Hope Has No Limitations

February 24, 2011
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As they got the news they were devastated. They remember every sound, every baby crying, and what they were feeling. Sadness, overwhelming, and fear. Casey and Michelle sat frozen in Dr. Pitisci’s office when they heard the doctor say, “You’re child is autistic.” They both turned to look at Elizabeth playing with blocks, and didn’t see an autistic child. They saw a beautiful three year old. Who doesn’t speak very well, she’s not potty trained, and she doesn’t eat everything that is given to her. They never thought of her as being anything different. She was still bubbly and fun. While Michelle had trouble comprehending, Casey was all ears.

“We also have noticed that she doesn’t have good eye contact, and when she plays she’s in her own little world. A little too well.”

“How do you acquire autism? How come you’re just finding it out now?” The father demanded.

“Well honestly autism is an unknown cause because there are too many reasons believed that can cause this. I can give you pamphlets but...” the doctor stammered nervously, “there is no cure that makes it go away, only different mechanisms to suppress the symptoms. Such as putting her on a diet, medication, it’s definitely going to be rough.” Michelle couldn’t take it anymore. She started crying. She couldn’t think, she just wanted to leave. She picked up her purse, diaper bag and went to sweet up Elizabeth with tears in her eyes. The husband just followed looking anxious and scared. He had a thousand and more questions but decided to wait, for he could catch his breath and let all this information soak. As they were driving home, Michelle dialed their mothers telling them the news. Not knowing a whole lot of information but still having the voice of fear she told them what the doctor said. Every once and again he looked back and saw Elizabeth, just playing in her car seat. Looking happy. He didn’t want to cry knowing he had to be strong. When they got home Michelle rushed to the bathroom claiming she was sick with the news. Casey got the baby out and put her into the room to play. He pulled out the laptop and typed in Google: Autism. Thousands of search engines were found that came up. He clicked on the first one that was informational, looking at the symptoms and coming to realization that this is what Elizabeth has. She has autism. He read further that various diets such as gluten free could help improve speech. With this, the vey next day they went to the health food store and started trying out gluten free foods. Michelle and Casey soon realized that autism was very expensive. Within one month of being diagnosed with autism, they had spent over five thousand dollars with doctors’ appointments and with food and therapy. They could not afford to keep this up, but what could they do. They only have hope that she will get better.

“Do you have any questions?” Dr. Pitisci asked. A year later, Casey, Michelle and Elizabeth are now sitting in the once dreaded doctor’s office. The only sound that can now be heard is Elizabeth singing, “Happy birthday to you.” She doesn’t hit every word, but you are now able to distinguish what she sings. She now attends on a daily basis speech therapy, sensory therapy and is in a special program at her school. She is a lot better, and though Michelle and Casey had to sit over the table with bills and a bottle of wine they have been able to make ends meet. They struggle everyday with autism, but they know that every day is one more day of hope that Elizabeth can say or speak a new word, or even taste a new food. She is their hope.

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