Thanksgiving 2005

by arianne

We had a wonderful holiday. See how pretty the table looked? It was only one short year ago that our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were filled with turmoil, as we received Charlie’s diagnosis.

Charlie was at his “worst” at that time, and I remember feeling so hopeless. I had no idea how the Autism diagnosis would impact our lives, all I knew is that it felt like we were in a glass box.

Everyone staring and examining us and our son, but we were unable to escape any of it. Its hard to say it, but the truth is that those holidays were awful.

We look back at the pictures and our eyes fill with tears. In those pictures, you can’t help but notice Charlie always on the edge of any picture, not with the group. Staring off, no expression on his face. Not wearing any clothing because he refused, he wore only a diaper. His hair all messy and long because he refused to let us comb or cut it. Definitely an outsider, not connected to us, or anyone.

What a difference a year makes! Our Thanksgiving this year was smooth, the food tasted fantastic and best of all, Charlie was PRESENT. He had no especially difficult behavior, and even gave everyone a hug when he went off to bed. Of course, all excitement follows with a few days of difficulty. It took over 30 minutes to put on a shirt and pants this morning. However, we will look back at the pictures of this holiday and SMILE. Charlie has a new skill, he doesn’t always use it, and most people take this skill for granted, but he used it for this picture. The skill? SMILING!

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