Autism And Its Challenges

luke at ATPLuke’s autism is a story I have chronicled so you could see the challenges we face. This disorder comes with a big price and it takes much determination to succeed. Along with Luke’s disability, he has significant cognitive delay. His mental age in my opinion (his mom) is about four years old. The question by some may be, “How does one live like this?” The answer is, “It depends.” For example, many people have their own commentary of quality of life. We all have “our truths” about that subject. So do we impose our idea of quality of life on the one that is actually suffering, yet he does not even know it? My perspective is pretty simple. Life matters. No matter at what stage or age you are in. Life matters. Why are others quick to pull away from their responsibilities? See what you think of my example below as I describe a week in the life of a mom and her son trying to find medical help. Sorry medical professionals–you seem to get picked on by me a lot.
We have had quite a week dealing with Luke’s need for dental surgery. I spent undo precious time trying to find a doctor willing to do the surgery for Luke without giving him General Anesthesia. Finally I found an oral surgeon willing to take the chance to do the procedure in his surgical suite under IV sedation. I am very grateful that Luke was taken care of there and the surgery was a success ( no general needed!).
The post op journey has not been easy though, but I believe we may have made it through the worst of it. We make a third trip to the dental surgeon this week, and I hope that will be it except for routine cleanings! I think Luke would agree. I wonder how many people could go through the agony of hearing from one doctor’s office after another not willing to care for Luke.
I say Luke will endure and maybe Mom will too! I am glad sometimes he does not understand the discrimination he gets. So many are still ignorant that Luke is human and made physically just like them. Anyway, this is just one example of how autism impacts families and brings undo burdens that should not be there.
There are dentists who actually say: ” I don’t take care of that kind of medical issue (even though they do) because there are “others” who will. I wonder which dentists are the “others?” For now our other was Dr. Sorenson. He was great as well as his competent staff and front office. In the photo –you will see Luke is still smiling!!! He always will.


12 thoughts on “Autism And Its Challenges

  1. janjoy52

    Jesus said whatever we do to the least of these, His brothers, we are doing it to Him. I like to look at all the people that cross my path and ask “Is that really You in there Jesus?” He comes is all kinds of disguises: cranky, aged, helpless, hurting, lost, joyful, questioning. Then I accept the challenge and say “How can I help You?” This was Mother Teresa’s motto. This, for her was, and not for me, is the joy in serving. This makes the burden easy to carry.

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Beautiful and eloquently stated. You know one thing I can say is that I do believe most folks really do want to help. It is that they are not sure how to help. I appreciate a doctor, for example, stating what they do not feel comfortable with, but if you went into the field of medicine you have a duty to do your job. Thank you for your kind comment.

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      The doctor looks like he is 20 years old! He had great staff and they all made us feel at ease and just like any other patient in the waiting area. That is all I ask for. Do your job just like you would for any other person!

  2. Donna S

    That is great that you were able to find such a willing doctor. Educating people on various disabilities would alleviate a lot of the problems that parents of special needs kids face. I truly believe that there is a 6th sense that most everyone has and we consciously or subconsciously pick up on those vibes. Kudos to that doctor and your perseverance in finding the right oral surgeon for Luke!

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      It does take a doctor extra time and I was grateful he was up for the challenge. I stay with Luke the entire time until he went to sleep and that was really good for Luke. I helped during the IV start and so forth and Luke was just a champ. He may not have fully understood what was going on, but the fact I was allowed to go back and talk in his ear the whole time ( familiar voice) was comforting to him I believe. It was easier on the staff too.

  3. Genevieve Petrillo

    Long ago when I was a young teacher, I wondered if I was up to the task of teaching a blind student in my sighted classroom. I had more questions than answers. The biggest question was, “What does he need from me?” I found out quickly it was – …exactly what everybody else needs from me. He just needed to be accepted, given only as much help as was necessary, and to share in the learning, laughter, and caring in our classroom. Just. Like. Everybody. Else.

  4. Garden Walk Garden Talk

    So much credit goes to you because without your persistence and patience, Luke would never have had the quality of life he has had though the years. I know you are the mom, but it really takes a special mom to have all the trials you face daily with a son not understanding much that is happening to him.


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