My name is Kelly Davis. I am a wife and the mother of 3 wonderful children. I enjoy spending time with my family and I really enjoy working out every day! It is the BEST stress reliever. Our family is also Disney obsessed! For the past 28 years our family has been on a journey with my son Steven who has autism. Let’s face it as mom’s we want to fix things the most. However our journey became not about fixing Steven but about helping him to make the most progress possible and live the best life that he could. This diagnosis affects an entire family. I hope and pray that I can help families live their own Journey to the best of their ability.
At the age of 2 1/2 my son Steven (who now goes by Steve by his request) was diagnosed with Autism. He is now 28 years old. He did not talk until about the age of 4 and we then learned he had Apraxia of speech. During puberty, Steven developed some very difficult behaviors which ended up being diagnosed as Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive compulsive disorder which presented even more challenges for us. Living this journey has not been easy. It has been long and at many times difficult. However it has given me as a mom a knowledge, understanding and a wealth of information about Autism and what a family goes through. Living this life for the past 28 years has taught me more about Autism than I ever even wanted to know. It has also taught my husband how to be a Dad to a son who is not the “norm.” (Which, by the way, I still have not figured out what the norm even is). Autism has also taught my Son Patrick and Daughter Krista how to be selfless, kind, loving and most of all PATIENT with their brother who has faced some tough challenges while growing up with Autism.
We have also had so many wonderful times as a family. Steven has continued the path of steady progress all of his life-minus a few setbacks. Now that Steven is an adult he is doing extremely well. He is kind, confident and so much fun to be around. He is such an inspiration because he appreciates and lives every day of his life to the fullest! I aspire to be just like him.
I am also on a mission to help inform the Public about individuals with Autism. There needs to be more of an understanding of behaviors and abilities that many children and adults with Autism display. They are capable of so much if we just give them the opportunities that everyone else has. Autism is lifelong. If we can come together and each one of us do our part we can make a difference. I don’t know everything but I know this for sure: EARLY ACCEPTANCE AND INTERVENTION IS THE KEY AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
As parents and caregivers, we must face this diagnosis head on. Until we do, we will not have the tools we need to help our children. My friends and family know if given the chance I would never want Steven to have an autism diagnosis. Watching him struggle over the years has at sometimes been more than I can bare. Having said that, the one thing I know for sure no matter how hard life has been this past 28 years, I would never change the fact Steven is my son. I would much rather have him here than not. I am so blessed that he calls me mom. If you would like to learn more about our family and autism, please visit my website. Growing Up Steven
Steven was supposed to be my son.
I was supposed to be his mom.
Our family was supposed to take this journey together.
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