Summer Francois
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My Journey

Autism

The Ashworths

Let me introduce myself. My name is Summer and I am 37 years old. I am also the mother of two beautiful who both happen to have Autism. My oldest Sebastian is 7 and has ADHD/Aspergers Syndrome. My youngest, Ryder, is 5 year sold and has Nonverbal Autism. I never thought I would be taking this journey, but wouldn't change anything for the world. Being a parent is hard enough, but a parent with a child with Autism is a whole other level. Maybe discussing my experiences may help another parent dealing with the same thing.

My youngest was diagnosed first in 2016, when he was three years old. At his yearly checkup, I had voice the concern that he was not talking yet. His doctor then referred us to one of the local Autism places. We went in, they talked with us and observed him playing with his brother. While observing him, they also observed old oldest who was five at the time. At the end of the session they told us Ryder was showing all the signs of Nonverbal Autism. They continued to tell us they believe our old was showing signs of Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD. After two weeks of observation they were both diagnosed.

At that moment I felt like a failure as a parent and felt so many emotions at the same time. I was feeling everything from failure to anger to sadness, etc. I prayed about and realized this was not me or my husband's fault, but that God just just needed two more special angels on earth and he chose our beautiful boys. And he chose us to be their parents.  We learn new things every day raising them to the best of our ability. They are both very, very smart, loving, and remarkable young boys. I couldn't be any prouder.

I tell you the first time I heard someone run their mouth about my boys, I was ready to go to jail for hurting someone. I may have not hurt them, but I did open my mouth about it and then we left. I have learned to just let it go, but I will say this don't let someone else put their hands on them, cause Mama Bear don't play.  On the other hand I really feel and believe more people to be more educated on Autism before just opening their mouths on a situation they know nothing about or understand. You know like the old saying, "don't judge a book by its cover."

When our oldest turned six years old, they decided to put him on medication for his ADHD. The first medication made him way to emotional and they had to change it. The meds he is on now, he is calm during the day, but hardly eats. Coming off of it in the after all he wants to do is eat. He goes to counseling and is doing great. He goes through different challenges every day, and we do whatever we have to to help him and support him.

When our youngest started pre-k last year, he began talking more and more. Now he does have a hard time sleeping at night, and we have tried everything. He just seems like he don't want to sleep at night, like he will miss something. The school both of them attend is so amazing with them, and has done better than any other school my oldest has attended since pre-k.

There are many times I wanna cry myself to sleep or "run away." But I pray and have a wonderful husband and family that support us in every way. I also use meditation as a way to calm myself, focus, and move on to the next task. And I do all this while being disabled my from a back injury four years ago. Now if I can do it, you can too!

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