He's trying to tell me something.
But like a bud, unopened, his thoughts remain tightly wrapped within. I long to get inside his head. To know what he's thinking. How much he understands.
I want to see the world through his eyes. Know of his pain and fears, his hopes and joy.
If only I could break through that wall of silence and frustration.
Then, maybe, I could really help him.
I provided him with physical, speech, occupational and feeding therapy--sometimes all in the same week. I consulted with the best and most acclaimed therapists in the valley. We even attended a five week behavioral feeding program in New Jersey.
One of the many doctors I saw said, "I admire a mother who is prepared to go to the ends of the earth for her child."
"We recognize you're a force to be reckoned with," another doctor said.
But I didn't cure David of autism.
I can't fix him. I can't make it better. I can't give him a normal life.
I get to stand by, knowing of all he'll never do and all he'll never become.
Maybe he's unaware of his many losses, but I'm not.
So I hurt for him.
He'll always depend on others, never knowing the satisfaction of caring for himself, or the freedom of independent living. Confined to his own lonely world he'll never know the joy of marriage or the tenderness of holding his own child.
As he struggles to reach out and connect with others, I wonder if he'll ever have a friend.
I asked a 70-year-old friend of mine who has a disabled child if the pain ever goes away. She smiled wisely and shook her head, recounting how she now feels sad her 40-year-old son will never get married and have a family of his own."Each life phase brings a new reason for mourning," she explained.