Thursday, September 16, 2010

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

A fellow Autism Momma forwarded this email to me the other day and at first, I read it with myself in mind. But after a second read, I thought about my twins. They are seven now and the beginning of their short lives has not been an easy one. Not in the obvious sense, given their challenges. But in the sense that they have worked their asses off, putting in more effort to their 'work' than probably the majority of the adult work force.

My father-in-law, David just spent the summer with us. He suffered a severe stroke years ago and lost his speech. He has aphasia and the impact has been pretty significant; it has affected his ability to speak, he may know what he wants to say, but cannot find the words to express his thoughts. He sometimes has trouble understanding what other people are saying to him, he can still hear what is being said, but may not understand what they are saying. He sometimes has difficulty following conversations, particularly when the information is complicated or when many people are talking at once.

The irony wasn't lost on me. As we all adapted to this much more compassionate, patient and sometimes difficult communication, I had a deep sense of understanding that this is likely what my boys go through. David was able to verbalize to me, his extreme frustration in not being able to freely speak his mind. His hand slapped the table in emphasis as he fiercely stated "I am in here!". He explained that when conversations become too overwhelming, busy or complicated to follow, it is easier to mentally check out because of how exhausting it is to stay with it. 

Not only do 0wen and Will struggle every moment to be understood and to understand the people around them, but they work. HARD. 5 years of intensive home therapy- rarely a week goes by when a therapist doesn't come to the house. We tell them what to do. We give instructions. We correct. We reinforce. We assign tasks. We redirect. We drive them nuts.

All this to say that I recognize their efforts. Their courage is admirable. They don't know enough to quit. They take pride in their successes and they keep going. They really are my heroes.

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i appreciate their hard work as well...i am pretty sure you know i do intensive in home myself...some days it is hard and others leave me so uplifted just to spend time with them...

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