Raising a Child with Autism, Part 1
One mother's incredible journey
- Duration 6:04
- Date Sep 7, 2011
One mother's incredible journey
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Children born -- -- -- spectrum disorder is rapidly increasing and we don't know why.
According to the Center for Disease Control one in a 110 children in the United States have autism.
But what we do no hope.
Is it raising a child with autism present some real challenges -- -- for the parents but for the siblings the grandparents.
Even the friends.
-- -- Olson's twenty year old son Max is diagnosed with autism at the age of four.
Italy has pioneered an innovative communication system to help Max.
And it's -- a magnificent book it's called dancing with Max.
Emily and her father former special counsel to President Nixon chuck Colson -- -- only.
Max was diagnosed at age -- how did you know something was.
Different -- unique about -- -- did you suspected even before the age.
Very much so I could tell from the very beginning He cried all the time and He didn't hit any of those.
Any of those marks we look for with kids He didn't crawl when He should have He didn't.
While when He should -- He didn't make any gurgling and cooing sounds so it was clear very early that something was wrong was -- first reaction you had emotionally as a mother.
And everybody hopes their child's it's going to be this perfect child in storybook life.
Maybe what -- storybook life -- No -- -- and actually I became a single mom when Max was just eighteen months old so.
On -- -- of divorce Max was diagnosed with autism so no this was not the life I had.
-- I thought it would have more kids I just thought everything was gonna go along perfectly.
And it was pretty dramatic shift.
Chalk this was news I'm sure there was -- tough for him only but tough for you and your wife -- when you first found out that Max was.
At an autistic child do what kind of reaction did you happen and what in what did you even know about autism at that point.
I heard the term and nothing really above the -- I was devastated because every public as you well know governor.
Once the best for his children and this -- for your baby girl.
So this was that this was a hard thing for all of us but I learned to marveled that occurred toughness and being able handle it.
She was willing to do anything to help much -- -- sort.
Which you and my nose and copy loveless so a real -- official world so wouldn't in one sense what was a really tough -- for all of us with the tablet.
It was a blessing on the joy to see how her faith grew and how she.
How she persevered to help one child and on the course the wonderful story of what's up under a lot of sense.
You know out of the tough times often as you -- -- -- -- things don't go back twenty years ago.
Were you angry was your timing which you were angry at god and yourself and and the world and said this isn't fair.
Well when Max is about nine and the autism -- -- severe that we could barely leave the house we where hostages that was really my toughest time I would come downstairs every night.
Put -- in bed hoping He would sleep maybe an hour or two hours.
And I'd sit in this rocking chair and eyed stare at the law because I really just wanted everything to stop I went -- to stop feeling.
And it was actually at that point that it all turned around -- that I made a decision.
That I couldn't live my life that way I didn't know how -- survive another week like -- And I made this decision that I would wake up in the morning and say.
This is my last day alive and then I would believe it and I did the first day I did it I was scared to death I thought.
I woke up and said this is my last day alive what what I do with it what I care if my son has a -- out what I.
What I care about the stairs from other people or when I give my son does best day He could ever have so we went out.
And we failed and we went out and we failed.
Failure is an all we just keep going back the wonderful story about Macs in our church.
And it's so important to me because they're all these families that are home on Sunday mornings and I don't think our churches realize how significant the problem then -- Because we're not able to cross the threshold to get there to say.
We need help.
I started to bring Max back to church.
Few years ago we'd been five years at home and I thought well there was one thing He loved about church when He was young He loved it to be over.
So we went back when it is over you know it's not just autistic children I got to play Atlanta.
So we went back at the end of church we called it backwards -- And a man came up to Macs and asked him to help stacked chairs.
So -- started helping out and at the end of the service He came back to -- and He put his hand and and children He said Max.
We could use you on the ground crew and that's that that's the team that cleans up the church afterwards -- -- He was so proud to be asked.
It just took that one.
And for six years we went to backwards church and next became a central part.
Of our church then this past fall something wonderful happened because Mac's got a little braver and He crept into the church at the end.
I was so proud of him -- and leaning over him saying.
-- great job -- great -- being in church well the lights came up the music ended in next shot out of his chair and started shaking hands of everyone saying.
And I got now that is at greater.
So Max is now the first person people meet when they come into our church and I think that says.
Remember something that happened to us when we were two years old.
You know what -- -- and next we're gonna see how this came through and it happened eight years later.