Beyond Autism: Jayden's Journey
By Kirby Morgan | Published on January 12, 2021 | 10 Minute Read
I have been wanting to share our story for a while now, but we were thrown into the Autism world like we were hit by a truck.
I will never forget the appointment on that November morning in 2013 where I was officially told Jayden had Autism Spectrum Disorder and there was really no telling what his future would be. I thought I was prepared, but my five-month pregnant self was in utter shock and I am so thankful my mom had come to the appointment with us since my husband was away fulfilling his duty to the US Navy.
I wish there was a way for me to have known that day in November 2013 all we would learn over the years. I hope Jayden's Journey helps other families. Then sharing our story and our struggles will be worth it.
Jayden was evaluated and diagnosed by an experienced Developmental Pediatrician. He was very kind and took his time and afterward was very understanding of how emotional hearing the diagnosis was. However, I left that Naval Hospital with his diagnosis, a pit in my stomach and a list of things to do next. I am not kidding, I still have that list.
Fast-forward to 2020 I am a full-time Autism Mom, a Special Education Advocate and I know more about IEPs than I thought possible.
It took me a while to have the acceptance I have now and I went through many stages to get here.
"Then I became the therapy mom who enrolled my son in each and every therapy that I believed would help him. I lived on Google and I thought I could somehow fix him"
I was in denial for a long time. I remember my first conversations with the people closest to me and telling them it was not severe and he will start talking soon.
Then I became the therapy mom who enrolled my son in each and every therapy that I believed would help him. I lived on Google and I thought I could somehow fix him.
However, the biggest lesson I have learned through our family's journey is that Jayden is perfect.
My goal became to help him through life whatever that means for Jayden. I had to close my eyes to the expectations of “typical children” and I learned to see the world a whole new way.
Most people who grew up with me remember me as an opinionated, outspoken, loud, and outgoing person. I will even admit I was very judgmental. I was supposed to be some high powered Corporate Lawyer climbing the ranks in Corporate America and I spent many years in college setting towards that goal, the goal I thought would make my life perfect and happy.
The biggest gift I was ever given was Jayden because the lessons he has taught me outweigh every college course I ever took. The joy I feel when seeing him meet a milestone is nothing compared to winning a case in court. Had my life been different, I would still be that that opinionated, outspoken and sometimes inconsiderate person I once was
Jayden lives his life with a smile on his face every day through any situation. He has been hospitalized too many times to even count because along with Autism Spectrum Disorder he also has Epilepsy. During every hospital stay, his smile stayed on his face.
He has changed me in a way I will never be able to put into words.
I never will look at another person and immediately have a judgmental thought in my head, instead, I lead with compassion.
Through our journey which has been a roller coaster ride that has lasted six years, I have found my biggest challenges in navigating my way through the services Jayden needs for success and the resources that exist and how to obtain these services.
"He has changed me in a way I will never be able to put into words.
I never will look at another person and immediately have a judgmental thought in my head, instead, I lead with compassion."
I created a website beyondautismjaydensjourney.com. It is a place where I can share our journey and the resources I have found along the way so the next family that just receives this life-altering diagnosis has a place to start and most importantly has hope and knows they are not alone on this journey.
I started my own business in 2018: Kirby Morgan Advocate and Beyond. I work as an Education Advocate and Master IEP Coach helping families all over the country to ensure they are receiving all the services and education that fits the unique needs of their child. I never want a parent to struggle or feel like they are outnumbered at an IEP and without Jayden I would have never found my passion.
Being able to witness Jayden grow has been an extraordinary gift that has propelled our family to be so much more than I ever envisioned.
You can follow our entire journey as a family or read more about Jayden on beyondautismjaydensjourney.com. We are also on Facebook and Instagram.
About the Author
My name is Kirby Morgan and I am the mom to two amazing little boys, Jayden is now eight and Jaxon is six. I also have a bonus daughter Kayla who is eighteen and just started her college career. My son Jayden was diagnosed with Autism at two years and four months old. I was pregnant with Jaxon when I received Jayden’s diagnosis and Jaxon was born prematurely two months later. I was a mom struggling to accept Autism and navigate our new world without any sort of road map but it launched me into the career I have today. I am a passionate, Special Education Advocate, and I could never see myself doing anything else.