Our Autism Journey
My life as a mother of a daughter with special needs has been a whirlwind. From the day we just knew she had autism, up until today, 2.5 years later, it has been a journey that I could have never imagined. It has been incredibly hard at times and incredibly rewarding. If you found this blog, I am sure you know that this is primarily an oils based blog. However, this piece of my journey, also ties into my oils journey. I wanted to take this moment to give you a glimpse into the life we had and where we have come to and where I see the future. It has been a rollercoaster, but it is one that I want to bring you on, because this is the real raw story.
My daughter was born in 2010 and she was incredibly colicky. It was so hard. She refused to breastfeed, needed special formula and never wanted to be put down. This was before I knew about oils, baby-wearing and all of the things I know now going into infant #4. It was also before I knew anything about autism. I was only 19 when she was born, though I turned 20 a couple weeks later. I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew is that the only way this momma got rest was when her daughter was sitting straight up in her swing, swinging.
I was exhausted.
My husband and I needed me to go back to work, yet when I returned, this proved to be more difficult than we had anticipated. He worked nights, I worked days and we not only never saw each other, but we were constantly burnt out. It was a very difficult time and we made a very hard decision that I would stay home.
A year and almost a half went by when we welcomed her sister into the world. By this time my husband had joined the military and we moved a few states away for his first duty station. As time went on, I started seeing differences in the way my older daughter developed in comparison to my younger daughter. I chalked it up to personality differences, autism still never crossed my mind. I figured my older daughter just was used to being at my side all of the time.
Years go by, and here we are. Calling a therapist saying ‘My daughter has autism, I know it, she needs to come in for testing’. How did I know? Well, I dug out my DSM5 and read it a million times. There was no way she did have autism. Why did I have a DSM5 laying around? Well, my bachelors of science is in psychology and my masters is in professional counseling, I frequently needed it for assignments, internships etc.
I knew. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that my sweet daughter, curled up in a corner screaming to herself because she couldn’t regulate her emotions, had autism spectrum disorder. For many, it is terrifying. For me, and our situation, I was incredibly relieved because I knew that there were a ton of options for her to get the help she needs by receiving a diagnosis.
5years old, she was diagnosed. She couldn’t handle going to school, changes, and many things would make her so nervous she would meltdown. As a mom, this was terrifying. She was only five though so I knew in my heart I wanted to seek support in other ways than leaping to medication. She began Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, and I started seeking other ways to support her.
Now our story, is our story. The autism spectrum, is exactly that, a spectrum. Everyone has a different experience, and need different forms of support, and that is okay. We are all in different walks of life, but this is ours.
A friend of mine whose daughter danced with both of my daughters had been going on about these oils in their life. She was so passionate and excited about them. Me? I said yeah…I don’t think there is any way these magical oils are going to help us. She was (and still is) amazing, not pushy and understood where I was in my walk in life.
A year went by.
ABA therapy had been going amazing, and we had seen a ton of success, but she still needed support in some areas. She needed something, but I still didn’t feel she really needed medication.
Here is a bit of a side bar here. I am 100% pro medication when needed, because there are many times when they are NEEDED and that’s why God gave us amazing scientists and the knowledge to formulate these beautiful medications for those who are in need. Essential oils are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure diseases in any way shape or form. However, they are designed as health support and are designed to support different systems of the body. That’s where we were, she needed support.
So, I shot Alex a message on Facebook. If you know me, skepticism is in my blood. My thoughts were still ‘there is no way these are going to work’. It didn’t make sense; these were a foreign thing to me. I knew nothing about them, they were weird. After a long time, I am talking these have been on my mind for a year at this point, I decided to get the kit. For me it made the most sense financially, so that’s what I did.
I received my kit in the mail. Utilized it a bit, meh, I didn’t see much of a difference, but I did see a bit of a difference. I was NOT completely sold. Then I talked to Alex again when she touched base. I told her I didn’t see a big difference. What was her response? “Well Nicole, are you USING them, like DAILY, really, REALLY using them?” well, no I wasn’t. I thought it would be an immediate use it once in a while and we would see it work like magic.
So, I started to use them. Really, really use them.
And now, here I am.
I was on the path to becoming a licensed professional counselor. I was there. It was happening. And then curve ball after curve ball, and God spoke to me.
My daughter has received the support she needed, I knew she needed, but didn’t know where to turn. She continues to flourish in therapy and within school (though now she is homeschooled! Yay!). We use these oils to support every single area of our lives. Now, I am a believer. I have seen it, felt them do what they’re designed to do. I never joined to even share about Young Livings oils. It was never my intention. I honestly just didn’t think they were going to work! I had a life plan. Then God opened my eyes to His plan.
What was His plan?
Helping bless others. To help bless other moms who are home with their children and want to work but aren’t sure what to do. Relief for the mom of a child who needs support and they don’t know where to turn. Assistance for the person who just isn’t feeling quiet right in their career path or they’re burnt out on what they’re doing looking for a change.
Guidance for the person who wants to live a toxic free life, but has no clue where to start. To the person who wants to try essential oils, but has no idea what they do, and where to begin their journey. God opened my eyes so that I can help change lives, not from in the counseling room like I had thought, but right here from my home; while I spend time with my children every day and support my husband’s military career, and his passion for music.
It’s been amazing to watch God move in our lives, and I am excited about the journey ahead. Not only for me, but for others. The other people that I will be able to help bless in some way shape or form. Whether that be through the beauty of Young Living’s essential oils and many toxic free products, or both their products and the freedom to create their own income, God has opened my eyes to a world that I never knew existed. I am incredibly excited to see where the future leads, because God is in control and when He is in control, all things are possible.
Legally I must include the income disclosure for Young Living as I spoke about income in my blog.