in the face. I had hoped to get approved for this so I can do the things I know that will help her with this disorder.
What I realized that treating autism will help her tremendously sine I know she will never heal from it but treating autism and helping her with developing the social skills that are necessary for her to become a successful adult is what I will focus on as her primary provider.
I wanted to sign her up for music lessons dance lessons and just try to be sure she is always involved in something to guarantee her success. I started an online fundraising site on go fund me under quality of life fund for Sasha since the government thinks because I make $78.00 over the income limits for a family of five.
It’s hard telling a story that is so personal and knowing some people may feel and why again should I help this person? We are not in the news Sasha is not the daughter of a celebrity but she is my daughter and I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to be sure she gets everything she needs to but sometimes people need help along the way to make it happen and remember, “do not merely look out for you own personal interest, but also for the interest of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
Thanks for reading my story.
Written by, Tameika Yeldell