Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm thankful

for a supportive amazing husband
a best friend who really... there is no better in the world
for her husband
for our families
for visiting teachers
for amazing friends
for heavenly fathers timing
For sending my son a twin brother
for letting me get pregnant with coco before we had any signs from ra ra

 So long story made short
Our little ra ra got diagnosed with high functioning autism yesterday
 He's still my son but he has autism
he's not autistic.. that dosn't define him
 I cried a lot till there weren't any tears left
not that I havn't  cried the last 6 months but I finally had an answer and something to go off of
  I knew it was coming. 
I let go and let my heavenly father take charge. and as soon as I did things 
became clear and I felt strength flow into my body.
I know this is happening for a reason and he thinks we can do it so we're gonna flow with it.
  and I'd braced myself But it still hurts. 

It's going to be a long couple of years doing early intervention
What's good is that he is at the high end of the spectrum he talks.. he cuddles..he gives ok eye contact...  and has no repetitive behaviors.  And we just happen to live in the best city besides los angeles for autsim programs. They define it as a neurological disorder where the building bridges of his brain just arn't all the way formed we get to be bridge builders the next couple years
  so with lots and lots and lots of therapy and behavior patterning we can connect his brain bridges.
My theory on how it happened... it's genetics maybe an auto immune disease.. that was triggered by something either environmental or while he was in the nicu having a lack of oxygen to his brain

so later in life he might just be the shyer kid with some quirks you all know someone like that right
 think sheldon on big bang theory
nothing I don't like ...;)

It's overwhelming all the changes my little family will be going through the next year.
I Think I still have hope.. just a different kind... 
I'm trying to pull through the haze 

It's overwhelming at this stage knowing 
I will have a team of 4 people in my house very single day for the 
next 3 years doing intensive therapy on him
Not going to lie when I say I'm not sure how I feel about it
I hope I have time for my other kids and I learn to balance everything in my life

 I hope that My heavenly father will lift me make me strong that he'll help inspire me
 as to what I need to do for harrison on his road to recovery and being the best person he can be- 
I Hope I can educate people about autism. Be a voice for my son. 
So many people think of something so awful when they hear the word.. I know I did.
 I was wrong

 There are many things people can do to help it be less severe.. esp if its high functioning 
and you catch it early to help teach them things when there brains are the most capable of learning

He's not cold he shows love.. kisses me hugs me- he expresses emotion..basically he just learns in a different way and can concentrate really hard on things or be very non interested in things. He needs help with social norms and transitions from one thing to another

If it wasn't for a blog post on someone talking abut autism and him having a twin I never would have caught what was happening to my son that early. I'm so so grateful we caught it early

I'm thankful for early intervention, diet studies and the gospel that are giving me hope this week.

My one thought on this whole matter... 
I feel I need to express Because I'm an emotional person and I worry about this

Don't be afraid of my son
of talking to him- he might not look you in the eye quite yet but he's listening
He's not that different from you and I.
Don't be afraid to talk to me about it. In fact I'd love to tell you our story
I don't want to be stared at and pittied.
I'd rather you think of my son as a blessing
a blessing to teach me, us many people something about life.

a dear friend told me a story this week it struck a cord deep within my soul

It's like your on a trip to paris you've learned the language studied everything you get on the plane take the ride start to land and the pilot announces.....

Hmmm wasn't expecting Holland.. I'm a little sad.. but I bet Holland is beautiful too.
And Johnson said to me Bree you see the beauty in so much This is probably why RaRa was sent to us. Life seems so much bigger already. I'm beginning to see things differently...and although I hurt a lot right now I know it will eventually be a huge blessing in my life.
And we'll find bliss in the darkness

Thanks for the prayers we still need them the love the phone calls the food
We love you all
-the johnsons



  1. I love ya hun! And we adore all of your kids! Your strength is such a blessing and motivator to me! I love ya!

  2. That must be hard for a mother to go through. From what I've heard about autism, the people with it are geniuses. It may be a challenge for you, but sometimes our worst challenges are our biggest blessings. Good luck with everything!

  3. Let us know if we can help in any way, Bree. Seriously. Harrison is so lucky to be a part of your family, you are definitely the best Mom for him. I know a lady in Edmonton whose son has the same kind of autism, only he's a teenager now. I'm sure she'd be full of advice/tips, so if you'd like her number let me know :)

  4. Bree...I love you!!! Even though we don't get to see much of each other since we've moved. But I count you as a very dear close friend. I noticed through some of your posts on facebook that something was wrong. I'm away on my trip and just logged on to catch up on blogs cause it's too hot to sleep and came across your new post.
    Bree...You are a very blessed woman. Brandon said it beautifully when he told you that you see the beauty in pretty much everything. That is why little RaRa was sent to you. It's hard, and you've shed many tears...but you are strong, beautiful, full of grace and I know that you know that our hardest challenges turn into some of our biggest and greatest blessings. This is a blessing. For you, for your family and for everyone you meet. I love you. I love RaRa and miss playing with him on Sundays!!!! I'll call you when I am back. Thinking of you. C

  5. Ah, Bree I think that Brandon is right on! Harrison is such a beautiful child. I believe he will have many friends that will love & protect him as well as treat him like just one of the guys :) I'm so sorry you are hurting with this too and what an adjustment it will all be. I know we aren't close like we used to be but I will always love you and always care about you and your loved ones. Our prayers are staying with you babe.

  6. Bree, you're so sweet! I'm sorry you're going through a hard time, but I am so glad you have been given strength and hope and light! I feel like there is nothing I can say that you don't already know or that hasn't been said. I love you and will be thinking about you and your lovely family! Love you so much!!!

  7. He was totally sent to the right family. You are a very strong woman and with Heavenly Father's help, you can do this! He is such a doll and he will always be. xoxo

  8. I have read Welcome to Holland and Celebrating Holland (the sequel poem) many many times in classes and have shared them with parents. But I've never felt the meaning like you are right now. I love that you started this post with the distinction that Harrison has autism, he isn't autistic- he is Harrison, he will always be Harrison. The people you will work with are going to be wonderful. I had the opportunity to work with some therapists as well as professors who helped me work with children who have autism- neat people. I still look forward to when our visits to Utah align and we can get our kiddos together to play :) I'm glad you live in such a great area for early intervention as you know it really is the key. You are strong and I love your perspective on all this, we all have something to learn from you!

  9. You are just the mom RaRa needed. We are here to help you in any way possible.

  10. How blessed we all are for your example and your strength. I have known several kids with autism and they are wonderful people and go far in life with supportive people around them. Bill gates is highly functioning autistic actually and Adam used him to help one of his autistic students. Our prayers are with you and Brandon and Harrison. You are loved.

  11. Hey Bree,

    It's Kara, I was wondering if you would be willing to tell me more in detail about the symptoms that led you to seek diagnosis? We are working on figuring out my son right now as well, and he has communication issues, social issues, and transition issues. Anyway, just wanted to offer my support and yes, you are very correct, "autism spectrum" is very broad. He will bloom!

  12. I agree with everyone, Autism does not define who Harrison is. He IS Harrison.

    If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know. Even if it is just an emergency Crave run...;)


  13. Beautiful Bree ... just Beautiful!!! Love you :-)

  14. I recently had someone at the gym daycare ask me if Mason was autistic. I didn't know what to think. Maybe you could send me an email and tell me some of the signs? He's only 18 months, and I don't even know if it's a possibility, but I'm just wondering.

    You are such a great mom and I think you'd be surprised to find out how many parents have autistic children. Everything will be fine. My brother had a high functioning form of autism called aspergers syndrome. He's married with a cute little baby girl of his own now.