What a Life

I’m Shari—once a carefree person with a vision of creating peace and seeking worldwide adventure, but somehow the signs I followed to paradise gave me a sobering dose of reality. Still, I try to keep my head in the clouds from time to time, singing in the aisles of grocery stores, smiling and starting conversations with strangers, adding joy to my day as well as others’.

I awake each morning believing today will be a better day. Hopefully my son Brent will call or send me a note. Next, as my doorknob wiggles, in comes my younger son Alec, who has Autism, and I hope he will spontaneously start a conversation. My mind begins to wander, searching through every way to help my son reach his potential. Some days, the brilliant ideas come streaming, others I draw a complete blank—but I do not give up.

Two weeks ago, as I dropped my son off at camp with the excitement of having a week off, I was hit with the news that he had to go home, since he could not take his prescribed CBD oil. The disappointment was shocking, but what happened next could not have come out of a movie… They told him his mom was terribly ill and that he had to go home to take care of her. This was an unnecessary, heartless act. He is always concerned about people’s well-being, and his dad had passed away only a year-and-a-half ago. But, just like I’ve taught my children, I turned lemons into lemonade. So the next day—Fathers’ Day—I awoke to ice packs covering my head.

As a mom of a son with Autism, there are days my heart dances and others where my heart aches. With his cocktail of drugs, my poor son is usually either sleepy or jumpy.  But yesterday we started a new combo CBD oil with Lexapro. It calmed him and increased his verbalization in a day. I of course know not to be too hopeful… However, I removed his Risperidone and Clonidine, replacing it with a much milder anxiety-controlling drug. Now my hope is to turn this calmness into a habit. I also added music therapy to his regimen, and I must say—after the third lesson, my son longs to play violin, guitar, piano, drums and the saxophone! The sessions blend positive behavior, calming techniques, and fun.

I hope one day to find a technique or device to help my son take back control of his behavior. Anxiety rules over many people on the spectrum, and they end up shortchanged. Who knows what lays on the horizon? I am hopeful that my son Brent will create something to help. Speaking of which, it’s time to give him a call.