Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am a Developmental Support Worker for a reason.



This job was not in my thought process graduating from high school. I walked across my gymnasium stage June 27 2002, hearing my principal say my name and, "she is going to Niagara College to become a Police Officer". Man was that dream wrong. So wrong.

I have talked about in a couple posts a while ago, that I fully admit being a bully, not a physical kind of bully, but definitely a verbal bully, a caddy, rude, and sarcastic one at that. That mentality stayed with me for most of my adult life so far, always being a, "people pleaser" but also being way too judgemental.

In 2005 I was in a very different life, I was married to someone that should have never been, but gaining over 70lbs and being depressed and thinking this was all life had to offer and there was no other options - that's what I settled for. I was told by my friend Jen she got a job at this place, Bethesda- and they were hiring. At this time as well, I was working at the Americana in the reservation department, did not finish Police Foundations at school, only completed first year and was taking Medical Office course for my certificate.

After being told I could never handle this job by certain people in my life, leaving my loveless marriage, dropping 60lbs and meeting the love of my life - it became a great year. Going from such a bitchy, judgemental and miserable person, who made fun of people who were different - here I was, working in a field that supports people with all sorts of disabilities, and I loved it. I changed. I wasn't that person anymore, and I could never dream of doing something else that isn't this, I have tried and its doesn't make me happy.

What I thought when Owen was diagnosed with Autism was, "this is God's way of getting back at me for being so brutal, this is what I deserve". As harsh as that sounds, that's what I have thought, and in moments of weakness still think. No, I have to tell myself - Ryan and I both were given Owen to care for on purpose, we are both Developmental Support Workers who are strong enough to do this not just for 8 hrs a day, for life. God was prepping us all these years for this moment - that's what I need to tell myself in times of sadness and anger, which can be frequent.

If not for Owen and my career, I could have continued on that path and way of thinking, and I am so thankful my life path has chosen this way. Having Owen being diagnosed in particular, as opened my eyes to a whole new way of life and parenting - that only benefited Madelynn and Ben.. I am so thankful.

-Vanessa

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