My angel Serafina was officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder on September 2nd, 2014. This was not surprising to us. We have been prepared to hear it for a while now after attending many appointments for her to find out why she has been so delayed in her speech. We wouldn’t have suspected anything to be
abnormal different about our daughter from the start. She has always been a very happy child and she has always been extremely smart and beautiful.
Serafina was born into this world at 8 lbs. She had very large, bright eyes, right away. She was breastfed for 21 months and LOVED to nurse. I was vegan during my pregnancy with Serafina and afterwards as well. I loved to eat fruit while pregnant with her and banana bread or no-bake vegan oatmeal cookies. I was a very healthy pregnant woman and would go for hours of walking a day with her in my belly. Our whole family has always been extremely healthy and active since we all became vegan in 2009. My husband and I are very into spiritual growth and development. During my pregnancy is when I really took an interest in Buddhism and meditation. I also ate a very clean vegan diet and did a lot of walking, swimming and yoga. This child inside of me was teaching me and helping me to grow right from conception. She was getting me into nature and cleaning up my body through my diet and my mind through pulling me into an interest in meditation and mantras. I listened to a lot of Deva Premal while pregnant with her and ever on after she was born. In the hospital I had my mantras too, just as I did when she was in my belly.
I knew that this child needed a very special name. At first, while I was pregnant with her, I was sure I would name her Veda. The night before Serafina was born, we all had a camp out in our tent in the yard and I stayed up late reading my baby name book. It was not easy to choose a name! I just couldn’t be sure what she should be. Veda seemed like a deep and profound name, but still it wasn’t what she was.
The next morning I went into labor and didn’t really feel any rush to get to the hospital. We went for a walk in the morning, like usual and I waited around all day, cleaning the house, packing my bags and the homemade vegan food I had made and walking often throughout the day. We got to the hospital at around 7:00pm and she was born at 8:54pm. It was a natural birth with no complications and she came out in one push. All of my yoga, meditation and thought training had made for such a calm and peaceful labor. My husband and I would walk down the hallways of the hospital, talking as if nothing was even going on. The nurses all took notice of how calm and peaceful I was every time I would come back to the hospital bed and they would monitor my contractions. They had never seen anything like it! They also commented on how they could tell that I was a great mom by my calm demeanor and the way that I talked about my other daughters.
We continued to walk around a bit until they monitored me and said that the baby would be coming soon. I really couldn’t even believe that it was already time! This labor was not at all like my other labor and deliveries. My past experiences really seemed like hell compared to the heavenly blissful feeling I had during my labor with Serafina. I went to the bathroom and said a simple prayer that there would be peace and then got back into the bed to deliver my third child. The doctor came just in time because she was out in one (nearly painless) push. She was placed onto my belly right away and I was able to breastfeed her as soon as she was ready after she came out. It was the most beautiful and natural experience, again completely unlike my other two deliveries which were fearful and painful and unpleasant.
Our stay at the hospital was extremely peaceful. It took a long time to choose a name for her. She went two days without an official name while I continued to search my baby name book, day and night. Everyone kept asking what her name was, but I still hadn’t decided. We filled out the name form after 24 hours with Veda Serafina on it, but it really didn’t seem right to me. The other names I liked were Maelle, Alethea (meaning truth), Sarayah and Verena. I was so healthy even after the delivery that I was out walking the next day after she was born. My husband and I would walk around the hospital while they watched her in the nursery, trying to think of a name that we both liked and that we thought suited her. I finally decided that she should be named Serafina after the Seraphim, the highest ranking order of God’s angels. Her middle name is Arabella, which means, an answered prayer, and she truly is.
Serafina crawled at 9 months and walked at 14 months. She had words at first, like dauble-dee (strawberry), appo (apple), dordge (for Curious George), dada, mum, up, Seraseeba (for Serafina), no, yes. She also could make simple sentences like “Seraseeba! What did you do?” She also seemed to interact with us just fine. She smiled and laughed. She was curious about her environment and her sisters could easily entertain her. We have always been a low-media family, but she did occasionally like to watch T.V. She also seemed interested in toys and playing. She had many words starting at about a year, until she turned two and half, still a lot of her talk was not English or comprehensible words. I remember my mother-in-law telling me “You know what she is saying though as her mother, don’t you?” (because most mom’s still understand their baby’s language) and I replied, “No, I don’t”. No one could understand her language, though it was clear that she was talking and communicating to us.
After Serafina turned two she became more easily agitated and irritable. She was easily frustrated because she had no words. She began to do things like pushing the kitchen chair over to the cupboards to get what she wanted since she couldn’t ask. She would cry a lot and did not like to keep her clothes on. She started taking off her diapers in her room and spreading her stool over her bed and walls. She would never sit still or want to eat at the table with us. She liked to be “off in her own world” and I noticed that she made less eye contact than she used to. She also liked to grab at her earlobes a lot.
She has always loved music and “singing” songs. She never did sing words, but could do the melodies perfectly in her own language or hum. She always did have a sing-song quality to her voice, just like an angel. At night she really talked away a storm in her room all by herself. She lived mostly off of juice or fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. She only liked plain foods, like unsweetened almond milk and puffed wheat or puffed corn cereal. She also enjoyed oatmeal with flax seed, plain cooked brown rice or quinoa or plain crackers or bread. She was and is my natural child. Or as my parents now call her, a “real flower child”.
My husband and I were not really worried about Serafina’s development, even though family members did express concern due to the fact that she was still not talking. They kept waiting for her words to come, and they didn’t really. Even the few words that she knew were just repeated words, words that she imitated from us. The rest was all her own language. After Serafina turned two years old, I felt really lost, confused and scared about Serafina’s development. One night, when I was tucking her into bed and saying I love you I realized that she could not say it back to me. I felt that by two years old she really should be able to say something. I felt sad that she never really looked me in the eyes. I felt confused and frustrated about why she would take off her diapers or cry so much all the time. I felt sad for her frustration and lack of being able to properly communicate. She had stopped caring about her books and toys and really just enjoyed singing and humming and spinning in circles to music, though she was still always happy and smiling (except in those moments of frustration). She also really loved being spun around in the computer chair by her sisters. Other things that really made her happy were being outside in nature, playing in the grass, picking flowers (and eating them), walking around in the garden or being in the lake at my parents place. She LOVES the beach and splashing around in the water!
Serafina never really liked to cuddle after she learned to walk and was weaned from breastfeeding. I could never get her to come and sit and listen to me read or cuddle with me. She was always on the go, always walking around, climbing, exploring or dancing and spinning in circles. I could only ever get her to sit still in a stroller while we went out for a walk. Those were my break times and moments to release stress, since I was always so busy taking care of my three girls, being a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom. I am so grateful for the fact that I co-slept with her for years and breastfed her for 21 months because I really cherish the moments that we spent close together, with her right in the crook of my arm.
During the long winter of 2013-2014 things got depressing for me as I watched Serafina regress and begin to vent her frustrations in episodes of crying and getting angry because she couldn’t communicate what she wanted. She had no more words left, but still retained her sing-song voice and melodic humming. She still loved music, spinning and dancing, but stopped caring about T.V. toys and books altogether. She liked to be alone more and more and rarely made eye contact. I don’t think that I consciously admitted my concerns and depression about Serafina to myself. I couldn’t. I never wanted to go there at all, because going there meant trying to figure out what I had done wrong. I really, really blamed myself, asking myself a million questions, trying to figure out what I did wrong as a mother, when I thought that I was giving my very best to her. Was it the vegan pregnancy? The vegan diet? Was it the few vaccines that she received (we stopped vaccinating her at 8 months old). Did I not spend enough time with her? Was it because we homeschooled and I didn’t give enough attention to her when I was busy teaching? Did I spend too much time on my blog and making a cookbook? Should she have had more toys? More playmates? Should we have had more T.V. on our home? What did I do? What did I do?
All of this confusion, anxiety and depression that had been building up inside of me had to come out eventually. I couldn’t run from it forever, though I tried. I remember feeling like such a bad mother to her and to all of my girls. Thoughts were swirling in my head all the time. Feelings of blame and guilt and confusion that I didn’t want to acknowledge existed. I felt like I couldn’t give them what they needed. I felt like I had to get away and so I went away to a crisis center to stay and figure my head out. I never thought of harming myself, but I felt so guilty as a mother that I felt like I needed to be away from them. I felt like I shouldn’t be around them anymore. I was in a really low state.
I ended up staying only two nights. I couldn’t sleep away from home. I knew running away was not what I needed to do. I came back home and decided that I was going to keep at it and just keep doing the best that I could as their mother. A big part of why I hit such a low was because I had lost my balance as a human being in life. The balance between taking care of the kids, making meals, keeping the home clean, having time with my husband, exercising, taking time for myself and my spirituality. And on top of that the running from my feelings and concerns about Serafina was what caused me to break open and heal in a deeply spiritual way. All of what I thought this “life” stuff was about was really also very much about being born again spiritually. To really find myself and live my truth. I had been running from being a mother because I felt as though I never had a good one myself. I had picked up so many bad examples from my own mother, I was scared to be her, even though I parented completely differently than her. My children and husband were happy, we ate a healthy vegan diet, we kept active, we lived in a beautiful two-story home. Our life was beautiful! I just couldn’t believe that I had it all so good! I didn’t want to. All I had learned from my family was depression, fear of God, separation, religious superiority, fear of life and enjoyment, running from my thoughts, pushing love away and self-sabotage. My mom had always had depression since I was a little girl and had eating disorders and would talk to me about so many things that I should never have heard about. Things like her suicide attempts, how she hated herself, had eating disorder issues and how she hated being married to my dad. Twisted ideas about God, spirituality and the devil which were all very fear-based, egotistical, superior and dualistic were what I had learned were true.
When I turned 2o years old I broke away from the church and a fundamentalist Christian view on life. I was inspired to become a vegan overnight after a nudging from my intuition. I also became more interested in expanding my spiritual view. I read more stuff on Buddhism and meditation, which helped me to heal from dogmatic Christian view and the eating disorder issues that I had been struggling with ever since a very young age, picking them up from my mother’s words and actions. I came to realize that Christ’s death meant more that saying a simple sinners prayer and that God really and truly was in everything and everyone and has set all people free, not just the “born again” Christians (like I had always wanted to believe, but was afraid to). I wanted to really know what the death and resurrection of Christ meant. I had always wanted to know, ever since I was a little girl. I had abilities that I didn’t know were different that most people. I could sense things and was very intuitive. I could feel others emotions, especially my mother’s depression. I was always concerned about others feelings, because I could feel what they were feeling and sense their thoughts when I was around them. I loved to be outside and I hated my mother’s depression. Outside swimming in the lake or walking or playing was where I felt at peace.
When I had gotten pregnant with my Serafina at age 22, I was put on a real conscious path of awakening and it was scary! For years I had struggled with bulimia, but when I was pregnant with her, I stopped. I let myself eat and fuel my body with life-giving vegan foods. She had been changing me from conception. She was to be my real and true teacher, come to force me to let go of my fears of real spirituality and of a fearful, vengeful God. She came to teach me the importance of meditation, my thoughts and the power of manifestation. She came to undo all the “rules” in my head and definitions of normal. She came to assure me that a vegan/organic diet is best and that nature is sacred and filled with the divine. She came to show me that all that we worry about is useless and that we should all see that our world is so beautiful and be in contact with the divine, as she is. We aren’t here to die and go to heaven (or hell) someday. We are powerful spiritual beings, beyond the restrictions of our physical bodies and our minds and we are reincarnating beings, who are apart of the divine source (God), which is love and not fear and are given more than one chance in life to get it all together perfectly. We are here to seek love, know love, be love and infuse love on this planet.
I had made a friend through my last blog, who told me stories of her two non-verbal autistic children. She had a boy and a girl and her daughter was very insightful and received messages from the angelic realm, which she wrote to her mother and father. Sometimes my friend would share these precious messages from her daughter with me. Her daughter was a self-made vegan, which is how her mother found my blog and purchased my vegan cookbook. One day last Spring when Serafina was 32 months old and still wasn’t talking and I was going through confusion and frustrations about her diaper disasters, her not eating at the table (and hardly eating at all, even for a vegan, since all she wanted was fruit, cucumbers or juice), was rarely making eye contact and really seemed to be different from a normal developing toddler, I remembered my friend and her non-verbal autistic children. For months family had suggested that maybe Serafina could be autistic, but it was just something that I had just never allowed to enter my mind. I didn’t think it was true for her. I had never myself actually looked up the “symptoms” of autism before and I didn’t want to. My husband had and didn’t think she was autistic because she wasn’t in her own world as though isolated from others and didn’t display any self-harming or aggressive behaviors. She did communicate and talk (in her own language). She was happy and loved music and laughing and playing, just not with toys or as other children play. She loved to just be outside on a walk or in the yard exploring and we encouraged that more that playing with toys and watching T.V. anyway. I didn’t want to think that something could not be right or abnormal with my daughter and if there was (and really, I knew that there was), I blamed myself.
That night I felt inspired to email my friend and ask her some things about autism and her children. I wrote to her about how I couldn’t get Serafina to sit at the table and eat and expressed my concerns about how she would only eat fruit and juice and occasionally plain foods like puffed wheat or toast and how often I would have to give her food in bed because I was worried she didn’t get enough to eat during the day because she was so active and buy. I told her about how Serafina still wasn’t talking and had seemed to regress significantly in her speech. How she never really made eye contact with me or anyone very often and how she was getting into her diapers when she was put in her room for an afternoon nap (which was so frustrating at the time because I had a lot of laundry to do everyday and wiping up the bed and the walls). I asked her if this sounded like autism to her and she confirmed to me that the symptoms and behaviors that I was describing to her were normal signs of autism and things that she had experienced with her own children. She had gone through many of the same things with her own children and could tell me that for children like this, all of this behavior was completely normal. I did some more research that night and realized that Serafina did have many of the signs of an child with autism.
We took Serafina to the doctor that spring and were referred to a specialist in the city. We went for several tests, hearing tests, play tests and other screenings and the results have come back that she does have autism spectrum disorder.
In the meantime, I was busy researching more about what autism really was and asking my friend a million questions. I got my life back into balance and took more time for myself and my spiritual development. I realized that autism is not about disabled children who are a burden to us as parents, but they are children whose spirits are not fully incarnated into their bodies and as a result are delayed in their development. The fact that they are not fully incarnated, enables them to be more in tune with the spiritual realm around them (and us all), causing them to seem to be “off in their own world” and rarely interested in making eye contact or doing things the way “normal” children and people do. These children are extremely sensitive beings to taste, touch, sounds and smells. They are here for the purpose of awakening us to the spirit world and to have us learn the unique gifts that they each have to offer humanity.
Children who are diagnosed with autism are here to fine tune us to the frequency of love and reverence for life and the spiritual reality that we live in, but are living unconscious of and asleep to. Some are here to teach about vegan and organic living in the way they choose their diets and are so sensitive to tastes, textures and smells, foods and chemicals. Some are here to teach us to free ourselves from our mind prisons of fear that we so often create and choose to live in. They are psychically sensitive and pick up on all of our thoughts and feelings, our depression, anxiety, fear and negativity, as well as our joy and positivity. I have learned from Serafina how important and powerful my thoughts are. When I used to be depressed, afraid and anxious, she avoided me and didn’t want to make eye contact with me or come and cuddle me. Since I have realized the importance of my thoughts and have chosen now to make a conscious effort to keep peace and patience in my mind and love and acceptance in my heart, she has been much more at peace and happier. She often comes to hug or kiss me and loves to dance with me holding her in my arms. She likes to take my hand and spin in a circle together.
And all autistic children are here to teach us what it is like to devote our lives to their care and needs, causing us to be less selfish human beings. These children are here to help us to awaken and have so many gifts to give humanity. The reason why there are so many children coming into the world with “Autism Spectrum Disorder” is because they are incarnating now, for this purpose of a mass awakening and serious spiritual evolution. We are not the ones who are “normal” and should try to change them to be more like us and fit into this fear-ridden, spirit-lacking, unconscious, materialistic society that we live in. Rather, they are the teachers who have been sent to us at this time that we should be learning from. They are powerful messengers showing us that at this time in our evolution we need a whole lot more simplicity, peace, love, light, positivity, joy, meditation, relaxation, natural organic foods and cleaners and to get outside and back in nature.
Nowadays, Serafina’s diet is still very simple. She eats what she wants, when she wants it. She does come to the table and she eats just as much as she needs. She still mostly prefers to drink juice and eat raw fruits and vegetables. She loves to spin in the computer chair and listen to music. She loves mantras and Jason Mraz or Brett Dennen (some of my favorite artists). She loves the song Wildfire, by John Mayer. She still takes off her diapers sometimes, but has stopped smearing her stool. She still uses a chair to get up to the cupboards to get what she wants, but will also take your hand in hers to lead you to what she wants. She is a very happy and healthy child and loves to be outside. In a puddle or wandering around picking and eating flowers or eating dill from the garden are some of her favorite things to do. She loves bedtime and her sock monkey party that I put on for her with her stuffed animals. She loves her family and is still continually teaching us how to see into the spiritual world. To let go of dogma, superiority, separation, fear, clinging to and trying to fit into the “norm”, conforming and all that stuff that we know we can and should live without.
She is not autistic. She is a Crystal child. She is an incarnated angel. She is Serafina Arabella and she is here to show and to teach us that the spiritual world is real and that angels are among us. And I am going to spread her message of awakening.