As a parent with an autistic child, do you ever find yourself conflicted with how you should feel after you just told someone for the first time about your child? I am much stronger now than I used to be obviously. I’m not as easily hurt or emotional when talking about Andrews autism. But I find different peoples different reactions and responses interesting. I don’t blame other people who are not in my shoes in any way. I suppose I’m just writing this entry because I after 10 years of this journey I still get mixed feelings. Some people respond with “Oh I’m sorry to hear that.” My usual thinking is “Oh but wait his autism isn’t that tragic? Why are you apologizing?” However I get it because most people see it as a devastating thing and they’re just offering their sincere apology. Or most I guess don’t know exactly how to react. Others response will be a straight face no emotions followed by an “Oh” or “Okay” with a pause obviously waiting for me to continue telling them more. I also often find myself thinking inside why aren’t you phased by what I just said? Or do you know what autism is or the level of autism and what it does to your life? But then again I get it too. I understand that some people realize autism isn’t a tragedy so they’re not going to apologize nor show any sympathy. So why do I find myself in these situations wanting them to show me some sympathy. When in fact I know that when a person does apologize I honestly wish they weren’t so sad to apologize about Andrew’s autism. I honestly don’t know which response I like or feel most comfortable with but as I’m writing this I’m thinking maybe the most comforting ones are the people who respond by asking “what is autism exactly?” I think their honesty somehow comforts me in a way where I know they are genuinely have no knowledge and showing interest. Or maybe because this rarely happens where somebody does ask what autism is. Either way I would think after 10 years I would be a little bit unfazed by a people’s reaction but I guess I’m not.
Dear Anyone who’s not an autism parent but trying to understand autism parents,
You know those moments in life when you’re hurt that a mean kid was not so nice to your child? Or how horribly difficult the “terrible twos” were? How much you struggled to keep your shit together as you tried to control your possessed kid in public. How cruel people in public can be for giving you the bad parent/bad child glare? What about having to de-code wth your life insurance or retirement plans mean? Or worse, a store, party venue, restaurant or insurance company denying coverage, denying return of a bad item, dismissing bad customer service. Having to escalate it to management? Remember that bad year when your child that horrible terrible no good, very bad teacher?! Phew thank goodness that was just one school year. How sad you were when your youngest was delayed compared to all their friends when it came to sports? But now ecstatic you were when he finally got that ribbon from swimming to the next level, even though it took him longer than every other 5 year old?
Autism families go through similar pains everyday, every hour, every week throughout their lives. Not occasionally but everyday. The struggle is so very real. It’s exhausting, depressing, disappointing.
I’m not being sarcastic nor belittling the issues, hardships, obstacles we all face as parents and human beings. Special needs kids or not. I’m simply trying to help non autism parents understand the intensity of the other side.
(Pic above I took the other day when we finally got some rain and thunder in Northern California. I love the rain, the comfort it brings, the beauty, the calmness the sound of rain drops. The road ahead is a long, dark, bright with many bumps and detours for many autism families.)
I decided to make a separate tab where I show off how I indulge, create, take care of me. After all, they do compare us Autism Moms to Men in Combat!! There is that saying where it goes something like, You must take care of you before you can be there for your children. Yes I get it but that doesn’t always happen. However, when I do find things I love to do I indulge BIG TIME and get STUCK to gain some of that ESCAPE and THERAPY even if only for a short time, it’s better than no time. Geez I sound like a drug addict but I’m more like a shop-aholic. Enjoy! I hope you get some get ideas on how to self indulge or teach me a few other ways to escape this autism reality. I’ve added the most recent posts about these wonderful hobbies of mine but going forward (as I get lazier) just please look under “taking care of yourself first” category on the right hand side of the home page.
My husband accidentally wiped my calendar out during syncing. The stress drove me to Starbucks for a Venti skinny cinnamon dolce latte…with…whip.
TBT. I had featured this on my IG for April AutismAwareness month in honor of my son. Alex & Ani puzzle bracelet from Nordstrom. So in love with this gorgeous piece. I’m all about trendy, environment friendly, good cause and affordable designer brands. Thank you A&A for this awareness bracelet!
Yes I was rockin’ out blue gel nails on autism awareness month!
I love this puzzle pieces necklace from Princess P’s online store for $14.99! I’ve been looking for a cute & trendy necklace like this for long time, so I’m ecstatic. I’ve searched and could never find one like this. Most of the ones I saw were huge puzzle pieces or had imperfect shapes. Thank you to Andrew’s school therapist, who was wearing this one day when I picked him up!
Being out in public with a close friend or family who’s with you and your autistic child. Your child is whining, crying, on the verge of a tantrum OR your child is hyper, scripting, disturbing others. AND in both situations people are staring, your blood is boiling, your anxiety just went off the roof, and you’re getting stressed and desperate because it just won’t stop. Yet, that person. Right next to you. Your friend. Your family member. Your spouse. He or she is oblivious to all the pain you and your child is experiencing. Has no clue what so ever as to what is occurring. That is pure loneliness.