We're Stronger Together Part 1
| by Craig Johnson
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I will never forget when my wife Sam & I first got the dianosis that our son Connor was on the middle of the spectrum with Austim. We started hearing all of these startling statistics. They were not statistics concerning kids with special needs, they were percentages based on parents with special needs children. Some said it was 88%, others said it was 83%, a number I heard a lot was 80% of parents with special needs children end in divorce. We were just trying to figure out what this dianosis meant and now they're telling us we're already doomed.
I said to myself, "20% that's not good odds for us." Especially me. I was always the one who feared I was going to get picked last on the playground. I've never won any contests except one time when I was caller #19 on love songs on the KOST and I won an "Air Supply" album. My wife is this kind, caring, "rock" in our family and I'm the passionate but far less than perfect male of our brood who has been known to jump on the next vision ride if God moved me while my wife hung on for dear life. I mean if eye rolling burned calories my wife would never have to exercise.
So if they are only giving us a 20% chance of staying together what does this mean for Sam & I? What I observed with Sam after the diagnosis was that she began to attach herself to our son. Most mother's are instinctively maternal and Connor became Sam's mission. It wasn't even a thought for her... Connor was her cause. For dad's many times they connect with their child emotionally. My son even as a young child before things changed would give me a hug or kiss when asked, tell me he loved me, and would look into my eyes and give this awesome smile. All of a sudden it all stopped. No more hugs, emotionless. No kisses, no "I love you" and no more eye contact and very few smiles. These things would have to be learned or you would have to catch the moment. Those moments early on were few and far between.
A few shift had occured. It seemed I couldn't connect with my son emotionally, so how do I connect?