Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our face of Autism - Day 14 of 30

He wrote his name in the snow on my car when we went to visit a friend in NC

Happy 13th Birthday, Ashton!!

Ashton James McCormick
Born 4/14/1999 at 5:04 PM
5lbs 14oz, 17.5in long
Reston, VA
Proud Parents: David & Jennifer McCormick
Sweet as pie and cute as a button!
You had beautiful hair, a beautiful sweet face, and the wisest-looking eyes I've ever seen in a newborn. 

Look at that sweet, smiley, inquisitive, cheeky grin!
Here you are at 1year-old (I'm thinking you were 13-15months old)....
before you slipped into the world of Autism....

Look how fast you grew! Here you are with Mommy, at age 2. 
What a handsome little boy you were becoming!
Little did we know that you were about to rock our wold with a diagnosis of Autism.

Look what happened a couple of days after you turned 3!!
You became a BIG brother to a little brother!
That little tiny baby was the key to bringing you more into our world,
instead of you existing solely in your Autism world. I love you both so VERY MUCH!

Look at that smile! You LOVE your little brother so much!
Around the time that you were 5, and your brother was 2, your relationship with him changed. You were more aware of his presence, and therefore, craved being in his presence. He made you (and still does) very happy and elicits giggles and grins from you like no one else can! You call him baby swinub (thanks Pokemon for that, lol) and teasingly call him a kookie baby when he's crying. You're such a stinker to your brother! lol But you love him like no other, and he's your bestest best friend! :)

Look how big you were getting! Here you are at age 7, and wow!
Such a handsome little dude but you hated to have your picture taken. There are very few from this time frame where you are looking at the camera AND smiling. STINKER! :P You look lost in your thoughts, and you probably were :) I wish you could have told us what you were thinking about.

I know we can't see your face in this picture but here you are at age 8, holding one of Grandaddy's lizards. Around this time your infatuation with animals peaked and you LOVED lizards and dinosaurs and all things creepy, crawly. Yuck! ;) But I have to admit, knowing what your face looked like holding the bearded dragon, you loved this experience. 

Christmas of 2008 (age 9).... you'd been pretty sick with pneumonia prior to Christmas and was still taking daily 2-3hour naps. But you were awake long enough for me to catch an awesome picture of you smiling, yay! :) You loved Christmas that year and had a great time opening presents - your first year of really "getting" Christmas and that all those presents you were opening were for YOU! :)

Family camping trip in July of 2009! 10 years old! You LOVE the water and it shows! Look at that big smile you have on your face, and the scary thing is, you THINK you can swim, even though you can't! ;) Stop giving me so many grey hairs!!! :) 

Your first Surfers Healing experience and you got one of the best surfers around to take you out - Kalani! You were 11 years old and you had a blast!! :) To be honest, I think Kalani did too! :) Again, you adore the water and I'm so glad you got to experience this, at least once, little did we know, that the following year you would get to do it again! :)

You got to experience Surfers Healing again in 2011 at age 12. But this year, you got to meet Izzy Paskowitz, co-founder of Surfers Healing :) You loved meeting him and remembered seeing him on TV so you called him famous! :) You had a great time chatting with all the surfers that year and it was amazing the amount of social growth you'd experienced in such a short amount of time :) You had a blast, once again!

and last weekend - a week before your birthday you participated in your second race with Team Hoyt of Va Beach, with Joe Moss pushing you! You LOVED it and it was great getting out and experiencing the wonderful autism community in our area and the family and warmth of the Team Hoyt family! You are LOVING IT! :)

look at you NOW! A TEENAGER!

So anyways ... yes you, my son, are now a teenager! Wow what a journey it has been! A wonderful roller coaster. Yes, I said wonderful! For all the things that we have gone through, both good and bad, it's been wonderful watching you learn new things, overcome the challenges that Autism causes you to face, and become the wonderful young man you are becoming! You are so funny! Hilarious as a matter of fact! You pick the most unexpected moments to come up with some of your funniest sayings! I can't remember any right off the bat, but know son, that you keep us laughing with you, all the time! You have a beautiful personality.

So sweet and caring, yet so funny and stubborn - all wrapped up into a handsome package that is 125lbs and 5 foot tall! YOU are amazing! When I think back on the last thirteen years, I can't believe it's gone by so fast! You were just that tiny newborn that everyone so afraid to drop. That sweet little baby that had such a hard time with formula and foods. That little baby that rolled over just before you turned 3months old! That sweet smile you have always had. Those eyes that portrayed a soul far wiser than his years. You were a beautiful baby, a beautiful child, but I can no longer call you beautiful. You are a very handsome young man with the most intriguing eyes. Hazel - but with a green overtone and blue and gray highlights in them. Absolutely breath-taking. You still portray a soul far older than your years. You are so SMART! You know far more than you let on and boy, are you quick and sneaky! Sneaky like a fox we say. You enjoy movies (all kinds... though as of late, you seem to enjoy action movies like Hunger Games, John Carter, and you greatly enjoy the older James Bond 007 movies) and you still greatly enjoy books (you're moving away from comic books and enjoying some more age-appropriate reading material, though I wonder how much of it you understand). I do think you comprehend far more of what's going on in the world around you, than you let on. You are like a window that's left slightly cracked open. You let everything soak in - a little bit at a time. But when a wind gust comes and blows in, that window opens up suddenly and you let it all come out.

You make people fall in love with you. Look at your wonderful teachers, both past and present! I still keep in touch with your VERY FIRST preschool teacher (and multiple other teachers from over the years) because they still love hearing about you, seeing how you've grown and watching what you're becoming. 

With everything you've gone through in the last two years, from a less than ideal placement into the WONDERFUL placement that you're in now in regards to school, you are amazing! You came through it all with such an amazing amount of courage and bravery! It took a lot to get through everything you did but you succeeded baby boy! You are awesome and TOTALLY ROCK!

We all love you very, very much and are so VERY proud of you! I hope you have a stupendous day today, tomorrow at your party and in a couple of weeks when we do a party with your friends!

I LOVE YOU and HAPPY, Happy 13th Birthday to the best teenager in town!!!
-- Mom

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our face of Autism - Day 12 of 30

You silly goose! You put that noodle on your nose to make you look like Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda. ;) What a personality!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our face of Autism - Day 10 of 30

Love that sweet sleeping face .... this was taken 6yrs ago on a family camping trip :)

Monday, April 9, 2012