The blank stare. It happened everywhere we went. It could be holidays where our two older children rushed to open presents or the excitement of lighting the Menorah. For Sawyer, his expression was just lifeless. For us, it was another clue that he was just different than the other two.
There was zero denial in this household. We knew without knowing. However, the unknown defeated us. Our communication as a couple was challenged as our world became Sawyer and only Sawyer. Our family of five suddenly became a family of only one.
Every waking moment became a Sawyer narrative. It consumed us. It came with us to dinner, it came with us on every text, every phone conversation, and it hurt us.
Those around us would point out the things he did, how happy he was, and what great parents we were. However, like Sawyer, we were in a trance. We became people who would stare at the clock and just trying to get through the day.
I kept it all to myself. I shared nothing and just wanted the day to come that we would be told something. Something that would let us know that our beautiful son would be ok.
I had enough of the EEG, pediatric visits, early interventions, and rah rah speeches from others. I wanted our life back or what I hoped it could be after 3 years and 2 months of more or less being flatlined.
We finally had our judgment day. We heard the diagnosis of Autism. It was like watching sunshine creep through a window. Even with tears, Kellie and I were able to breathe again. This is when I heard from Doctor Pinto, our neurologist, the only thing I can remember from that visit nearly 3 years ago. “He will go to college.”
That was my hope.