Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer 2015 in Pictures

First T-ball Practice

Celebratory Rootbeer Floats (schools out for the summer!)

Is there any other way to bike? 

When Brock had a successful HairCut..Look at all that Handsome! 

When Letty Helped Brock During A Meltdown

When Brock's Dream Of Meeting A Police Officer Came True 

Birthday Party Fun 

Boys Will Be Boys 

When We Became Professional Dubsmashers 

When the Vikings Pre Season Games Started

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thinking before you speak

I used to pride myself on having a strong back bone, but within the last year I think it's started to slip. Or since Brock's diagnosis I've gotten more sensitive. I have people in my life who act like Autism doesn't exist. That if you "ignore" behaviors they'll just go away. I've gotten really good during his almost 7 years of life at setting time limits for activities. Brock can handle 3 hours but no more then 4. Once it hits the 4 hour mark if we don't leave a meltdown will ensue. I’ve really put my foot down since he started his different therapies on this, and I've found that I'm having problems with some people accepting this. I get that if its not a part of your life that it's a strange concept to get.

 It embarrasses Brock if he has a meltdown in front of people now that he's older, and getting him out before that happens is my number one priority. I know the cues of an oncoming meltdown..I try everything to prevent it,  but 90% of the time getting him out of the situation before he becomes overstimulated is the only way. He can't control himself and he does and says things that are shocking to others that he would never do in normal circumstances. If you get too close you can get hurt. Brock is not a violent person.

 When you tell a parent of a special needs child that their way isn't that great, you need to let your child have more fun, he used to be able to do this for longer periods of Time, or ignore him he's just a brat-- you're really not giving helpful Input. No matter how wrong you think my parenting methods are. There's literally  been a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a big team of therapists working along with me  to get him to a point where he's able to adapt to things like everyone else. Brock has Autism,  he isn't deaf. If you say negative things about these  methods with him in the room he starts to slip from following them. Which makes him regress and takes twice as much work then it initially did to get him to the point he needs to be. He thrives on a schedule. Im always open to discussing and teaching others about my sons  Autism. When you say it isn't fair that my child can't play like everyone else, trust that I've shed many tears over this same thing. I would give every last piece of myself for my child to have one day of normalcy. But that wasn't in the cards, I've accepted it, Autism isn't going anywhere.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Blog #1 People I'm Grateful For Pt 2 of Brock's Project

I haven't ever written a blog dedicated to a specific person before, but I'm going to start for Brock. Every Few weeks I'm going to write about a person who has been a big support system to Brock along this journey. It's important for Brock to know he has an army of people standing beside him.. The video I made for Brock he enjoys still, weeks later he asks to watch it right when he wakes up, and right before he goes to bed each night . I never knew a year ago how utterly alone I'd feel  as Brock's main caregiver, and didn't initially reach out to anyone until this person started reaching out to me. He's persistent and been one of my best friends since we were kids, and in turn has become Brock's biggest hero. I had asked people to send pictures to me a few weeks ago for a project I'm working on for Brock, and this is the second part of the project..So to start this out I'm going to dedicate this blog to probably Brock's biggest champion, my brother Chris who would never ask for any sort of recognition because he does the things he does because he has a huge heart. 

Growing up my brother Chris and I were always pretty close until our teenage years when we drifted apart. I was into running, softball, and I'm not ashamed to admit I went through an extremely  girly phase (I claim temporary amnesia for real) and my brother Chris was into football, baseball, and really we went into completely different directions for awhile which in turn made us not as great friends for awhile. While I’m not shy by any means, I'm more introverted and like to keep to myself and privacy is extremely important to me. Chris likes privacy too but he thrives more being surrounded by it wasn't until I was pregnant with Brock around 7 years ago that we really started talking regularly again. Chris was one of the first people to hold Brock after he was born (he had rushed to Wyoming in record time from Eau Claire) and he has had a bond with Brock ever since that  I'll never understand, but forever be grateful for. 

When Brock was just a few years old Chris moved to Nevada for better opportunities , and I was crushed for Brock. I didn’t think their strong bond would hold but I was so very wrong. Brock considers Chris his biggest hero, out of the hundreds of superhero action figures Brock owns, when asked who is his favorite he always says his Uncle Chris. A year ago when Brock was diagnosed officially with Autism the first person I called to tell was my brother. Even though I was expecting that diagnosis, I had felt like my world was tipped off its axis. It's a feeling of defeat, and relief. I was defeated because I didn't know where to go from there, and relieved because there were reasons behind every single delay Brock was experiencing. The first thing my brother said was “ok, he has Autism. It's just a label on what you already knew Lindsay. It doesn't change anything, he's still the same person.” Even though I knew that, it was a good feeling to hear them from someone else. He didn't tell me everything was going to be ok, because we both knew there would be more extremely challenging times. I appreciate when people don’t use words just to make you feel better, to cover up the truth of the situation, but can still get their point across by only stating facts. I hate lies, even white ones, especially when it comes to my child. Usually when something big happens in my life I share it with the bare minimum, only the people who actually need to know, then deal with things on my own. Like I said, I'm quite introverted. But I was finding it hard to do with Brock's situation. I wasn't happy with the minimal treatment options available, and I knew I didn't want Brock to ever feel like he needed to hide who he truly was so this is where this blog came into play. I found that it was actually quite lonely being a parent to a special needs child, and not many people felt comfortable talking about it..which just doesn't sit well with me. During that time my brother would reach out, and I'm the queen of either losing my phone or ignoring phone calls. I misplace my phone constantly and it's usually on silent, so trying to find it is like finding a needle in a haystack. But my brother is persistent, and persistence pays off. I started opening up to him about the challenging times, and he answered many late night tear-filled phone calls from me. He'd always have the same advice, “Lindsay, I know it seems like a lot, but these are just stepping stones to cement Brock's future.” Those weren't his exact words, but along the same lines. “Keep up with the therapies and you’ll see Brock start to succeed even if it doesn't feel that way right now.” “So what if he needs special education, if anyone thinks differently have them talk to me. You're doing the best you can for him.” “There will always be someone who thinks you're doing it wrong, but the only one who's opinion matters is Brock’s, and I doubt he'll complain that you did the best you could for him.”  I never doubted his need for therapies or special education, most of our conversations surround the negative feedback I've gotten from others. I'd like to say people's words don't affect me, but that would be a lie. 
I'm a parent that was thrust into a world I barely knew anything of quite fast, and while many people know very little of Autism, there are sure lots of opinions. When you are a parent of a child with special needs those opinions come out more, whether you ask for them or not. While I don't mind advice, I mind when people cruelly go out of their way to find something wrong with everything you do. Which has unfortunately happened frequently since the day Brock was diagnosed. Keeping quiet isn't an option, acceptance is though. Openly talking about Autism opens many doors, and I would never shut the door on an opportunity Brock deserves. 

So to end this, Having a strong support system means the world to me. The blogs about each person won't be in any particular order, there's not one person who's support that means more to me then the next. I saw it fitting to start with my brother Chris based solely on his irrevocable bond with Brock. They’ve been best friends since the first time they met when Brock was only a couple hours old. Chris calls Brock many times throughout the month, and will sit and listen to Brock talk for hours sometimes about just Star Wars and will never get the slightest bit annoyed. Which says a lot because I even can get annoyed sometimes when Brock talks about the same thing over and over. I have learned a great deal of patience, but I'm not a saint. I'm human, and I'm not perfect but I wouldn't change one thing about him. They also do FaceTime and Skype and will sit and makes faces at each other, I'm shocked their faces don't get stuck in some of the positions they put them in. Brock looks forward to those times, and Chris is good about calling when he says because he knows how much Brock truly looks forward to those times. These blogs won't always be based off some huge gesture, if you've ever done something that may seem small to you, like stopping for a moment to acknowledge Brock and really truly listen to may find yourself featured in one of these. I’ve learned that the smallest of things mean the most to Brock. When someone stops and says hi to him anywhere his entire face lights up, and he will talk about that person endlessly like he just met his new best friend. But not the best, because theirs one kiddo who holds that title from his kindergarten class, that's most deserving. 
This is my brother Chris (he sent this picture for this project) 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spread the Word to End the Word

We pledged and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the R-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
Make the same pledge at
I've always been laid back on a lot of things..sure things bother me, but usually not enough where I'd go out of my way to try to put an end to it. That was before having a child. I've learned quite a few things about myself since then, like the lengths I'd go to protect my child from anyone or Anything that would try and hurt him in anyway. Even people close to him. I've been an advocate for those with special needs for about ten years now. I started working in a group home for women with developmental disabilities and knew right away I wanted to change how people perceived those with special needs. It's such a big unknown area to a lot of people, where they shy away from anything to do with them for whatever reason. I've seen a lot of people lost in the system when they have the skills and knowledge to live independently if they would just be given a chance. When Brock was diagnosed with Autism I knew I would do everything in my power to not let that happen to him. I will always be his biggest advocate and make sure he lives a life up to his full potential. Through working In group homes, and having a child with developmental disabilities I've heard the R-word in passing more then I'd ever thought would happen. The times that I've heard that word used I have no problems telling them exactly what I think. Even when they pass it off like it was a joke. 
There is no faster way to make my blood boil then by using the R-word. It's disgusting, hurtful, and deragotory. It's saying there is something wrong with having special needs. There is no good reason to use that word, even if you are "joking". There is nothing funny about it. I absolutely do not allow the use of the R-word or any sort of name calling in my household. We need to build each other up not bring each other down. Brock has been taught from a young age the power of positive thinking. Of course I've faced challenges from outside influences with Brock, but if you don't use those words in your home your children will know and understand how wrong they are. Please pledge today at to stop the use of R word from everyday speech! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Autism Awareness Video for Brock

Over the last month I was working on a project for Brock...during all the fundraising for the Steps of Hope Walk I did a few give aways  for items I received with the team Assburgers logo on it..and had shirts made as well, so anyone who had gotten an item I asked if they'd send a picture of them using the item for this project. With Autism Awareness month right around the corner I wanted to do something special for Brock, something he could hold onto forever. There's so much I always want to say to him, but he isn't at a point where he'd understand through conversation. So I put together this video to show him how much support he has. When I was finished and sat Brock down to watch it, he ended up watching it on repeat for a good half an hour..he didn't say a word but kept squeezing my hand. The video is very emotional for me, because it was the first time I was able to show Brock all the love he's surrounded with. While he knows the word" I love you" and all that...I don't think he truly got it until he saw this. I'm going to try doing more visual things to show him what different feelings mean from me to him. Please enjoy. And feel free to share.
Click on that link. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pictures from the Steps of Hope Walk 2015

Here's a few photos from the MN Autism Society's Steps of Hope walk from Today..For those on my Facebook page I added them there also. It was a fun day, and I'm really excited to get Brock involved in a few more programs through the Autism Society. I've never seen him as relaxed as he was today..

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This is the reason...

As I'm doing last minute preparations to leave for the weekend to walk in the Steps of Hope walk to raise awareness for Autism, I keep looking at this picture. This picture here is the whole reason I put all my extra free time, and energy into raising awareness for Autism. Anytime Brock asks for comfort I drop whatever I'm doing for sometimes 10 seconds of being able to hold him. When I became a mom I never imagined that this would be my reality, especially after having genetic testing done (due to pregnancy problems) and having nothing show up..and after the doctor laid this miracle on my chest for the first time..(because that's what each and every child born into this world is, a miraculous gift from God) and announced he had ten fingers, ten toes and was healthy as could be. The first year of Brock's life he was hitting milestones faster than most children, according to his doctors. When Brock turned one that slowly started to change. It was so subtle at first I didn't notice it right away, but by the time he was three years old he wasn't able to do things he previously was. I brought it up constantly to his doctor and was told that preschool aged children act out, three is worse than the terrible twos, and he'd eventually outgrow it. I knew in my heart his doctor was wrong, call it mothers intuition or whatever. There was a lot of waiting over the next few years until April 2014 we got the answers to all of our questions, after many tests were done by therapists. High functioning Autism or Aspergers depending which therapist you talk to. Brock rarely seeks comfort or affection out on his own and this day he was having a very rough day and said to me, "Mom can you please just hold me tight." And I held him harder than I've ever been able to hold him before. That was a few weeks ago, and he hasn't let me hold him as long as this, and that's ok, but he has laid on me for a few minutes here and there since. There are so many reasons to raise awareness, and this picture is one small, but very important part of it. People with Autism want love and affection just as much as the next person but don't always know how to ask for it. Brock has been able to get therapies through school, and out of school and they are very intense at times, for the past few months. Through these therapies he's been making so many improvements such as being able to recognize letters, sound out words, he's been working on perfecting writing his name, and his conversational skills especially have improved tremendously. He's able to tell me when he's mad, sad or even happy at times. There will likely be times he regresses, but that's all a part of this. Chances are he'll need these therapies throughout his life. Starting therapies at a younger age gives an even greater chance for these individuals to live an independent life. Making sure these other children who aren't as fortunate as Brock to have access to these therapies is and should be a top priority. We all want to see children succeed in their lives, and raising awareness and knocking out these ridiculous stigmas surrounding Autism spectrum disorders is number one. These aren't bad or spoiled children, these are children who can't communicate what they really need or want, and it is possible to help them. Everything donated to the Autism Society of Minnesota through the steps of hope walk, and other fundraising events they hold go directly to funding these therapies for these children and adults. I can't think of a better community to be involved in. 
I'm trying something completely out of Brock's norm this weekend, and surprising him with staying at a hotel in the cities for this weekend before the walk. We'll be able to do pool therapy still, and relax..and my biggest surprise is taking him to the Science Musuem. Brock is obsessed with space and I'm so fortunate to be able give him this experience that will help him with his future. He told me yesterday he was going to space someday..and my reply was if anyone could make it to space Brock you could. He has determination like no other. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

I was asked on a date by...

With all the talk of Valentines Day and Love this week it spiked a certain six year olds curiosity, and he had tons of questions about what people do on Valentines Day..I told him that a lot of people go on dates to which he asked if he could take me on heart pretty much melted and I couldn't say no. So this afternoon we went out to lunch together, and he opened all the doors for me like a gentleman..and I gave him money beforehand because he insisted on paying. He wanted to drive too, and almost convinced me he was a good driver because he's an amazing story teller, but that won't happen for 10 more years. Which is a scary thought. I'm constantly reminded about how much God has blessed me, and he has profusely with this one. With therapies taking up almost every night of the week, I'm always left to focus on the things Brock can't do instead of what he can do. Which is painful for me because I am always trying to see the upside to everything, so it brings me down. This tiny request from Brock made me realize that he is making so much improvements in basic conversation by expressing his wants. And he honestly asks for so little that when he does I try to honor his requests as much as possible. Yesterday for example I was so unbelievably proud of him, they were having Valentines Day Parties at school and I made too many Valentines and on the way to drop him off I asked him what he'd think of handing them out to teachers in the hallway, he liked the idea, even when I said he might not know some of it was a go. He didn't talk to any of the teachers just handed them off and practically ran, but it was huge for him because he has a lot of anxieties when it comes to social interactions. And everyone was great so it made me feel just an incredible sense of pride for Brock to face a fear head on. I absolutely love when Brock has breaks from school, even though my own work gets put on hold, because I feel like with everything else we truly don't get time together. So thank you Brock for taking me on my very first "real" date. I can honestly say I've never been on a real one before, even though it was obviously all in fun. Whenever I feel like I could be doing more God sends me these reminders that I'm doing something right when it comes to raising my child. Here we are before our fun date, sorry for the selfies but there's only the two of us so selfies are the way to go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


My mom has been asking me forever to make a blog full of the funny things Brock has said or done over the years. It was hard to pick, but I chose 23..yeah there's plenty more, but I'm saving those for a project I've been working on...I was down with pneumonia last week, which gave me some free time I don't normally have to go through old journals, blogs, and Facebook posts. So mom, since you've been my biggest supporter/champion this is for you:

July 9, 2010
-So Brock came running out of the bathroom to tell me he 'poop in the potty'. I go running in the bathroom ALL EXCITED to find he left me Cheetos there instead.

February 1st, 2011
- Brock woke me up and gave me a big hug. I said to him, 'I love you Mr. Brock.' He looks at me and says, ''Aww I love ME too mommy.''

February 23rd, 2011
- I wake up to Brock with his radio on, and dancing at 3:30 a.m. I ask him what he's doing, and he says ''what mom I'm partying!" I told him it's time to go back to bed and he told me to go ahead and lay down, Brock will be OK.

March 3rd, 2011
- Ran into Walmart tonight to get a few things , and Brock saw diapers when we passed by that section. He says'' Mommy I need diapers''. I tell him he doesn't need diapers because we have plenty. A few minutes later a lady is talking to him and he tells this stranger that his mommy won't buy him diapers and he really needs to go potty. I never received a dirtier look from another person, than the one that stranger gave me.

September 16th, 2011
- At my sisters house and this guy came to pump the sewer. I stepped outside with Brock and he says to the guy ' Not fair, my mom won't let me poop outsid!"

January 17th, 2012
- When you ask me my sons name, and I tell you it's Brock, and you giggle and say like BARACK Obama, trust me I'm not laughing with you.

April 27th, 2012
- Apparently Brock got hungry during the middle of the night. Walked into his bedroom to check on him and he had lunch meat, crackers and a tub of peanut butter on his bed. He looked at me and said, what, I wanted breakfast but it's still dark out.

May 7th,2012
- Brock asked if he could eat some of my spicy peppers, and I let him know that kids usually don't like spicy foods. He says '' well some kids do. Don't say all kids, cause you don't know all the kids of the world.''

June 20th, 2012
- Who needs refrigerator/ freezer locks anyways? When a 3 year old wants breakfast, they want it now. Even if it consists of sitting on the kitchen floor-indian style, while digging his chubby hands in a big tub of ice cream at 6 a.m. So I did what any normal parent would do..grabbed some spoons and joined him.

July 29th, 2012
- Brock to his 3 day old cousin, Sienna, who was crying '' quiet sweetheart, you're annoying me!"

August 4th, 2012
-Awkward moment when Brock gets mistaken for a girl at the store. Even more awkward when he says, excuse me ma'am, I'm a boy, I stand when I go potty.''

October 18th, 2012
-i was telling Brock I needed to make him an appointment to cut his hair. Which is never fun. Brock says' mother, I can only look this good if YOU cut my hair.''

November 13, 2012
-Disciplining Brock would be so much easier if he wasnt so quick witted, and made me laugh so much. Watched him do something he wasnt suppose to, and when asked about it he says, ''Oh that? That wasn't me. That was the Brock next door..the one with the curly hair.''

November 28th, 2012
- Found a phone number that has a recorded message from Santa that kids can listen to. For months I've told Brock that I know Santa's phone number, and he didn't believe me. So today when "Santa'' called and said I know when you've been naughty or nice'' Brocks mouth dropped open and he says '' Oh shoot! You were right. I guess I can't be naughty anymore!" Evil or genius? You tell me.

December 26th, 2012
- I feel like I'm living the real life version of a musical right now. Lately Brock has turned every single thing he does into a song ''I'm going to the bathroom, I really have too gooooo'' Mooom I'm hungry, chicken sounds gooooood'' I'm really getting sleepy, can yoouu puuut meee toooo beeeed'' Just a few examples and unfortunately it's quite catchy'.

February 1st, 2013
-If you've ever wondered if you can teach a cat to sit, shake or fetch the answer is yes. Brock has been asking for a dog, and I told him he needs to be more responsible with our cats first. Well..he showed me. Well played Brock, well played.

February 10th, 2013
that awkward moment when Brock sings Lady GaGa's Bad Romance in my Bible Study Class.

February 19th, 2013
-Brock has officially out pranked me. This morning he was complaining he wasn't feeling well, and went running into the bathroom. A few minutes later he was saying OUCH! OUCH! Followed by some less than pleasant sounds. I walk into check on him and find him sitting on the floor playing with the fart sounds app on my tablet, laughing hysterically at me. Boys. Are. So. Gross.

April 16th, 2013
-i dyed my moms hair today, and when Brock saw it he told her Grandma! Now you don't look so much like an old lady! That boy sure knows how to lay on the charm.

May 10th, 2013
-Brock is officially my garage sale-ing side kick. He bargained down a price on a toy he wanted all on his own. Hearing him say will you take five for it, has never made me more proud. Either that, or he'll make an excellent salesman someday.

May 15th, 2013
- caught a softball with my face last night. Woke up to my right eye and cheek black and swollen. I look like I have two cheekbones on one cheek. Brock said , wow mommy, you need to do your makeup better you look like a raccoon.

January 25th, 2013
out for lunch with Brock and he had to tell every girl he saw that she was beautiful. Yeah that will be trouble when he's older.

December 23rd, 2013
-Brocks over-used excuse of the week, ''I'm only being naughty cause I want to see if Santa really won't bring me a present if I'm bad.''

Friday, January 9, 2015

DIY weighted blanket

I've been hearing about weighted blankets and there benefits for children with SPD &ASD (sensory processing disorder / Autism Spectrum Disorder) for quite some time..Brock has a very hard time falling and staying asleep at night, where some nights he, and myself included end up with 3-5 hours per night. I thought I'd give it a go, so I looked up the cost if I would order one online and they are anywhere between $150-$300 I didn't want to spend that much yet, until I knew whether or not it would help I found a DIY website and made my own for him. It isn't anything spectacular, but the cost was between $30-40. He's used it 3 times now, and it's helped him fall asleep in less than 10 minutes. The blanket weighs around 5 pounds, as I didn't feel comfortable using more weight than this for Brock. Some use up to 15 lbs. Pics are below.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pro vaccination or not??

Vaccinations is a topic I don't particularly like getting into, but it's one subject that I get asked about constantly. Since I'm asked so often, I figured why not blog about it? When people hear that Brock has Autism some are very curious about whether or not I had him vaccinated. I'll throw this right out there, and then get into my feelings on it. Brock was vaccinated. (Gasp) the horror, right? And he's going to continue getting all of his booster shots, even after being DX'D with Autism. Do I think vaccinations caused Brocks Autism? No, I do not, and here's why. There are children with Autism who have been vaccinated, and there are children with Autism who have NOT been vaccinated. The end. Just kidding. Look, when I found out I was pregnant with Brock I spent more than my fair share time of studying the pro's and con's of every little thing imaginable. To breastfeed or to formula feed? To circumcise or not? To vaccinate or not? To use cloth or disposable diapers. What car seat, crib, or baby bottles are the safest. To have Brock see a pediatrician or would my family doctor do? I've worried about how every little thing would affect him, and didn't go into this with a blind eye. I don't do things just because everyone else is doing them or because it's expected. If the pro's outweigh the con's and I feel it's best for my child, I'm going to do it. Every single thing I do has Brocks best interest in mind. When Brock was born and it came time for vaccinations after I did my studying at home, and read through the risks, and signed the dotted line for my consent  I never once regretted it. Every time you put a medication in your body there is a risk. That antibiotic you take for strep throat or an ear infection? Theres a risk. Risk for an allergic reaction, or side effects ranging from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. I'd take the nausea and vomiting versus having it progress into kidney inflammation, rheumatic fever, hearing loss, or a perforated ear drum. If you take medication for depression or anxiety some of the side effects are..well more depression and anxiety amongst other things. Do you risk worsening depression by not taking a medicine for it, or do you also risk the side effects in hopes of it getting better? I'm no stranger to side effects from medications myself. Like I've said before, I've had Crohns disease for 16 going on 17 years, I've taken my share of meds to get better. I stopped all my meds 1.5 years ago since I learned to manage intermittent symptoms on my own..but in the process of learning I also had some nasty side effects like hearing loss, bone loss, facial tics and a million other things. If I didn't treat my crohns in a flare, it could have fatal consequences. There's a risk with everything even vaccines. The pro's outweighed the con's so my child was vaccinated. It just so happened that he was diagnosed with Autism in the mist of it all. If it comes out down the road that vaccines played a part, because there's no way vaccines can cause it because there wouldn't be people with Autism who haven't received a single dose of vaccines if it were, I'm not to prideful to admit that maybe I made a mistake. Honestly we are all predisposed to a number of things, a majority never come to fruition. If vaccinations DO play a part it just means Brock was pre disposed to having it, and the vaccinations pushed it out sooner than it would have on its own. But I strongly believe that it was decided when Brock was growing in utero that Autism would be a part of him. Nothing can change it, or take it away, it's always going to be a part of him. I struggled for many years wondering if I did something differently during my pregnancy if Brock wouldn't of had it, I didn't just always accept things at face value. I know many people have asked me how I'm always so optimistic, and I don't want to lie and say I always have been this way. Anytime something happens to our child(ren) whether Autism or something else is in play, we want to know the how's, and why's of it all. Why did Brock get Autism? I don't know. I may never know, I used to beat myself up over it, but I'm past the grieving, and the blaming. Sometimes things happen just because, and there is no rhyme and reason to it. I have a love/hate relationship with Autism. I love Autism because it makes my baby boy who he is, and the hate is because I strongly dislike how much Brock struggles everyday. I live and breathe this, I see the tears of frustration daily coming from Brock on why he can't do something that is seemingly simple like all his friends can do. Nobody would like something that caused there child so much pain and anxiety. I kind of feel like if you take away Autism, you take away a big part of my son. There are so many things that make up who each person is, and this is a part of who he is. Autism isn't ALL of who he is, but a part of him. I decided a year ago that I wasn't going to sit around and wonder why Brock? Why does he have Autism?  There are so many therapies available to help him along the way, and improve his quality of life, sitting around and worrying isn't going to solve anything. It would only hold him back. There have been many studies done on what causes Autism, and there is no definitive answers yet. Only opinions on what this person believes over the next. Everyone is entitled to theirs, and I'm not here to change minds, only talk about my personal experiences with Brock, and my personal opinions. I have friends who believe vaccines cause it, and thats OK. I respect their thoughts, and they respect mine. I believe it's always easier to process something when there is something concrete to blame, and it makes it harder for us parents who have children with Autism when there are no answers to our questions. Until the day all of our questions are answered we'll always be left wondering why. In the meantime I encourage you to let go of the self blame, it's a natural reaction, and fully embrace the blessing(s) in front of you if you're stuck at that stage.