This was written from emotions following an event that consisted of a birthday with several ASD children and their families.
Whew.. what a day! I would like to extend a word of encouragement to my Mommy friends…especially after today. I would also like to say thank you to Sophia for speaking up at the birthday party to her friends/church people about helping out parents dealing w/ their (autistic) children. She spoke out about stepping up to help a person out if you see they’re struggling: Help them carry food to the table, see if they need help, or just step in and do something. That really touched my heart, but also brought frustration about this complicated issue of Autism. We want our children to fit in to this environment, but we back down because we get tired of sensory overload, meltdowns, diets, anxiety, and other issues that come along with our children not being able to understand/process this world. Fortunately, over time our society will become more acceptable to children/adults on the spectrum. Unfortunately, they will still have to interact in this society and learn to find their niche (not fitting in, but their own place) in this world. That is where we as the parents, have to keep going…keep trying.. Never giving up! I remember those days- our first trip to Disney World- HUGE disappointment and didn’t enjoy it because of the twins. I remember our first amusement park, first try to the movies, etc. I remember sitting in the Rainforest Cafe with the twins both crying, hands over their ears, trying to find the exit because of that environment. I remember fighting back tears as I sat there feeling helpless. Here we were on vacation with our family who didn’t understand why the boys were acting that way. After that trip, I told myself- I WILL NOT LIVE MY LIFE IN A BOX! I’ve cried many tears wondering if my boys will be able to do this or do that. And when I see the small changes, it gives me hope to keep going… to keep trying! So to my fellow Moms that are feeling like my child doesn’t like that or cannot do this- keep trying! And we have to use each other as support. I was glad that I was able to help a fellow Mom out today. It was nice to shed some tears of frustration, but to know that we are there for each other was a wave of relief. And maybe the first time a child only stays 30 minutes at Impression 5 or McDonald’s, the next time try 45, and keep building on that. My battles w/ Autism is at a different place then 4 years ago, but we have to continue to live. There are days that I get tired of fighting and struggling w/ their needs, but I know I am the best advocate for my children. We cannot let Autism keep us in a box. So let’s continue building our “Audie Acres” that will protect our children, but also help them transition out into our ever evolving society. Let’s continue to encourage each other and support each other!
Subsequent and significant postings from other ASD Moms:
I think we need to do more speaking out to others so they are educated! Just because you see a child crying and hitting/screaming/sobbing.. DOES NOT MAKE HIM/HER A BAD CHILD! That annoys me soo much! People that think a child is acting out… and they really have no clue!
Support is the key! And today that really showed me that I have to make sure I provide that support because I do understand!
Thanks so much Tatanisha for allowing me to post this on my profile from the Starfish group. I think it very much articulates the very things that we as ASD parents experience on an on-going basis. Some moments bring laughter, while other…s bring tears. Yet through it all it is really a process of learning – the ironic question is whom is learning more in the process, them or us? At times I feel that I am teaching my son valuable things to get through daily life and beyond, then I humbly realize that he is truly teaching me lifelong lessons in areas such as humility, patience, gratitude, appreciation, and so much more. I remember watching the video “Family to Family” by Alyson Beytien shortly after my son’s diagnosis and going through the gamut of emotions – crying and laughing at what was shared – because it was relayed much like the post above, in a way that was highly relatable. Ultimately, I truly believe something that I saw on a T-shirt that said “society says I am Autistic, God says I am Perfect”. God has entrusted these children to us for a specific reason – because we are capable and competent to parent them in a way that others would not be able to – through the laughter and the tears, we count it all joy!