Thursday, November 3, 2011

Falling into place

Me, Cal, and Beckett at the 2011 Walk for Hope in Lafayette
In honor of my son’s fifth birthday, which is in a few weeks, I have decided to spread a little autism awareness. I am not usually a person who discusses my thoughts and feelings or voices my opinion to hundreds of people, but it’s worth it for him.  I am not an expert on autism by any means, there are tons of people who know way more about it than me, but what I can share with you and what I do know about is my son, Beckett.  Like all the doctors and scientists out there, I have no idea what causes autism.  I can tell you that it is not caused by eating lunchmeat while pregnant, letting your child watch TV, or not giving them enough discipline.  People have made some crazy comments to me over the past few years about autism, and I don’t blame them.  I knew nothing about it before Beckett was born, and that is sad.  If I can teach one person one thing about autism, with what little knowledge I have, that will make me happy. 
All autistic kids are different, and that is part of the reason why it is so hard to understand. In Beckett’s case, he has trouble communicating.  He can speak, but cannot tell you how old he is, what he will be for Halloween, or what he wants for Christmas, things a typical almost 5 year old loves to talk about.  Other kids often think he’s mean because he doesn’t talk to them or try to play with them.  He just doesn’t know how and he’s not all that interested.  We are working on it.  He is still not fully potty trained, doesn’t understand not to play in ant piles or the middle of the street, and rarely sleeps through the night.  There was a year and half of his life where he hated the sound of people talking.  My husband and I having a conversation, the radio or the tv being on would send him into hysterics.  While Beckett has made great progress over the past few years, and I expect him to continue to do so, he will not “outgrow” his autism. He will always have issues.  I don’t say this to be negative, because I believe he can do anything, it’s just the truth.  I am not writing this for people to feel sorry for me.  There is nothing to feel sorry for.  I have a happy, healthy, wonderful family and a great life.   Beckett is the sweetest, most affectionate, warmest child.  He is also really funny, has an amazing memory, and a wonderful spirit.  I just want people to know a little more about autism and to know that families affected, well mine at least, just want their kids to have happiness, acceptance, and as much of a normal life as possible.

There was a period of time where Beckett seemed really miserable and frustrated much of the time. Nothing we could do would make him happy or make him feel better. Because of the lack of communication, it is hard to figure out what is bothering him.  This makes you feel pretty useless as a parent. Anyway, during that time I wrote a song called “Pieces.” People in the autism community use a puzzle piece symbol to represent autism because everyone is trying to find the missing piece so that we can eventually put the puzzle together. My wonderful, patient, kind, genius husband Cal Stevenson recorded the song, played all the instruments on it, and made it sound awesome.  You can listen to it here or watch the video below. If you like it and feel like spending a dollar, please go to the links below and download it. If you really like it, then please share with your friends. We will donate half of all the profits to the Autism Society of Acadiana, which is an awesome organization. The money will help children with autism in an eight parish area all across south central Louisiana! Thank you for taking the time to read this and for listening and/or downloading our song!  We really appreciate it!

Download Melissa's single "Pieces" at the links below.
Half of all profits will go to the Autism Society of Acadiana

Pieces - Single - Melissa Stevenson

Melissa Stevenson: Pieces

Click here to buy at