Q: Sharon was your son Jaden ever diagnosed with autism?
A: Well, I never had him diagnosed because I wanted him to be normal! (Laughter) So to tell you the truth, I don’t know what he has exactly, or is exactly — but he sees everything differently. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get him to see any situation any other way. I have learned to meet him half way so, when I ask him a question I must be aware of my feelings and where I am emotionally before I ask him anything. Because Jaden sees the whole energetic picture it is the only way to reach and help him understand.
Q: What is unique about Awesomism?
A: Suzy holds a piece or really carries a frequency different from anything else I have seen or experienced as a parent. It is simply….. “You don’t need to fix your child. They are not broken.” I would not have understood this when my boys were toddlers. Expectations had been so engrained in me. But now with all three of them in their teens I see how expectations are the flip side of judgement. We all live with questions like —what should our child’s life look like at this age? According to the norm there is always something they are not doing or not getting right. Maybe your kid didn’t get the perfect grade, or he didn’t make the home run, or he didn’t make it up the hill without walking his bike part of the way. There is always a lingering thought or implication he, you, they……did it wrong. This is where Awesomism swoops in and says, “Ahhhhhh……see what they CAN do? Look, see what they did that’s different! Wow, where are they now? What’s cool that is serving them, and what isn’t resonating? It opens up and expands the possibilities for any child whether they are 2 or 22. Awesomism pulls me out of my fear of what is going to “happen” to my 18 year old and I shift into seeing his potential.
For example, Jaden takes care of his great grandmother because she cannot be left alone. He has a strong nurturing side and has a capacity to connect with children and the elderly in a very compassionate way unlike many young adults his age. He has the patience and curiosity to listen to their stories and engage with them in talking about their lives. With younger children he watches over them and has a protective instinct when he is around them. So I have thought that an assisted living center could be a great place for him to get a job or start a career. He would understand these people …..like when he calls me up and says, “Yeah mom,…. I’m just sitting here talking to grandma.”
Q: What are some of Jaden’s other capacities?
A: I know he can see dead people and he has the ability to see into other dimensions. He can read and see other people’s energy. He also loves history and has a true expertise in it. However, his interest in history lies deeper than you would think. He wants to study it because he says it is important that we do not repeat the way we have done things in the past or recreate the things and events that humanity has miscreated over time.
Q: Has there been anything difficult for Jaden about being in this “biobody suit”–to use a term Dr. Tiller is fond of?
A: Motor skills have not come easily. Jumping especially isn’t easy. He was fifteen before he could jump a rope. Learning has not been easy. Like at fifteen he wanted to know and ask me, “What is a sailboat?”
Q: What about the term “social skills”? What has been your experience with Jaden regarding this commonly used term?
A: Jaden doesn’t really get people, and in social situations people find him odd. He doesn’t understand and has never experienced a true or good friend. He doesn’t know how to engage like in asking a friend, “How was your day?” Jaden will just ramble on and on about himself.
He can say some things that people perceive as really rude. He doesn’t get that he can offend people. I have had a fear at times that even if he can get a job, will he unknowingly get himself fired. For instance, if he puts one toe out of line will someone get rid of him.
Q: This rudeness you are describing: What is it that makes it rude? Is it that he is so demanding he enters other people’s space? Or is it that he always wants things his way? Is there a difference in his rudeness versus someone not on the spectrum who is self-absorbed or just being selfish?
A: Let me give you an example. In a typical family gathering since he has a very loud, deep voice, in a room of 22 people I can always hear his voice over everyone else’s. He picks up on the anxious feelings of a family member or family members in the room and he will say something. One time his cousin who was very insecure about his athletic ability tried to cover it up by bragging about how great a play he made in a football game. Jaden blurted out without any finesse or diplomacy, “You don’t even like football why would you even play the game?” Jaden was really stating the underlying truth of the situation but it made it very uncomfortable for everyone around. So in general family events are tough.
Q: Can you talk about the recent integration which Jaden experienced which changed the dynamic in your household?
A: Some people filtering the events through a certain lens would describe what Jaden went through as a mental breakdown. When I consulted with Suzy, she could see clearly that he had an integration where he was able to bring his soul into physicality.
Here is what happened. Jaden has always been bullied at school, and the administration decided to hold an anti-bullying assembly. Jaden attended it, and he became disgusted with the tone or energy of the presentation. Rather than providing ways to prevent bullying, the program ended up perpetuating bullying and it was so disempowering. They put all their focus on bullying instead of creative ways to reduce or eliminate it. Jaden couldn’t take it anymore and his soul said “that’s enough” and “I’m coming in now to change it”.
Then he started to integrate. His whole body was completely shaking, and he kept saying kill, kill, kill. This was not a big deal to us, because he had been saying it all the time at home for a long time. People that knew him, knew it was just said in passing.
However, the school was worried he was suicidal. I knew that if he had been suicidal he would have attempted something a long time ago. In Jaden’s capacity he could not do suicide. Although we believed he wasn’t suicidal, the fact that he was able to feel all the feelings and tap into the energy around him, his words became dark and he talked about dark things that people could interpret as though he was suicidal.
When he came out of the hospital and returned to school everything fell apart. The school kept trying to fix him instead of giving him space. So one day he just walked out, and when we finally found him and talked to him he said he was going to his grandma’s. There has always been a special bond between them so we weren’t surprised. No one else has been the connection for him like his grandparents. They love him so much and see that he is okay and they don’t judge him. Because they have been through the parenting piece, the expectations and the agenda are no longer significant now that they are grandparents. Jaden’s grandma went through the Awesomism certification process so she really understands, and can sometimes get through to him faster than I can. As much as I try to let go, I still hold onto some of the agendas and expectations.
Q: When Jaden went to live with your mom and dad can you tell us how that was or how that felt for you as his mom?
A: Although we miss him, it has been really good for Jaden; he feels very valued there at his grandparents’ house and that makes me happy. He needs 4 credits to graduate and has chosen to do that by a study program outside of school.
Q: How was it when Jaden responded so well with your mother? How did that make you feel when Jaden started doing okay or better at your mom’s? Did you ever feel like you didn’t do enough, you weren’t good enough as a mom?
A: It sucked, and it still comes up because there is such an expectation on a mom. And I don’t care where you live or what you do, if your child doesn’t fit the mold, you are bad, you are wrong, you just can’t do it right. And we are all blessed with these amazing kids. I don’t have one kid out of my three that fits the mold. Not one of them. And two of them are considered typical. And they still don’t fit the mold.
Q: On the days when you feel inadequate what helps you out of that, “It sucks”, state of mind?
A: My husband reminds me I can only do what I can and we are doing the best that we know how. The daily support from him is very helpful. My two best barometers are my youngest, “typical” teens. One will come to me and say, “You are a good mom, a really good mom.” He is constantly letting me know what he likes about our family. The other son will push my buttons, in order to let me know how different our relationship is compared to his friends and their moms. He reminds me of all that we have learned and experienced with Jaden, and how that makes it possible for he and I to discuss almost anything. And we are able to work things out with more ease which always “brings me back”. Then, I am able to let go of expectations and move forward with ease and grace.
Q: Well to serve Jaden’s best interests by allowing him to live with your mom speaks for itself. What a GREAT mom you are. Thanks for sharing your story.