Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

All in motion

Kiki In preparation for my coming trip back to Massachusetts to attend an advanced Son-Rise course, last week I had to fill out a long survey reporting all kinds of details about Joaquin’s current state. The survey was exactly the same I took back in May, just a few weeks after having become aware of Joaquin’s autism. At the time, the process made me sad and angry — it forced me to review old photos and videos of Joaquin and compare them with my observations of his current behavior, and notice how from a relatively typical development as a baby, something happened along the way that changed him. And I, who at the time was dealing with an ugly sense of guilt and self-doubt about my role in what may have happened, suddenly experienced anger… “I was a good mom”… “I didn’t cause or deserve this”… My exposure to Son-Rise had helped me immensely to begin my process, but I had not had enough time to digest the grieving feelings, or to face the emerging demons I have been fighting and throwing out the window over the last few months.

But this is a happy story. Last weekend was very different. I found myself answering the same questions, and noticing in a very palpable way how this feeling I’ve been having lately that we’re moving in the right direction is actually true. Joaquin has made huge progress from those days: The explosive language, constant smiling, excited sharing of emotions, complete inclusion of me in his activities, his much longer attention span, the emerging and so much welcome responsiveness to our requests, a significant outward alertness and willingness to take what we have to offer, to let us influence him and show him new things… Is all of this due to the Son-Rise therapy?… to the diet change?… to my new attitude?… or is it a normal consequence of getting older?… I’ll never know.

My gut feeling is that he was stuck, and had I not realized what was going on, he probably would not have developed in the same way (or pace) he has. I believe Son-Rise is a huge part in what has happened, because it has affected him and I, and just like we were once one when he was hooked to my bloodstream during pregnancy, we’re still one in the way how our energies connect and influence each other. And I suspect that this diet, which has completely eliminated all processed food, artificial ingredients, and refined sugar from his system, must be helping him take full advantage of our therapeutical efforts and whatever his brain/cells/genes are doing naturally to help him.

I wish I had more time to update this blog properly with all the incredible milestones we’ve reached during the last month. They have all been documented and scattered in quicker to update online outlets. So maybe, if you’re up for a story, you could check out my ongoing “scrapbook” on Flickr. In the meantime, let me just share a few very happy recent events as reported to all my friends on Facebook (what an irony!)

Sep 14: Just met with a very nice young woman really excited to become our first volunteer. Only a couple of days ago I had this tiny moment that shook me… I saw all the beautiful people that are meant to be in our team, wherever they are right now, finding out about us and starting to arrive to our home. She said that she feels this opportunity was meant for her. It’s all in motion; our people are on their way. I’m so excited!

Sep 23: Eliza’s 1st day went great! Our mission: Be super user-friendly and give Joaquin complete control. From tears at the first sight of Eliza to jumping together in the romper room, Joaquin ended up interacting, making very nice eye contact, and initiating physical contact with a complete stranger. He loved and tested us joining him (I hadn’t jumped this much in the last full month). It was so much fun!… She did great!

Things are really in motion. We’re all going somewhere. And I, for one, am starting to feel happier… lighter… truly delighted by my tiny little math geek who makes up short tunes and invites me to join them with a smile and mischievous look. It’s amazing how this thing I thought was a tragedy, has brought me to really fulfill that resolution I made on the day I decided I did want to become a mother. And to my complete surprise, I’m actually enjoying it. Just yesterday I realized that:

Sometimes I forget the most important thing, but then I get lucky to be with him during a very long ism. And during all those minutes I’m there doing exactly what he wants from me and nothing else, I start noticing chubby little hands clutching chalk and drawing passionately, huge round cheeks around that serious concentrated look, and I feel THAT THING that moves us so far up the mountain… The LOVE and AWE.

A happy Joaquin in his playroom
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