"Mrs. Drake, do you know sign language?" This is how the experts started to tell me that they believed that my son, at 3 years old, would never be able to talk or communicate effectively.
"Level 3 severe, non-verbal Autism, with associated anxiety and developmental delays" That was the official diagnosis. I looked at my beautiful child who was off in his own little world, putting toy coins into a toy treasure chest, and I couldn't help but make the connection that he was just like that chest. Full of treasures untold, but locked. Locked in his own world and here were these experts telling me that he may never come out.
I went home and talked to my husband about the diagnosis and what that meant for Michael, and for Us. I then became angry. I was angry at so many things, but mostly I was angry that the world had already decided what my son could or could not do. They may have given up on him already, but I had not. For the next year and a half, despite all the problems related to Autism, as well as an addition of a rare disorder of Opsoclonus Myoclonus ataxia Syndrome, that made it almost impossible for him to walk, eat, or write, I refused to give up. Michael had speech therapy twice a week, we worked on learning sign language and putting sounds together. He was really interested in hearing people sing, and he loved when he heard people sing - as long as they sang in-tune. (He wasn't happy when Mommy sang lol). Fast forward to October 17, 2019. Michael's speech had been exploding in leaps and bounds. He was surprising everyone with his one and two word sentences. But on this day, His Dad asked him, if he would like Pizza or Chicken Nuggets for dinner. His reply stopped us in our tracks. We all melted into tearful joyous puddles of goo. His reply.... "I have an idea. I want a burrito please!"
Well, we did what any parent in that same situation would do... we got him a burrito! Since that day, the day Michael found his voice, his true voice, his true POWER. He has used full complete sentences in asking to get his needs met. We are just now learning his true likes and dislikes, his true feelings, and his true personality. No longer having to guess! I always try to see the deeper lessons when my children teach me them, and this lesson was so profound, that I couldn't possibly miss it. Find your true voice, because that is where your power lies! Tell your Authentic Truth, with your own voice, because no one will know your Idea unless you speak it!
"When you speak with your own voice, you will speak with power and conviction. Find your voice. Use your voice. No one can take that away from you" - Becka Drake
What is YOUR Authentic voice trying to say today?