Challenges... Yes, that's what we will call today. Challenges for the Challenging day we had. I am going to be real with all of you. Not every day is easy. There are definitely some hard days and today was probably one of the hardest days we've had in a long time. 

For those of you who don't know our background, our oldest, Nicholas has ASD/ADHD. He was diagnosed at 3 and we have been doing ABA therapy since then which has been helping so much since then and his progression since he started has been so amazing. He has eye contact, which has dramatically changed, he communicates, he can actively discuss how others are feeling, zones of communication, etc. it has definitely been a work in progress these past 4 years. 

Well, with the good days, there are often some bad days in between, or some semi struggling days. Most of the time, I can redirect him during these meltdowns, but today was very hard. It was a struggle. It started about 30 minutes before his ABA therapy started.  All because I asked him and Brooklyn to clean upstairs some toys. He refused to clean up toys and kicked his sister in an inappropriate area, so I needed to remove her from the situation for safety reasons. I explained to him that he needed to then clean up 10 toys before returning downstairs. He threw shoes from our landing, hitting his sister in the face with shoes, so he was instructed to pick those up as well and the toys. This went on for about an hour and a half. An hour into session and a half hour before session. 

By the time Nicholas' amazing therapist got to the house, Nicholas had used hands on his sister by hitting as he walked by, tried to charge me, hit me, told me I was the worst mom ever, tried to grab a broom and hit me with it, which I removed the object from his hands, and he pushed Jonathan who was sitting on the bottom stairs because he was sitting there and he was mad. While the therapist was there, he began hitting me (at which point the therapist advised to just ignore the behavior because he was just trying to get a reaction from me) and then all of a sudden WHACK!!!! Nicholas smacked me in the ass, I swear as hard as he could. It literally took every ounce of me not to react, but I refrained, because I know he was just in a meltdown and just looking for the reaction.

After he finally calmed down, he cleaned the landing upstairs, which took all of what.... 10 minutes, so we explained to Nicholas, that hello, you missed out on an hour and a half of fun cause you didn't want to clean for 10 minutes, how silly was that.... Nicholas laughed after wards and he had phenomenal behavior the rest of the day. 

There is definitely no manual when it comes to Autism or ADHD. Every kiddo is different. Every experience, every meltdown, every day is different. Some days there will be good days, some days there will be bad days... Some days I will need a lot of wine at night. Some nights I'm going to need to need a lot of tissue to cry because I do not cry in front of the kids, or at least I try not. I have only cried or broke down a couple times, but that's only when I've hit my breaking point, which rarely happens. But there have been those moments I’ve broken down in tears of joy when he’s overcome an obstacle. Those moments when he stands up for himself, those moments when he utilizes everything he’s been taught in ABA.... it just shows me how much this process works and how much he has grown from day one....

After all that, at the end of the day, he still curls up next to me like a little baby and needs mommy snuggles and that makes everything.... cause even though he had a rough day, he doesn't always use words to tell me he needs me, he just curls up next to me... and every night he still asks me to tuck him in every night because he swears he cannot fall asleep unless I kiss him good night and tuck him in.... to me that's everything... 

So, I literally just take it one day at a time, that all you really can do, one day at a time people, enjoy life, enjoy your kids, and enjoy the little things.

And back to the original quote about challenges.... just remember, these challenges do make us stronger. It may seem hard, even in our weakest moments, even when we want to pull our hair out, or want to throw in the towel and call it quits, but, you've got this... it's all worth it... What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. If it doesn't challenge us, it doesn't change us.... 


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