I recently read an article about Autism, as I do many that pop onto my radar via social media. I don’t often agree with everything I read, just as you may not agree with everything I write. Heck, maybe you are upset I even suggested Asperger’s was Autism. I am simply using the term because today many different disorders are considered to be on the spectrum, not because of my personal opinion about it. That aside, the article was focused on the large increase of children considered to be “on the spectrum”. This is isn’t the first time I have seen ASD painted like some new up and coming trend that had far too many people jumping on the bandwagon. Is the awareness and the number of diagnosed cases greater than before? Yes. Does that make it the cool new thing that any parent wishes for and would do anything to have to face? NO! Look, we all love our kids unconditionally and every person has their own set of strengths and struggles. With that said it’s time to clear up a few things about “Autism Parents” and the idea of a trend setting diagnosis:
I will never forget the day that I picked up my very perceptive 3-year old daughter from preschool and she said a combination of words that stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Mommy, why am I different than the other kids?”
I looked back in the rear view mirror and saw tears streaming down her little face. I had to pull over in that moment. I momentarily felt verbally paralyzed and wanted to cry myself. I asked her to clarify to make sure we were talking about the same thing before I responded.
Becoming a parent means that you have a lot of extra things to worry about. All kids are unique and need help in their own areas, but what happens when you find out that your child needs more help than most? What goes through your mind as a doctor tells you that your child has a developmental delay of any kind? What will having Autism Spectrum Disorder mean for your son/daughter? Why do you grieve at first like you lost a child that is sitting right in front of you?
Fear and worry can often be more limiting to you than something that seems limiting to your child. If you are the parent of a child with ASD, it can be incredibly overwhelming in the beginning. There are lots of decisions to be made right away. After all, time is of the essence and you may feel like you already lost some before your child had the diagnosis.
Moms come in many forms. I happen to be a single mom, a stay at home mom, a work from home mom, an autism mom, and so much more. Honestly I don’t care what kind of mom you are, because we are all equally great, and we all rock!
No matter what your day looks like as a mom, one thing we all know is that it is one TOUGH job. There are days that you know you completely rocked and others that are not so fantastic, to say the least. There are moments when I just nailed it and thought that someone was going to drop down from the sky and present me with some type of award. Because clearly I deserved it!
On the flip side there have been moments where I have questioned whether someone was checked out mentally when they gave the go ahead for this to happen in my life. Okay so that is a bit extreme, but you get my point and I know for a fact that you can relate.