It’s gonna be wild…


Dear Wilson,

Hi. You are three months old now. You can hold your head up, you smile and laugh. You also lose it when we go somewhere new or there is too much going on. I totally get that. I’m the same way, I just have words to express it.

I have been praying for you since the day I found out you were on your way. I have been praying for you to be kind, brave, and open. I have prayed for you to be healthy, happy, and free from heartache.

But, really, what I have prayed is that God would save your soul. That He would open up your heart, and that, in turn, you would let Him in.

Today, I heard a new song. I sat there, and I prayed it for you.

I have dreams for you, son. I want you to grow up, learn, go to college, love to read, and marry a really nice girl who loves you as much as I do. I want you to impact the world for good. I want you to hug orphans and feed the hungry. I want you to see the world and worship the God who made it.

But the truth is my plans are nothing compared to what God has for you.

The song says:

I have a plan for you. I have a plan for you.

It’s gonna be wild.

It’s gonna be great.

It’s gonna be full of Me.

And, I want this song to be your anthem, Wilson. I want you to open your heart to Jesus. He has some wild plans for you. They are going to be great. They are going to be scary sometimes. They are going to be confusing. They will make you laugh and cry and wonder.

But, they will be full of Him. And that’s the best part.

Daddy and I love you. So much. And God loves you so much more.

He has a plan for you.

I love you,



I See You

This morning was just like all the other seemingly endless mornings that have come since Wilson was born. I woke up, he cried, I fed him, he cried, he laughed, he talked, he screamed at me while he did tummy time, and then I opened the door to leave to go on a run and there was something on my doorstep.

It was a little metal pail. It had a card in it, a giftcard, a bath sponge, some lipgloss, and a facial mask.

I quickly opened the card, and read the kind note inside, and flipped it over and over and looked and looked and nothing.

There was no name on this besides “To: Kacy”.

It was anonymous.

I teared up.

Because it’s been a hard go around here, guys. Really hard. I love my son. I love my husband. I struggle. Since Wilson arrived, I have been seriously struggling. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel multiple times, pack my bag, and move to Canada. I just can’t seem to get it right. I can’t seem to please my husband and be the wife he needs me to be. I can’t seem to get my son to stop screaming when we go anywhere that’s not our home. I can’t seem to be a good friend, sister, or daughter. I’m constantly pulled in multiple directions and I feel under so much pressure to get it right.

And I don’t even know what “right” is!

And when I opened the door today, there was more than just a gift sitting there. There was encouragement. There was someone saying “I see you”. Someone, whoever it was, sees me trying, sees me caring, sees me wanting to do what’s best, and they wanted to let me know.

And even more than them letting me know, God was letting me know that He sees me. He sees those struggles. He sees those moments when I want to give up and scream and I don’t, and He says “Good job”. He sees me working hard at this new role I’m in, and He knows that I need encouragement sometimes. And He knows my needs, and He gives me what I need. He doesn’t give me a peaceful home, with a giggling baby, and a marriage that is conflict free, but He gives me grace to continue to work and fight and dream.

He sees me. And He loves me. And He sees you, too. He knows how hard you’re working, and how tired you are. He knows how hard it is to love your spouse and care for your children. He knows your heart and He loves you, and He sees the good work you are doing, even when it seems no one else does.

And, honestly, as long as God sees me, everything else is just icing on the cake.

P.S. I think we should all get in the habit of dropping off anonymous gifts of encouragement to others. Because, sometimes, people need to be seen and loved and given a little “good job”.

Life, Planned Parenthood, and Grace.

I usually don’t weigh in on political topics, at least not on any sort of public forum. I have many opinions, but I tend to keep them to myself unless asked. So, this post is not my foray into political rantings, but I felt it was something I wanted to share. Before I start, I will share that I am prolife, I do not believe abortion is right and I think babies are humans the moment of conception.

I was awake this morning, feeding my infant son, who was eating, screaming, eating, farting, eating, screaming, and repeat. And, as I looked as his little hands and ears, my thoughts when to Planned Parenthood and abortion. It wasn’t the usual “abortion is evil and let’s bomb the clinics and evil evil evil” that we have all seen recently. I just got sad. And it wasn’t sadness for the babies, it was sadness for the mothers. I kept thinking of them, taking a test, being alone, being young, scared, not able to handle it, not willing to handle it, and making the decision to abort. And I wanted to give them a hug. Because being a mom is terrifying.

Honestly, being a mother is scary enough with support. When I took the test at the gas station in November, I was scared. I spent the entire afternoon afraid of what the reaction was going to be, and afraid of our ability to raise a child. We weren’t planning on having a baby for a few years, so Wilson was a complete surprise.

I can’t imagine what my feelings would have been had I not been married, not had a committed partner, not had a good job, not had a support system and loving family, and especially not had a relationship with God.

I don’t know what I would have done. And so I have been thinking of these mothers today, and thinking of them watching TV or scrolling Facebook and being shamed over and over again by pictures of babies and baby parts and videos and memes about caring about lions more than children, and how judging someone gives Satan a huge foothold. Imagine the things being whispered to those girls from that liar! He’s saying things like “You did that to a baby. You are evil. You are gross. You are worthless. Everyone hates you. God hates you. God hates murder and you murdered a baby.” I mean, Satan is a seriously piece of crap and he won’t stop at anything to shame someone and take them down.

I just want Satan to lose that foothold. I want God to come in and clean the hearts and minds of women who have chosen abortion and shine His love on them. I want them to know that God loves them, regardless of the past, regardless of the future, He sent His son to die for them and they are clean. I just want those mommas to be able to sleep at night and know they are precious, loved, and cherished. There is no shame for those in Christ Jesus.

And I want the church, and people who love God, to do something. I want the church to be a place apart from judgement of the unmarried or single mom. I want the church to be a place where a pregnant woman can come and say “I don’t want this baby, can you help me?” and there will be actual help for them. A family to walk with them through pregnancy, a family to take the baby they carried, a family to help them heal afterward. I want more people to step up and say “I’ll adopt. I’ll help you pay your medical bills. I’ll do whatever I need to do so you know there are other options”.

I want healing. I want those babies to live. And I want those moms to know there are choices, options, and grace. Can we show them the love they need, the grace they need, and the hope they long for? I think that would go way further in stopping abortion than a meme about a lion on Facebook. Because we may never stop government, but we can show women who feel this is the only option, that there are more options. And if we can show love, hope, and grace, we may not need to stop the government, because the demand can dwindle. Let’s love each other, show grace and mercy and remember that we are not the judge.

Because we are all sinners, we are all gross, evil, and full of yuck.

But God.

Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

So being a mom is hard…

Here’s the thing I can’t really stand about society: There’s little freedom to struggle and say what needs to be said, say what needs to heard, and express the truth of your heart, and not be judged for it.

I have found this to be true in many avenues in life, but none more so than the pressure of being a new mommy. Here’s what the world thinks and wants mommies everywhere to portray: “This child came out of me, I loved him the instant I saw him, my heart is so full, being a mommy is amazing, ect”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did love Wilson the moment I saw him, but I had loved him for a while, so it wasn’t this intense, all powerful dream sequence or anything. And being a mom is amazing. Sometimes, it’s amazingly fun, amazingly enjoyable, amazingly wonderful. Sometimes, it’s amazingly exhausting, amazingly annoying, amazingly overwhelming, amazingly difficult. Sometimes, I just want to be amazingly selfish and reclaim the right to my own boobies!

It’s hard to be a mom. It’s hard work to know that an entire other person relies on you, in the literal sense. He needs me to survive, I am his source of food. Collin and I are his source of warmth, comfort, cleanliness, and well-being. (No pressure there!)

And I just wonder if other moms feel the same way. Does anybody else get frustrated when you just fed, burped, changed, held and rocked your baby and they still fuss? Does anyone else get mad in the middle of the night because you’re awake? Does anyone else get scared that the pressure of raising a child, keeping your husband happy, and being fulfilled in your personal life might just be too much? Does anyone else struggle with the constant giving up of yourself, your body, and your time?

Here’s the thing I wish more moms would say to each other. I wish they would just say “Yes, I feel that way.” or “I totally felt that way when my kids were newborns and eventually they will sleep.” or “I don’t feel that way, but I can see how someone could because mommies work hard”.More than anything, I wish they would just say to each other “Good work. You are doing a great job.”

Because you are. Don’t forget it.


Wilson’s Birth Story


Wilson Daniel Davis

Born June 13, 2015

Weight: 6lbs Length:19 inches

It all started on Monday, we had just released from school for the summer, I’m only 36 weeks pregnant, and I lost my mucus plug at 4 in the morning. (gross, I know, but it plays a role in the whole birthing a child thing, along with a lot of blood, poop, and boobies). I woke Collin up, told him I lost my plug, put all the baby clothes in the washer and went back to sleep. I woke up around 8 and started packing. I packed my bag, baby’s bag, and finished organizing the nursery as much as possible. I texted my midwife, she said it could be 24-48 hours but try to keep baby inside me until 37 weeks, because I am completely in charge of nature and how this will progress. Not.  So, I stopped walking, only rode the bike at the gym, and stopped running. And I waited. On Wednesday, I started having contractions. It was false labor, but they were lasting about 45 seconds and were not regular, but they were uncomfortable.

By Friday morning, they were painful. They weren’t lasting a minute yet, and were only about 15 minutes apart, so I knew it wasn’t time yet, but I knew the time was getting close. I was having to stop and rest when I was having contractions, and I was in pain. I had plans to see a movie with a friend, but had to cancel, mainly because I was terrified to drive and afraid I would go into labor far from home, and with the family history of fast labors, I didn’t want to risk it. So, I stayed home, drank some wine, and tried to sleep. I slept in between the contractions, and woke up exhausted on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, we called the midwife and went to the office to see her and get checked out. I was 4 cm dilated, and 100 percent effaced. People can walk around for weeks like that, but I knew it wouldn’t be long. My mom had fast labors with all her children, and my sister had a kid in like ten minutes or something, so I was thinking we had about four hours. I saw the chiropractor for some hip pain, and it spurred things on. Collin went to get us some lunch, and we headed home around 11:45. We were home about an hour and a half and called the midwife again, because it was time. This kid was coming. I was ready to finally stop crawling around on the ground in pain and just get this thing going! By the time we got to the birthing center, I was dilated to a 7 and we were ready to go. We called family and told them we were headed there, and my mom was the first to arrive. She and my sister, Amy, came in the birthing room to say hi and then everyone was asked to stay in the waiting room. I think they didn’t really want to see me as much as check out where this kid would be born because I am the first in my family to use a birthing center. Don’t worry, mom, they clean them very well.

The contractions intensified, and they were so painful. I could feel them starting and would dread the pain in my back that meant another one was on its way. I got in the pool and the warm water felt really great. After about 45 minutes of laboring, I got back out and she checked me. I was a 9 and she needed to break my water. Once she did that, it was the worst time of my life. Thought I would die. Seriously. And when I wasn’t thinking I would die, I wanted to die.

I was in the water, and she told me my body would let me know when it was time to push. She was checking me, and they were monitoring my heart after each contraction, and monitoring baby every few minutes. I was ready to push, and I had no idea that my body would force me to. I thought “yeah, right. I am just pushing and getting this over with”. Luckily, she guided me through pushing, and I managed not to cuss, tear, or pass out from strain. I think the main things I said were “Get it out of me! Get out of me! I want to die! This is awful! Jesus, please help me!”. And then, in a moment that can only be described as the biggest relief of my entire life, the baby came out, into the water, and I reached down and pulled the baby out of the water. I looked down and said “oh, it’s a boy”. And I pulled him up, he cried a bit, Collin cried, and I was just completely in awe. The midwife turned off the light, no one spoke except Collin and me. We prayed for Wilson. It was beautiful to finally meet this little boy who I felt I already knew. When I saw him, and I discovered he was a boy, I thought “of course, he could be nothing else. He’s perfect”. It was like hugging an old friend, someone I’ve known so well for so long, and finally can see. And, it was like all those pounds i gained, all the tears i shed, all the times I worried, were just placed to the side, because he was worth it. He was worth the sickness, the pain, the annoyances, the pregnant longing. He was worth it. He is worth it.

Once we got out of the water, we both got checked out and then headed to the herbal bath. After the bath, all the family came in to see Wilson. We introduced the little man, Wilson Daniel Davis, to everyone. We had known we would name him Wilson, whether he was male or female, but hadn’t decided on a middle name. We picked Daniel. Daniel, a strong man, who stood for what was right, fought when faced with death, and honored God with his words and life. We pray Wilson will love and honor the Lord as Daniel did. Plus, any dude who can hang with lions all night, gets my vote! My mom and stepdad, Collin’s parents, Bethany and Reynolds, and my sisters Amy and Kyle came to see him. Collin helped Ann, our midwife, weigh and measure Wilson, and then we ate dinner, chatted with family, and went home. (not our home, we stayed with my mom for 2 weeks, which I highly recommend).

It was the most surreal experience of my life. I woke up with a person inside of me, and changed that same person’s diaper before I went to bed that night. Everyone, niece, nephews, dad, and stepmom, met him on Sunday at my mom’s house. It was wonderful to see how Max, Graham, and Olivia were excited by him and loved him. I am so excited for him to grow up and be friends with his cousins. He is going to have a blast!!!

Wilson, you are so loved. I can’t even explain it. You were a complete surprise, we didn’t plan you, we were overwhelmed when we found out you were on your way, but God planned it. And God does good things. He did a great thing when he made you and gave you to your daddy and me to care for, teach, and love. And we will do whatever we can to lead you well.


Baby Shower #1

Yesterday, my older sister, Kyle, my younger sister, Amy, and my best friend, Laura, hosted a baby shower for me. It was my first, and honestly, I was a little overwhelmed. Earlier in the day I had lost my keys, causing a 90 minute delay in my day, so I was a bit rushed when I arrived at Kyle’s house, and worried about the keys and just feeling a little off. (Don’t worry, Collin found the keys, they had fallen into a crack and ended up under the backseat where the spare tire is. Naturally, the first place I looked).

We ate food and then everyone sat in the living room and shared how they knew me, and a piece of parenting advice. Here are some I took to heart:

-From my own mother “I have no advice. Just pray a lot”

-From a mother of 5 “Teach your kids to play by themselves, for your own sanity.”

-From my friend Ruthie (not a parent, but taught with me for a few years)- take a break, it’s ok to step out and regroup.

-From my sister, Kyle- “Just ask for help. Don’t let it get too far gone before you ask for help, even if it’s the first day”

-From my cousin, Micah, mother of twins- “Don’t panic. It’s ok to cry, just don’t panic. It will be ok”.

-From a mom of two-“The to-do list can wait, take a break, listen to your kids, and look at what they want to show you”

-From my mom’s friend , JoAnne, mother of four girls “Read to your child. Start on day one. And always remember, you are the best parent for your child. God chose you to be your baby’s mother, and you are the best one for the job. He will help you, pray and ask for guidance.”

I was grateful for so many things yesterday. For those words, for my husband who looked for those keys, for my sisters and Laura who spent so much time on us, and for the women who loved on our sweet baby. I am 31 weeks today, with 9 weeks left until the due date. 🙂

Letter to Baby W. Davis

Dear Baby,

Your dad calls you “Little Willie” so addressing this to “Baby” sounds weird to me. You’ve been in there for 30 weeks, which is a really long time. It has felt like it has flown by, but it also seems like forever ago that I found out you were growing inside of me. We went to see Ann last week, the midwife, and she tells me you are active, healthy, head down, and looking good.

I want to tell you so much, I have so much to say. I know it will be a long time before you can read, or understand anything that I say, really. But know that so many people love you. Every day, I watch you move in my stomach, I feel you kick and turn and I must admit, it’s quite bizarre. You move a lot. I feel you the most around 10:30 in the morning until about 3, and then again at night when I’m laying down to go to sleep. Almost every single night, your dad talks to you, and you kick him in the face. It’s neat to see him talk and you respond.

Yesterday, I started thinking about what I want for you in life. Of course, what I want is nothing compared to what God has for you, because He plans great adventures and greater love than even I can imagine. But there are so many wonderful things that God has given us as gifts in this world, and I want you to see them all.

I want you to know what it is to fully trust God. Fully trust that He will provide what you need, because He will. Fully trust and rest in the knowledge that He will not forget you, leave you, drop you on your head, abandon you, or forsake you. Fully trust that He is for you, He is with you, and He sees everything your heart cannot express. When you are happy, He is glorified. When you are sad, He holds those tears in his hands, He knows every thought and dream you have, and He has dreams for you, too. I want to you to know that and trust that.

There will be times in your life when it will hurt. Your heart will break, you will question God’s goodness, you will be sad and cry. I have had those times, and they can be so difficult and hard. You can tell me what’s on your heart, you can tell your daddy what’s on your mind, and you can ALWAYS tell God what’s going on. Even if you are mad at Him, it’s ok. He can handle that, and He wants to hear you. And if you are mad at me, or daddy, or someone else, tell us. It’s ok to be mad, it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to question and wonder and express all your thoughts.

There will be times when you are so happy and joyful, too. And those times are so fun! It’s so fun to play in the sunshine, laugh with others, sing silly songs, jump into swimming pools, and explore. And when you feel so happy in your heart that you don’t have words for it, know that is God. You can say “thank you” to Him for yummy foods, tickles, sleeping late, funny movies, playing games with cousins, and laughter. God made those times because He is good.

God made you before you were even growing inside of me. He knows every single day of your life, He planned them. He knows how many hairs are on your head, what color that hair is, what color your eyes are. He has known that forever, because He has formed you. You are a work of art, and God is the artist. So whether you are short or tall, athletic or not, brunette or blonde, God planned it that way. Whether you have eyes that see far or you need glasses, whether you have ears that hear or need hearing aides, whether you have freckles or not, God chose that and He didn’t make a mistake. There are no mistakes in His creation. He made each person exactly how He wanted them to be. Sometimes, I think He made a mistake in the way my body is shaped, and I know what it’s like to feel ugly, but I do not want you to know that sadness. I fight that lie each day, and I will teach you how to fight lies, too. I pray each day that you love who God made you to be, and that you are healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

More than anything, I want you to know we are excited to meet you, you are wanted, loved, and cared for. You are coming into a world full of people who love you already. You have many people in your cheering section, waiting to encourage you to do the wonderful things you will do. You are loved by mommy and daddy, and even greater than our love is the love of God, who created you and gave you to us. You are loved, you are safe, you are prayed for, you are wanted, and you are celebrated.

We cannot wait to meet you!




Head Down

We went to the midwife last week, she felt the baby and told me it’s head down, facing left, and ready to head out. She then let me know it was time to start coming in every two weeks for checks and time to register for birthing class. It’s almost time.

I am at 30 weeks today. And all I keep thinking is that at any moment this child could be born and would survive. I’ll be honest, my emotions are all over the place. Part of me just wants it to be over, I’m ready to run without being uncomfortable, I’m ready to ride my bike, I’m ready to have a diet dr. pepper the size of a car. Part of me wants baby to stay in longer, because I have no idea what the other side of this looks like and at least I can sleep right now.

Occasionally, very occasionally, I will find myself worrying about what this baby will be like. I see all sorts of disorders and struggles, and I get afraid. I am afraid that the food I’ve eaten, the caffeine I’ve ingested, the hours I’ve spent walking and working out this pregnancy will somehow break my child. I’m afraid that my child will struggle in life in heartbreaking ways. I fear my child being hurt, being bullied, being afraid, not loving who they are, struggling with anxiety, and whatever else comes to mind at the moment. (currently, it’s my child having gender confusion because we are all being inundated with Bruce Jenner). At other times, I find myself just thinking “This kid is going to rock my world. He/She will sleep well, eat well, and be calm. They’ll love long runs and walks in the jogging stroller, and even more than that, they will be born quickly, with ease, and in a calm environment”. It’s one or the other. It’s extremes.

Collin and I were talking about this on Saturday. He said he was talking with his friend and just saying “we’re doing the best we can, and we have no control over what happens with the baby, but we won’t blame God or each other. There’s no room for that.” And it’s true. We cannot control this child, this child’s life, this child’s thoughts and actions, but we can do our best. We can pray and seek God, and pray over our home, and be honest with emotions and struggles. We can have  a home that is a safe place to talk about the good and the bad, where we are accepted for who we are and challenged to be better.

And I think of this as battle. Just as Baby has its head down and is ready to take on the world, I will put my head down and march forward. I will keep my eyes on God, knowing that no matter what happens, it will be ok. He’s got this. And I have learned that lesson so many times in life, but I am starting to believe it. I am at peace with this baby coming into the world. I am confident that God is going before Collin and I and He is doing things. He is working, and no matter what He plans for our family, He is good, and we will be okay. We will grow and learn to love and learn to live and He has never failed, so He won’t leave us out to dry now. We are all head down now. It’s coming. And I am excited.

March has come and gone…

Well, March has come and gone, and with it, lots of activities. I feel like we have been so busy with birthdays, school, easter, spring break, ect. It was nice to have that week off, although, it came a little too soon after the snow days. I could probably have better used it in mid-April.

We spent a few days in Fayetteville, Arkansas over Spring Break. Collin wanted to play in a disc golf tournament, so we went up there, spent a few nights in a bed and breakfast, and hung out in town. It was misty and a little cold, so we’ll have to revisit when it’s warmer and hike.

Later in the month, we celebrated my 31st birthday and my niece, Livi’s first birthday. Collin and I spent the night in a bed and breakfast in Fort Worth, had dinner at Spiral Diner, and woke up early in the morning to run a 5k! I ran from the B&B to the race, ran the race, and then ran back. We then had breakfast, hung out, got some lunch, and headed to Livi’s party. After Livi’s party, we had dinner and FroYo with my family. It was a busy weekend, for sure, but it was so nice. I really enjoyed my time with Collin and how thoughtful he was.

March came to an end and we celebrated Easter weekend. Collin and I attended church on Saturday night, and Sunday morning his parents and sister came over. We all went to my mom’s house to have lunch and an egg hunt. There were a lot of people there, which was a little overwhelming for me. It’s been hard for me being pregnant because I get a lot of attention for it. Everyone wants to talk about my body and comment and I just get so overwhelmed. It’s been difficult for me, but I am learning to be okay with the attention because it means people care about us and the baby. I’m 27 weeks today, baby is growing, and we are a month away from baby showers. It’s getting real, people! And in about 13 weeks, a little baby will be gracing us with its presence. I’m getting more and more excited, that is for sure. 🙂

Here are some shots from Spring Break:

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Here are a few shots from Livi’s 1st Birthday:

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And here are some Easter pictures:

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And because we live in Texas, bluebonnets:

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If you know one child with Autism…

It’s World Autism Awareness Day. It’s estimated 1 in 68 children are on the Autism Spectrum (although who really knows). There is little that is actually concrete about Autism. I usually only say one thing as “fact” when I speak about it. I say “If you know one kid with Autism, then you know One kid with Autism” because they are all so vastly different in ability, intellect, and interest.

I started working with kids with Autism almost by accident. I was 21, and a girl I knew from church said a family where she worked was looking for a person to work a few days a week with their son at the daycare. He had Autism. I was familiar with Autism because there was a boy with Autism in the Sunday School class I taught, and my mom was friends with his mom. But that was about it. I didn’t understand functions of behavior, I didn’t understand speech delays, I didn’t understand stimulatory behavior. I didn’t know what I was getting into. Or how much I would love it.

The first few days, I worked closely with another therapist and the Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to learn what we wanted to work on with him and the programs we were going to run. I learned how to track behavior (later learning that everyone has their own little system, so learning to track starts again with each new client/job). I learned how to ignore maladaptive behavior and reinforce appropriate behavior. I learned how to get a kid to engage with another child and how to become a reinforcing presence in the room. I learned what to ignore, what to engage, and what to challenge.

And then, I changed my major. I didn’t want to teach general ed anymore. I wanted to help families and children with developmental delays, I want to make an impact on someone for their whole life. I wanted to reach into the world of Autism and engage a child who is trapped in there. So I changed my major, and I started working with Special Needs kids at my church, and when I graduated, I got a job at a small non-profit school in Grapevine. (This school is by far the best school I have ever seen for children with Autism, it’s now a part of Easter Seals North Texas). I learned how to engage typically developing children and children on the spectrum at the same time, I learned how to take data, modify curriculum, use a device for speech, and change things up on the fly. And that was the first year there, after that I taught in Honduras, then came back to Easter Seals, did individual therapy, and then ended up in Special Education in a public school. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in my almost 10 years of working with kids on the spectrum, and I am so glad to have love and known so many students.

But I think the biggest thing I ever learned was how to treasure a child for who they are, instead of getting frustrated because they were not who they “should be”. There is rarely a day that goes by that I do not struggle and get frustrated. Children on the spectrum can be very trying, they can have violent behavior, they can be destructive, and they can drive a teacher up the wall. I would be lying if I said that’s not true. But, for some reason, I keep coming back to them. I guess it’s for those moments when they “get it”. When, all of the sudden, they listen and follow instructions independently. When they answer to their name, when they read a sentence, when they remember something that was told to them, when they have success. It’s not the big victories I rejoice in, although those are awesome. It’s the day the student finally signs the correct day of the week, it’s the time they sit at the table the correct way, it’s the day they can go to the restroom independently, or make a sandwich on their own. It’s that day when they remember the answer to question, or call you by your name. It’s little things.

I guess what I love about students with Autism is their genius. The way that they figure out how to communicate with you, if you’ll listen. The way they look at the world around them, and explore the things we all find mundane. (Like the student obsessed with vaccum cleaners or the one who always turned his toys upside down, just to check it out).  I love how they listen, they learn, and when they are ready, they’ll show you what they know.

I think what the world needs more of is people who are willing to change how they listen, because if we can change how we listen to those around us, we would probably learn a lot. If the whole world could see that Autism does not equal stupidity, and that the behaviors displayed have a purpose, I think we would all be more accepting of all sorts of differences.

There are ways we can all help those with Autism:

-don’t stare when a meltdown happens. Who knows why it’s happening, and most likely, the child cannot control themselves. (it could come from lights being too bright, a song that hurts their ears, or fear of crowds)

-if a person with autism walks too close to you, ignore it. Who cares if someone got in your space for 5 seconds?

-if you know a family with a child on the spectrum, offer to babysit, or pay for a babysitter for them. It can save families.

-if your child’s friend has a sibling with Autism, invite them to birthday parties, and let it go if they grab the cake or scream.

-an Autism meltdown does not equal a temper tantrum. And it’s not mom’s fault. Sometimes, it is because they didn’t get what they want, but that’s not mom or dad’s fault, so stop the dirty looks. For the love of pete.

-JUST LET IT GO. Yes, a person will autism might yell, or grab something, or flop on the ground. Who cares? They aren’t harming you. They are trying to live their lives and they are doing the best they know how to. They may be dressed oddly, or only like the same shirt because it has no tags. It doesn’t matter. And if you explain that to your children, that everyone is different,  that they are doing the best they can, and that there’s a reason for what’s happening, then the next generation might be a little more kind.

So, if you’re a parent, caregiver, or sibling of a person with Autism, you are doing wonderfully. You can do this, and your child is a treasure. If you’re the teacher of a person with Autism, you might get frustrated, but you are changing lives. And if you have Autism, you are loved and amazing and made by God.