I assumed I had reached the heights in being blessed when God gave me two sons, but I can't describe the feeling of joy I experienced when I watched my grandson, Spencer, come into the world. I was the first to hold him and my love blossomed beyond words the minute I saw his face. It was like looking into his father's face so many years before, and that immediate bond that made my heart hurt surfaced anew.
Spencer looked normal, acted normal, and was a beautiful baby boy. I noticed from a very young age...even before he was a month old, when I held him tight in the rocking chair, he sang to me...a crooning little tune that tugged at my heart strings. Always a happy baby.
I don't recall when we noticed that he was delayed in his developmental milestones. He didn't roll over as early as he should have, which in turn delayed his sitting up, pulling to a stand, and everything beyond. It wasn't until WE approached his pediatrician and mentioned OUR concerns that he referred us somewhere.
After much playtime with home visitors who assessed Spencer, and testing at a major hospital, the diagnosis given was Global Developmental Delays NOS (Not otherwise specified)...a glorious name for an Autism that doesn't fit all the spectrum requirements. But no one tells you what you need to do, because they don't know. And sadly, the number of children diagnosed grows daily. Why aren't more people concerned?
Most children with severe Autism lock themselves away, but Spencer loves everyone. He stims...that crooning nose he started almost from birth, and flaps his hands when he's excited. He just turned seven, but he's much smaller than most of his classmates, and because of his delayed speech, harder to understand. He couldn't say "Grammy," so I became his "Nee Nee." Love it!
I've never met such a polite and thankful child. My children were never so well behaved, and I have no idea where he came by it. Certainly not from his parents. *lol* I'd been sick for a week and stayed away so as not to infect him, and when I picked up from school on Friday, he ran to me. "Nee, Nee, you're back. Are you better?" What a guy!
This year, we insisted that Spencer be mainstreamed. For the past two years he's been in a special education class with children who suffer more severe issues. These were his only role models, and he often came home with new habits that definitely weren't considered progressive. He's doing a great job in his first grade class, learning new things, numbers, letters, and coloring pictures which are almost within the lines.
To hear his voice, and be able to know what he needs, desires, or wants to share is a joy I cannot explain. Two years ago, he couldn't speak, and the frustration for both of us was unbearable. I had to point and guess. His only communication were hugs and the sign language the school taught him for "more." So not just this month, but because we're sharing what we are most thankful for, I present my grandson, Spencer. He is the light of my life and I learn something from him every day. It's because of him I want to stay healthy and stick around. I want to watch him walk across stage and get his High School Diploma with others, and never fear that someone will treat him as though he's different...even though he may always be. Thank you, God for blessing me with such a special gift.