Tag Archives: Autism

Being an Autism Mom and Caregiver

By now everyone knows I’m an Autism mom. I don’t think everyone connects the full time caregiver with it.

My days start at 5:30 am. I open my eyes and wonder what I will find as I step out of bed. My awake hours are 5:30am-12:30am. So during the 4-5 hrs I may have slept I often find that my son had woken during the night. On some nights he wakes me up, some he doesn’t. Some nights he falls right back to sleep, but that’s often not the case. I can find my kitchen destroyed, full gallons of milk left on the counter, or his bed covered in whatever container of snack foods he has grabbed and taken into his room. His bedding needs pretty much a daily washing along with the full cleaning of his bedroom.

At 6:00 am it’s time to start waking him up. This is usually a 30 min process. I never know how it’s going to work out. Most mornings it’s like poking an angry bear. I schedule in a 30 min waking period for him. Then from 6:30-7:00am it’s a process of getting him in a functional mood. At 7:00 am it’s time for breakfast which is usually a nightmare due to his sensory issues. One morning crunchy cereal can be perfect and the next he can’t handle the way it feels in his mouth. So at least 4 mornings a week I’m scrambling to find something healthy that fits his sensory needs.

Now at 7:30am it’s time to start the process of dressing for school. Once again due to sensory issues there are no tags on any clothing, no buttons or zippers on his pants, and the pants have to be loose enough that they don’t restrict the positions he feels the need to sit or lay in. Some materials are to scratchy. For instance finding a winter coat for him this year was a horrible experience. Some mornings I may even have to change his socks up to 3 times just to find what feels right to him. Mind you through all of this I am also getting a second child ready at the same time. This process can take up to 40mins.

Now I have to have his mood in a good place before the bus arrives. Some mornings this is the biggest challenge of all.

So by 8:30 am most mornings I’m so heartbroken by the challenges and lots of cruel things that have been said by him during his outbursts and his tearful remorse because he didn’t mean the things he said that I may need a good cry or an hour to lay there in complete silence thinking about how maybe tomorrow will go differently. I’m basically doing an hour of therapy in my head so I can get my day started.

I now have about 5 hrs before he returns home. This may sound like a lot of time, but as I mentioned above my ‘to do’ list has already been started and at any moment the school may call and summon me there.

Now is when I can pull out whatever he requested for dinner. Most days he asks for a specific dinner and by the time he gets home his sensory needs have changed and he may not be able to tolerate either the smell, taste, or feeling of it. Then I’m scrambling to come up with something quickly to replace his meal.

I start off with his bedroom because stripping a bed, washing all the bedding, and putting it back on daily is frankly a pain in the ass. I multi task so once I start there I have a million other things going on at the same time. My breaks are when I can actually check my email, bank, pay bills, plan budgets, file paperwork.  (the amount of Autism paperwork is incredible)

By now  I have about 3 hrs left before his return. I may need to run out for groceries or meds and in that case I have o have someone in my home in case the school calls. Most days I do not even wnt to leave the house as its such a hassle.

Now its 3:45 and his bus arrives bringing him home. He is usually starving as I didn’t even mention above that I have to supply a vast array of food to meet his sensory needs at school.  So now we start the dinner ritual. I’m lucky if I get to sit down and eat with the kids. I usually don’t.

After dinner its time to start homework. I have to split the kids up to do this so they can stay focused and I can endure the mental toture that goes along with it.

Now its bathtime and I haven’t even showered myself yet because I might  as well just take a bath myself before I get to go to bed.

We can now try to do something together or their father steps in at this point to give me a much needed break. If I take that break then I am losing quality time with the kids and I mentally beat myself up for that.

My wardrobe is casual, comfortable, and usually bleach stained somewhere.  So basically if I’m wearing sweats and a T-shirt without a stain then I’m probably leaving the house for something.

Now its about 7pm and we start our bedtime process which usually takes about 3hrs before both children are actually asleep. Once they are finally sleeping I myself can take a bath, put on clean pajamas, and fill out any school forms, check the calendar for the following day, etc.

Now it’s anywhere from 9-11pm so I can actually wach something off the DVR. This is a must have in my house or I would never get to watch tv. I’m usually about 5 episodes behind on anything I really enjoy watching.

Now it’s 12:30am and I am so exhausted, my body hurts, I remember that I either skipped lunch or dinner and that’s why my stomach is rumbling but I’m just to tired to even get back up.

The reason I am even writing this post is because I get really tired of trying to explain why I can’t join something, do something, or its not even worth buying something because I am last on my priority list. No matter what anyone tells me “I should do” I know what it is that I have to do. I live for the weekends and breaks from school. Although it doesn’t change our schedule we can skip a few of the things required of us during the week. So the next time you decide to judge an Autism mom/full time caregiver maybe you should rehink that because that mom probably had one hell of a day!

 

 

I Trick My Kids Into Drinking Veggies

My son won’t eat anything green. I’m also not the mom who forces my kids to eat anything. However I still manage to get them to have a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables daily by just making them what they call a treat and I call Mom’s Secret Weapon Smoothie.

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I keep the Fruit frozen and find that its less likely to go bad and that I don’t need to add any ice. I start off with the frozen fruit on the bottom and start to layer up to the veggies. I give the carrots, apples, cucumbers (anything crunchy) a chop before I toss them in. I put my leafy greens such as Kale and Spinach on the top. I use a vast array of different liquid such as OJ one day and the following day I might use a Coconut Water. After the initial blending I can add more fruit to add a sweeter taste or a little more color.

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I put it in a cup with a lid and straw for the kids. Then try to pair it off with some Cheez its, Pretzels, or Popcorn. So at dinner or lunch if they don’t finish their plates or don’t have an adequate appetite for the day I don’t stress about them not getting the proper nutrition they need because they drank it at some point during their day.

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Even I enjoy them

Time For More Change

I’m the girl who makes New Year’s Resolutions and actually keeps them. I started this only 7yrs ago. Trust me I wasn’t always ‘that girl’
This year I have made several resolutions. I am going to be focusing my energies in different places this upcoming year. I have wasted an awful lot of time and energy in places it just didn’t belong.
My first resolution is to stop feeling so obligated to people who just don’t appreciate it. Along with that I am not going to allow myself to be upset that they get upset over it.
Next I have great family members that I have neglected for way to many years. Its time to get them back where they belong in my life. I finally feel like I’m someone they could be proud to call family.
We all know that I am probably one of the most honest people around. This year that honesty will reach a new level. I am tired of being uncomfortable in some of my life situations by not addressing issues that are ‘white elephants’ in the room.
I’m going to be a lot more frugal this year and am looking forward to teaching others to do the same. So all of you that tell me that you want to learn how to coupon here is your chance. Follow my blog. It will give you an email update to new posts and although I post it to Facebook and Twitter you just might be overlooking it or not have time at that moment to read it.
I’m quite organized but really want to take that to a new level and some of my fellow blogger friends I am watching and admiring your skills and will be taking lessons from you.
My tiny family will be my main focus as always and I will no longer feel beat up by those that think Autism is an excuse in my life. Its not an excuse its a lifestyle that I live in the best interest of my young children.
I’m very much looking forward to this year as I know it holds many Blessings for me and mine but I know these Blessings are things I have to work for. I don’t get to sit around and have them tossed down upon me.
Happy New Year I’m really hoping to share this year with so many of you and I wish nothing but the best for everyone. Now lets get it started!
My word and hashtag of 2015 is #Winning its about time I win this game of life and catch up to so many of you!

A Very Autism Christmas

Now that the holiday has passed I’m going to declare that its fine to rant about the not so finer points.
From the 22nd to the 26th I felt like I was walking around on broken glass trying my best not to offend or make anyone angry. I have hosted family events for years and I admit I’m so jealous of those of you that have these Christmas events with beautifully decorated tables and houses filled with people who truly are having fun and are kind and respectful to each other.
I walk around so stressed out worried that I got everyone a great gift that they will enjoy as much as I enjoyed choosing it for them. I also freak out because my Autistic child is the hardest person ever to buy for. Even some family members ask if they can just give me the money to order something for him.
I also wear myself out buying, prepping, cooking, and serving a meal that everyone will enjoy. All while maintaining a certain amount of normalcy for my household as having an Autistic child a keeping regular routine is very important. Its not ‘an excuse’ its our lifestyle.
So after all the work, effort, and hoopla of the holiday why am I sitting here wondering why people act like its so hard to just be kind and courteous of each other? Nobody really seems to remember and acknowledge the true reason for the season anymore. Its all just a big show and a bunch of obligations which I already have enough of.
Its not one person individually its just people in general and its not all people but it seems the bad ones sure outnumber the good ones anymore. I’ve seen so many despicable things go on as I see lots of ‘behind the scenes’ things that the average person doesn’t notice. I attribute it to always having to be on my toes from the Autism.
I am not the person that cries poor me as someone always has it worse than I do. I’m the one who gets up makes that pot of coffee and approaches my day with the attitude that I might not want to do something and I might not even be feeling well enough to do it but its gotta get done so lets just get it over with.
That being said I don’t feel the need to explain my current situations with everyone all the time. You may not know everything that’s going on in my life and if you do I sure don’t want your pity but let me go ahead and tell you a little about the person that just put forth so much effort to have a wonderful holiday with you and buy you a thoughtful gift or cook you a delicious meal.
Autism doesn’t take a winter break and either does my Diabetes. We didn’t get a break from therapists, routines, medication times or shots. We haven’t even established a complete routine in our home yet as we just moved less than 30 days before this holiday. I’m not even unpacked yet and haven’t even changed every bill, bank, credit card, etc over to the new address yet. I recently reconnected with family members that I treasure and lost along the way of my addiction and had one pass away just a few days before Christmas. Since Oct I have had a lot going on with my own health and now after months of medications, fights with hospitals my insurance company, and lots of stressful tests I a tumor that’s concerning to the doctors involved and we will see what happens as we start to travel this path. I have my Grandmother who sits day after day in the nursing home depending on others to care for her and each time I walk in the door of that room another piece of my heart breaks. I have the Grandfather of my babies unable to walk out of his front door to the car without the assistance of two adults. I have a daughter newly diagnosed who is having a very tough time adjusting in school while they are calling her ‘extremely gifted, genius, and very mentally ill’ all at the same time.
These aren’t excuses they are my life. I am an adult and I will deal with all of it and I will be kind and considerate of others at the same time. I think I have just learned that my kindness and consideration will have to be from a distance with some in my life.
In the next year I’m looking forward to making more memories with people who have the same goals and attitude that I do.
I’m looking forward to making my New Years Resolutions this year as since my first sober New Year I started making resolutions that I actually keep.

Mummy Candle Holders

Being that my kids are 6 and 8 they are very interested in crafting. I try to find crafts that are quick, easy, and budget friendly then incorporate them throughout the week. Lately I seem to find a lot of fun and useful crafts with my Ball Glass Jars . These adorable Mummy candle holders cost under $4.00 to make and are really useful in our Halloween decorations.

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Pint Size Ball Glass Jars
Glue Stick
Scissors
Gauze
Bag of Assorted Adhesive Wiggly Eyes
Tealight Candles (optional)

We simply glued the end of our gauze to the Ball Glass Jar and wrapped them up nice and tight. You could tuck the gauze under at the end or glue it. Once we finished that they kids picked out the eyes they wanted to use and glued them in place.
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I chose to put a tealight candle inside and light them up so they glow through the gauze. If you are concerned about safety they also look adorable without the candles.

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It took less than 10 mins per child as they both needed a little help. I’m going to write each kids name and the date we made them on the bottom of each jar and will be pulling them out with the Halloween stuff for many years to come.

Notes From Mom

I have been getting a lot of calls from school that my son just misses mom while he is in school. I have spent a lot of time reassuring him that I actually miss him to but school is important and he just simply has to be there. As I was working last night on prepping some great projects to bring a little joy to my children’s day I came up with a wonderful idea. Notes from mom. When he is at school and having one of those moments wouldn’t it be great to have a note from mom? So I grabbed a Ball Glass Jar, a few Sharpies, some colored pens, paper, scissors, tape, a ribbon, and printed a few inspirational cards and jokes off the internet and got to work.

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You could jazz up the jar anyway you choose

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I added 5 ‘Golden Tickets’ into the mix. The Golden Ticket gives him the opportunity to choose any activity he desires afterschool as long as he finished the day with a good attitude. He was very excited about the Golden Tickets

After I finished the jar I wrote a nice note to the teacher and explained how it works to her. The jar is to be kept by the teacher and when he is having trouble getting through the day and misses mom and home he can get 1 note from the jar. If he picks a Golden Ticket the teacher will then reserve it until the day is done. If he completed the day in a way that is expected of him then she returns the ticket to him so he can redeem it at home for that one activity of his choice. She can send me a note when we are running low and I will happily refill the jar.

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I’m really hoping that this is going to help him through his days. I am also in the process of making a jar of afterschool questions and another that has fun little topics and questions that we can do at dinner time.

Nobody Cares Go Harder

I’ve always been honest and open about my child’s struggles in life. We are not ashamed of them and we share our struggles openly. No child comes with a handbook but I do try to provide one for mine. I recently blogged about our Back to School Nightmare Well big surprise (note my sarcasm) the school is now having trouble handling my child. Although I tried my best to provide somewhat of a handbook for my son they rejected it and have now decided that I’m just simply ‘doing it wrong’ I have been feeling the pressure of being forced to be a parent that I don’t want to be. They are shoving unsolicited ‘suggestions’ in parenting down my throat. It’s actually not just them society itself feels the need to point out what they think I am doing wrong although its a known fact that my child has less struggles at home than anywhere else. If my son is having a bad day at school and simply “just wants to be at home and is missing home” they are suggesting that home is a candyland filled with no rules, no consequences, and that I just provide to much comfort, fun, and love.
The last few days I have been struggling emotionally as I question myself. Did I miss something along the way in my quest to be a not just a good parent but a great one? Isn’t it our goal as parents to give our children such a good home environment that that’s their favorite place to be. I understand that Disney claims the title of ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ but my kids have never been there and I was actually quite content in knowing that home is their happy place.
I gave in and tried this form of what I call socially expected parenting. I gave harsher consequences to my children’s actions. I stuck with them. I offered only the praise that was suggested. I set stricter rules. I became this stern no nonsense parent. I even spanked one time. I now feel traumatized from it. I hated every second of it. None of it felt right and it made our lives miserable. For three days home was not a happy place and I am emotionally exhausted. If this is how society expects me to parent I cant do it and I don’t want my kids to ever live like that.
Today I am taking our lives back. I am giving back the handbook that society gave me and going back to my own. I will not punish my child for something he did at school. I will encourage him to do the right thing while there and reward him when he does. I cant feel good about punishing him for something related to his disabilities while he is out of my care. I don’t expect school to enforce any punishment for things that happen at home. Home and school are two different places and both have different expectations. Sure the general ones are the same but our home is our sanctuary and I am not willing to give that up. I apologize if my child wants to be home. I have always taken that as a compliment in the past and don’t appreciate school making me question myself as if it were a bad thing.
Now some might say “I was raised that way and I turned out just fine” Well let me be the first to say I was raised that way and it took years of therapy for me to be ‘just fine’ If it makes me a bad parent and its socially unacceptable for me to use a Conscious Parenting form of parenting then so be it. My kids are happy and so am I. I would rather tell my child a thousand things I love about them in a day than focus on the one mistake they made in the day. I prefer to give them rewards instead of taking things away from them. I would rather do the fun project that we had planned instead of turning it into a punishment by not allowing we do it because a mistake was made 6 hours before. I would rather talk about the mistake that was made instead of dishing out a spanking.
Maybe the problem is in society and not with me? Maybe society is so stuck in the ‘nobody cares go harder’ to get the desired results mindset that they are missing the point entirely. Maybe I care and maybe just wanna go softer and reach the same destination but be happy along my road in getting there. At the end of the day I prefer to raise a happy conscious child than one who is more focused on being socially acceptable. Right now society is just not acceptable to me.

Thank You

I just want to take a few minutes to personally thank my family and friends for always being so kind, understanding, and supportive. Its no secret that I have a child with disabilities. I often talk openly about it because everyone I surround myself makes me so comfortable about speaking about it. Its nothing to be ashamed of and I never want my son to be ashamed of himself.
I belong to several ‘groups’ so I can talk to other moms that go through the same things I do. Lately I feel out of place in these groups because I do not relate to these moms at all. My son didn’t ask to be born this way. Its not a curse and he completely depends on me more so because of his daily struggles. Once in a great while I find a mom I do relate to and I friend request her to my personal facebook otherwise the likelihood of us talking again is pretty slim.
I cant relate to the moms who toss their kids into a cold shower when they are struggling and call it shock therapy. I cant relate to the moms who beat their children into submission for displaying behaviors related to their disability. Or the moms who don’t seem to understand that the ‘label’ their child carries includes the word defiant which to me is pretty self explanatory meaning your child is going to be defiant. I definitely don’t relate to the moms who want to give up and hate their lives. I read a post from a mom who had posted about a struggle on her personal page and was bashing her friends who offered advice. I thought to myself she should instead be grateful that she has friends who were actually trying to help her out by giving her suggestions and it really made me appreciate all the people in our lives even more.
Call me crazy but I could never fell good about myself for spanking or punishing my child for displaying things that are related to his disability. My little boy cant help the outbursts that he has but I can help him through them. He depends on me and its my responsibility to not let him down.
I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life that understand if I have to cut a phone call short or if I cant even squeeze one in. I love that although I often cant make it to an event I still have friends that thought enough to invite me anyway and really understand why I cant go. I appreciate each and every one of you and I don’t think I even tell you all enough so thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do whether its an invite to an event, a kind word, or even a suggestion. Thank you all for being such wonderful, kind, understanding, and supportive people in my life. Whether you know it or not individually you all get me through my days and I love you all!

Our Autism Journey

My son has Autism. As I think about Autism I cant help but realize that growing up I didn’t know anyone with Autism. I cant even remember ever hearing or learning about this disability. When I was growing up a disability was something that was visible. In this day and age we all know someone who is touched by Autism. A friend, a relative, perhaps even just some random person you came across on the internet. Autism is now commonly recognized. Surely we walk among many undiagnosed Autistic Adults. Autistic children grow up to be Autistic Adults. The more I speak openly and honestly about my son’s Autism the more I have people reaching out to me and inquiring about their own children. Some have been diagnosed and others are just starting this journey. Early intervention is so important please if you think something is not right don’t dismiss it. Listen to your gut feeling. Your child wont just wake up one day and look Autistic. Throughout our entire journey the one thing that can actually anger me is having someone say “He doesn’t look Autistic.” The definition says Autism is: ‘a condition disturbing perceptions and relationships: a disturbance in psychological development in which use of language, reaction to stimuli, interpretation of the world, and the formation of relationships are not fully established and follow unusual patterns’ So of course he doesn’t look Autistic no one does.
I cant speak on anyone else’s Autism journey only my own. Just as every person is different every Autistic person is different. When I gave birth to my son the last thing I worried about was that he would be Autistic. Every mother hopes for a healthy baby and when you leave the hospital with a newborn that you believe to be happy and healthy Autism is not something you actually look out for. Our babies reach what we call milestones. Rolling over, crawling. babbling, talking, walking etc. My son reached all his milestones but they took what seemed to me more time and effort. I often inquired to friends, relatives, and his pediatrician about my concerns. From friends and relatives I heard “boys are slower than girls don’t worry” from his pediatrician I heard “he is happy and healthy don’t be so concerned he will do it when he is ready” My concerns never left that gut feeling was always there and I worked longer and harder with my child I gave him all the extra attention my little boy seemed to need. When my son was about 16 months old I was taken a little more seriously about my concerns as I had never stopped addressing them and at 18 months old he was evaluated by a team from the First Steps Program. He qualified for the program as my concerns were actually valid to them and we started what they called therapy. At that age therapy was basically things I already did with him at home but it was a Professional someone who’s opinion was valid to the Doctors. I was able to personally pick my son’s therapist from a package of resumes. Out of all of them one stood out to me as she had experience with Behavioral Problems. One of my concerns with him had been his behavior. You must be thinking that at that age how could that be a concern. I always noticed odd behaviors about my son. Friends and Family members would say “he is just bad” “he is spoiled” “you baby him to much” No he wasn’t just ‘bad’ ‘spoiled’ or ‘babied’ I always went out of my way to make him comfortable. Wasn’t it my job? I was his mother he depended on me for his comfort, safety, and happiness and he deserved it. Throughout the therapy my son progressed. At three years old he transitioned from the First Steps Program to a program in the school system called Head Start. We also started with a new therapist as we no longer qualified for the old one (she stayed a part of his life for the next 16 months though) At this point in starting school we still had not received a proper diagnosis which was a problem for everyone but me. I was not comfortable with what I felt at the time was jumping in to a ‘label’ Inside I probably believed that he would just grow out of this. I fought through the school system until he was five years old. We were headed to our diagnosis and Autism Spectrum was being discussed and at four years of age he was placed in a classroom setting designed for special education. He hated it as did I. He was restricted basically on what he was taught as most of the children in this class with him were physically disabled and the actual ‘work’ he was given was so minimal and basic it was stuff he had done in his therapy. He was finally transferred from this classroom setting and tossed into a regular classroom where no one was disabled physically or mentally but he was completely overwhelmed and just couldn’t seem to adjust. He ran wild through the classroom, he broke things, he didn’t follow the structure, he hurt teachers by striking out at them in anger as no one seemed to understand him or listen to him. All the while he was a different little boy with me. Now I know its because I listened, I understood. After all it was my job. My little boy was struggling and not enjoying things other children were enjoying. All I wanted was for him to be happy, feel loved, and to be comfortable. During these years I went out of my way to learn about the things that made him act out, the things that made him so uncomfortable in life. Some cant be avoided but the ones that could were now being eliminated one by one. All Autistic people have sensory issues. Its minimal in some but others actually carry a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. My son is one of them. All of his senses are heightened. This in itself makes life uncomfortable for him. Everything from fabrics, to noises, to foods are so intensified for him that they cause him a lot of discomfort. While in this classroom setting the teachers could not get a handle on recognizing his sensory issues. They just didn’t understand that 27 kids standing up and singing loudly would send my child running wildly out of control throughout the classroom seeking some sort of relief from the sounds that were piercing his ears. They labeled him as a bad child and looked at me as if I was not doing my job at home as his parent. I looked at them and wondered why it was so hard for them to understand as they were the professionals here. My son was suspended during and I was sick of fighting this battle with this particular school. I was tired of the conferences, the phone calls, the explaining of what was going on inside my child’s mind to a school system that didn’t seem to even want to understand I my son was transferred out of that program and placed backwards into my younger daughters classroom. He found comfort in his sister being by his side at this time. Things were still out of control and I was still at what seemed to be war with the school as I found I didn’t have much ground to stand on as we still had yet to have an ‘official’ diagnosis. When my son turned five I felt we finally had enough documentation of all the things going on with him and came to understand that he was not going to ‘grow out of this’ and we started seeing a Psychiatrist. After submitting all the information for him for 5yrs and seeing the Psychiatrist for some time we got our diagnosis of Autism with a childhood onset of Schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD, Pervasive Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and ODD. Autism is our main diagnosis. All of the other disabilities fall under the Autism and are related to the Autism. As no two Autistic people are the same they each have the traits of the other disabilities in my son these particular traits are so extreme that they are able to be diagnosed individually. Now that we have a diagnosis we have a ground to stand on. No longer is my child labeled or singled out as the bad kid. Instead of being at war with the school system we are now a team. The diagnosis itself has opened so many doors for my son now and I couldn’t be happier with what the school provides for him. Now when I send him off to school I know that his comfort level is as big a priority to the school as it is myself. I no longer feel as if I am sending him off to a torture chamber and he no longer feels as if he is entering one.
My child’s Autism is the #1 priority in my life. All I want is for him to be comfortable in life. Inside he is very angry and confused. He sees other children that are able to enjoy so many things that can cause him physical and mental pain and he doesn’t understand it. This year the anger is getting better. This year we are completely focused on his anger and his emotions. Sure an occasional chair still flies across the classroom but now instead of a punishment or suspension the teacher, aide, Principal and even himself are looking to see what caused this outburst.
I don’t ever expect anyone to truly understand what life is like for our household as my child’s Autism has a side effect on everyone in our household. There are many Autistic households out there in our society and none of us have exactly the same life. I don’t use a daycare as my son’s violent outbursts don’t allow it. I don’t use babysitters as none suit our needs. I have always been adamant about my son being comfortable and sometimes that’s a very tough job even for me. I do not seek sympathy as our life is honestly not bad. My sons disabilities don’t take any days off. There are no sick days, no holiday breaks, no vacations. I embrace the good things in our lives as there are definitely plenty. Autism is not all bad. I often reschedule appointments, don’t return phone calls, don’t follow through on making plans with friends. We miss birthday parties and prefer to host family gatherings in our own home rather than visit someone else’s. We don’t visit amusement or theme parks even shopping trips don’t always go as planned as Autism takes priority over everything. If it wasn’t for social media I probably wouldn’t even have any friends. Even most family members have abandoned us in life due to not understanding Autism. Those family and friends that have stuck around in our lives are the ones that are learning and willing to walk this journey with us no matter how difficult some of the long and winding roads may become.
If you think there is a problem with your child I implore you to seek help. Start by a visit to your pediatrician and request a referral to a specialist. One thing I tell all mothers who reach out to me is document everything. No matter how insignificant you may think it is it will aide and assist in your child’s diagnosis if there is a need for one. If you are concerned that something is not right it probably isn’t. Trust your instinct. Never give up. Do what is best for your child. Its your job as a parent whether your child is healthy mentally or not. Yes Autism is mental disorder that requires mental help. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about it. Its not something you caused and your child deserves the best treatment available to them. We are an Autistic household and we embrace it.