One year ago, I transferred a number of Facebook notes that I had written about my family’s experience with autism to Blogger and started Lou’s Land. I didn’t really put a lot of thought into it. I didn’t think anybody cared what I had to say and only did it after being bugged by several friends to make my experiences public.
What I discovered was that not only did people seem to relate to my writing; I could entirely relate to the feedback that I got in return. People shared their life, their stories, their intimate fears, their joys and triumphs all of which helped to make me understand that we were not alone in our journey. Where one on one therapy had failed, the online autism community had healed me. When you are scared of what lies ahead and are searching for answers, it helps to find people that have been where you are and can show you where you are going.
My life is much different now. My marriage is stronger. I am way happier. My life has meaning and purpose and I have my blog and all the people that have taken the time to read one of my posts, watch one of my videos and reach out to me to thank.
Bianca is doing wonderfully. In the past year she has developed independent speech. She will ask for a drink or tell us that she is hungry. She follows directions and will even follow some that require her to interact with her siblings like giving a sippy cup to her brother. She usually sleeps through the night now. She sleeps in her own room and more importantly will tell us “Good night” when she is tired. She doesn’t elope nearly as often as she used to and when it is something that is routine, I rarely have to hold her hand. She walks in with me to therapy on her own every week. She loves to hit the automatic door opener. She will say “hello” and “goodbye” to people most of the time and when she doesn’t feel like saying it, she will at least be courteous enough to wave. She has been one of the greatest resources for teaching me about life and unconditional love. She taught me how to view the world completely differently.
My anger is no longer incorrectly directed towards my lot in life but towards the institutions and barriers that constantly try to deny parents of special needs children the opportunity to insure that their child will reach their full potential. To that end my resolve has strengthened tenfold and I will continue to chisel away however I can at anything that stands in my way until we prevail.
And on the days where I feel like all is lost, and things are hopeless; the days where I feel nobody cares about my child and her well-being… I know I have a place to go to in which I can draw comfort and strength.
Those are the total number of views Lou’s Land has generated for autism related media in one year… that I can tally. That isn’t including Twitter of Facebook views to countless links of autism related news and information.
Stunning really. Humbling. Energizing.
So on this, the one year anniversary of Lou’s Land. I just wanted to extend a simple “Thanks” for everything you have given back to me and for the courage I would have never found without you.