Ezra doesn’t have many words. At least, not near as many words as other children his age. It’s just part of the whole package being “on the spectrum”. Communication has always been hard.
Ever since Ezra was a little baby, when I sensed his frustration in being understood, I would hold him up right in front of my face and say “I see you, Ezra”. It didn’t have an instant calming effect on him or anything spectacular but it was my way of letting him know that I knew he was there, I knew he was frustrated, and he had my attention. This has become something I do quite often. It also serves as a great reminder to myself… See him. He is not just throwing a fit or being unruly. He is frustrated. He wants to be seen. He wants to be understood. Look past the hitting, screaming, spitting, and fighting…and SEE HIM.
Eye contact has always been hard as well. However, even if it’s just for a split second, when I focus my eyes on my sweet boy’s eyes and tell him “I see you, Ezra”, he almost always will at least throw a small glance in my direction.
The moments when Ezra lets me in to his world and we are able to share a laugh at something, when I am able to understand what he wants, or simply being able to make eye contact, these moments are priceless. I forever treasure them. On the days when Ezra struggles more I find myself watching with a sort of desperate curiosity… what is he thinking? What is he trying to cope with? I wonder why he does one thing and not another? How can I help? I think these questions are good. Never stop asking questions. Never stop trying to “see”.
There is a part of Ezra that is locked away and trying so very hard to find its way out. Never stop asking the “I See” questions. I want to be sure that my sweet baby knows that “I See” past the behavior, “I See” a precious little boy, “I See” a boy that God has a specific plan and purpose for, “I See” his struggling, and “I WILL See” that he has all of the love, support, encouragement, and help that we can possibly give him.
Go figure that one of the few two word “sentences” that Ezra goes around saying is a repetitive “I see, I see, I see.” I see you too sweet boy. I may not always understand, but I see you and want to learn more and more about you each day.
Just a thought: Don’t we all want to been seen and understood? No matter who you are, I believe we all have these desires. Aren’t you glad that the Lord sees us? He knows the desires of our hearts, our struggles, our triumphs… and despite knowing everything about us he loves us unconditionally. Thank you Lord, that you notice us and you love us! All of us. No matter what.