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Behind the Breakthroughs


Aug 15, 2018

In this episode we take a look at a mother’s journey with her son diagnosed with autism. From his initial diagnosis to where he is now, and all the bumps and triumphs that have made him into the confident and connected person he is today. Their journey is inspirational one and we hope that you will connect with aspects of it to help you on your journey.  

Meet Michelle Lewis, a mother of a child with autism. She opens up and talks about how scary and lonely the process can be. She went from wanting to coddle her son to setting no limits and pushing him out of his comfort zone. It has been challenging at times because his stubbornness and strong will often impede his learning. However, this is now her favorite quality about her son and is what makes him so successful. His self-discovery, interpretation of situations, and perception of the world inspires Michelle and has taught her the true meaning of motherhood.

IN THIS EPISODE:

-- The guest for this episode is Michelle Lewis a mother who has a son who is diagnosed with autism.

-- Dr. Nunez and Maylene Visaya have been working with her with son for over 10 years.

-- Michelle is an amazing mother who has an amazing outlook on life.

-- Michelle talks about her journey from the initial diagnosis to where her son is today.

-- When Michelle received the diagnosis she cried for 3 days and felt lonely.

-- She asked, “Why us?” Her husband replied, “Why not us?” and that is where her journey began.

-- She talks about the road being very lonely and scary and the importance or reaching out to others.

-- She found Dr. Nunez and Maylene Visaya and felt very hopeful because their goals aligned with hers. Michelle’s hope for other parents is to find people/ professionals to add to their village and become part of their family.

-- In the beginning, Michelle wanted to just coddle her son and send him to a special needs school in order to make things easy for him.

-- Her fear was that her son would be bulled, mistreated, and she was afraid he would feel bad about himself.

-- When she found Dr. Nunez she soon realized that her approach was “tough love” as she set high expectations high for her son.

-- Michelle expresses that in the beginning it was hard to trust others. You always think you know best. But once she accepted that Dr. Nunez knew best, which was not an easy process, she started to understand and “get it.” It was a light bulb that her approach was the right thing to do.

-- Michelle allowed Dr. Nunez and Maylene to come in and build a relationship with her son.

-- They had some “battles” which always led to breakthroughs by the next day.

-- There was always an initial resistance then everything opened up once he got through the resistance.

-- Michelle’s son has always been that way. She does not think that is autism, she thinks that is just who he is stubborn and strong willed.

-- This is now her favorite quality about her son and what makes him so successful.

-- She loves how he discovers himself and interprets situations and perception of school and friends and his world.

-- Michelle rejoices when her son wants to play video games with his friends and send texts to them.

-- He’s doing everything a “typical” child does, however he does it on his own timeline.

-- He is excited to go to college, but 10 years ago Michelle thought he would never go to college.

-- You want to protect your children from the world. But they will get hurt anyway and have difficult relationships and challenging situations… that is life.

-- Michelle’s husband has the right attitude and would say, “Well if we have to do it 100 times then that’s what we will have to do.”

-- Michelle’s son is independent and takes care of himself and he likes being recognized for that. Michelle just tries to help him interpret the gray areas in life.

-- Her son is emotional and very in tune with people and she is so grateful for that.

-- He’s connected to people and has a great sense of humor.

-- There have been some bumps and not so great experiences but overall her son is confident and sure of himself. She hopes he never loses that innate confidence.

Mindshift (takeaways)

  1. Be open to all types of therapies and programs. Have an open mind, listen and ask a lot of questions to find a therapy/program that works for you and your family.
  2. Set high expectations for your child.
  3. Unconditionally love your child. Find parts of your child that are amazing and beautiful and focus on that.