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Monday, August 25, 2014

Josiah Neal {5 years old}

Dear Josiah,

Today you are five! FIVE! I just can't believe it! Five whole years ago you made me mama. As I look back, I can see clearly how we have both changed so much.  I was 21 years old and had all the "qualities" that "most" 21 years old without children have.  I was pretty selfish, impatient, naive, and full of plans.  But five years ago, the Lord started ironing those things out of me when he made me your mama.  You have played a huge part in my sanctifying process.  And I couldn't be more thankful for that and for you! Josiah, I feel like we have done a lot of growing up together....and your growing up is happening just a little too fast for this mama! But at the same time, I love watching the little boy that the Lord is shaping you into.

As you get older, it is becoming easier to separate your personality from the autism.  And my sweet Josiah, there is one thing that autism will never take away from you.  And that is your heart.  You have such a big heart for a little boy. You seem to feel things on a deeper level than most people.  You are loving and caring and I hope you always remain this way.

This isn't a post about our journey with autism, but I would like to tell you just how much you are improving. Ever since starting a GF/low carb/low sugar diet, we have seen huge improvement in several different areas. Some of which have been:

1. less picky eating
2. trying new things: new food and new experiences without as many melt downs
3. doing better with textures: holding fish and painting....haircuts have gotten much easier too
4. more social and outgoing
5. more imaginary play instead of always organizing your toys
6. your obsession with the alphabet has reached beyond just reciting the alphabet to actually starting to spell
7. your communication and understanding has improved so much and you have started answering our questions with "yes mam", "no mam", "yes sir" and "no sir"
8. Loud noises and crowded rooms use to overstimulate you and bother you to the point of melt downs and tears. The melt downs have become less and when they do occur, you have started recovering from them a lot faster than you use to.
9. You are making better eye contact.
10. You are using a lot more phrases and asking more questions now like "I'm done", "I need help" and "What's this?"
11. Your fine motor skills are improving also and you are cutting with scissors, writing, drawing, tracing and coloring
12.  You love to sing!
13. You are praying all by yourself before each meal and bedtime! This absolutely melts our hearts!
14. Your newest obsession is the solar system.  The nerd in me loves this! I really enjoy watching your interest grow and change and evolve.  I love learning with you.

Josiah, you are truly a gift from God and I thank Him for you daily.  I am amazed at all the obstacles you have overcome and the miracles that God is performing in your life.  You are weaving a tapestry of testimony to God's love, mercy and grace and I have faith that He has even more miracles in store for you.  Josiah, you are such a joy and I love you with everything in me.  Happy 5th Birthday sweet boy!


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