Hey Ladies, Happy PHAT Girl Friday!
Instead of the regular PHAT Girl Friday routine, this month I am doing something very special. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I am spotlighting some amazing women who are the mothers of children with autism. I pride myself on being my sister’s keeper and while I am not the mother of a autistic child, I can name many who I love. Yes, I could load you up with all of the Internets stats but that is not my thing, I think that we learn and grow more from one another which is why I decided to share ” Blue Chronicles.”
“I DON’T DEAL WITH AUTISM, AUTISM DEALS WITH ME!”
This bold statement is one the Kinderia Greene lives by as the mother of a smart, fun loving young man who happens to have autism. As a dear friend of mine, Kinderia opened my eyes to what it means to have a child with autism many years ago. While I have other friends and family members with autistic children, until Kinderia and I developed a friendship; I was very ignorant to what autism was and what it meant to parent an autistic child. I have watched her active her faith despite what others said about her son Tiger and his diagnosis; like any mother, she has never given up on her son.
Kinderia son Tiger is now 14 years old and while they have had many challenges, she wouldn’t change a thing. Growing up as a pastor’s daughter and knowing the power of prayer, Kinderia allowed her relationship with God to strengthen her. She has learned so much on her and Tiger’s journey and she is always open to sharing what she has learned with other mothers. Below you will find a few valuable gems that Kinderia dropped in an effort to support, empower and encourage other mothers and loved ones of Autistic children.
Noticing the change…
“I discovered Autism quite different than most stories that I have heard… up until the age of three my son and I had a quite verbal relationship. We sang together. We laughed together. I can remember one day going to the dollar store and purchasing a notebook, then writing all his colors and letters and numbers in the book and every day we would go through the book and recite everything in it. While going through the ritual I must mention that I was married and had become pregnant. Well… pregnancy did not stop our Special notebook time but after I gave birth to his sister Kayla I noticed that there was a decline in our interaction. I took Tiger to get his shots and it grew worse. I went from hearing bits and pieces to nothing at all. It was then when I knew something was wrong with my baby.”
Learning that your child has any issues can be a hard pill to swallow for any mother, but it is important to be realistic and tackle things head on…
“I think that I was the last one convinced. Only because Tiger was talking and suddenly stopped talking I kept thinking that it could not be autism but it had to be something else… now as far as the paperwork is concerned I think I can remember it being about a month. From going through the doctors to teachers and from the teachers back to me… all within a months time…”
What challenges us, makes us strong!
“One of the greatest challenges I have faced has been the fact that Tiger was non verbal and highly active. He would end up in places without any explanations… he would end up with bruises without any explanations and he would laugh, smile and cry…. WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION. I never knew what was going on with him. I had to become his own personal detective. I had to spend time with him while he played outside, while he played video games, while he was asleep, while he was at school. As a mom there wasn’t a moment in his life that I wanted to miss. I gained knowledge after a few months… I knew what every grunt meant, what every look was for, what every tear was for; it was as if I could read his thoughts and people thought I was crazy. Lol! I knew they would be lying on him by the look on his face… what was once a challenge is now just a memory. Fast forward to right now Tiger passionately expresses himself through television talk… the medical term for it is echolalia… He will burst out with any thing any where! Imagine being in church and one of the ladies in church are singing and your son belts out “Umm Are You Done Yet?” It’s moments like this that are comical yet can often be quite challenging to explain”
Word from the wise.
“I would like to STRESS to any parent to TRUST your instincts. Many times we see signs in our children but because we are afraid of what society may think of our child we tend to hid the obvious. Know that the longer you hide the problem the harder it will be to correct it!!”
“As far as resources are concerned… guess what?? YOU will be your best resource!!! Yes you!! Why? Because Children with Autism are often repetitive… keep a journal of their day. Things that your child like and dislike …. no 2 children are the same… after a while you will be able to refer back to your own references to see why your child is acting out… or what happened to cause your child’s day to be disrupted”
“Like many other Special Need Children my Tiger carries a Special inner strength. There has not been one single day that Tiger has not laughed and or cracked a smile, he is the most joyful person you would want to be around (and I’m not only saying it because he is my son)! Tiger has been through bullying but came out smiling…. broken bones but came out smiling…. death of a pet but got through it and came out smiling… it’s as if he knows that his strength is in his joy. That is definitely a lesson that I learn from him each and every day….”
” I never imagined that I would be saying that for two years straight Tiger has made all A’s. Recently, Tiger has accepted an invitation to participate in the Special Olympics on a State Level in Track and Field. He constantly brings smiles to the faces of all those around him and is a reminder that you can outlive a label!!!”
Did I mention that Kinderia and her husband have a gospel duet called Nu Purpose and they travel the world spreading the gospel? While traveling and singing God’s praises, she never hesitate to share her truth with the others. She knows that her faith carried her so much further than her fears on this journey with Tiger. She is now using her knowledge and influence to draw greater attention to the needs of special need children and their families through her “Blue Awards”.
The “Blue Awards” is a new and amazing project for Kinderia in which 10 children become celebrities for a day. For more information on the “Blue Awards” click HERE!
One thing that I know without question is that being a mother is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs that a woman can ever have. While our children and the situations we encounter my be different, we can all relate to love that our heart feels for our children.
Wouldn’t you ladies agree that my friends is pretty darn amazing ? Chime in ladies and show Kinderia some love!