Today is Autism Awareness Day! Over 5 years ago, my son Jeremiah, got diagnosed with Autism. And it has been a roller coaster ride. There are countless emotions when you find out your child has Autism.
Here are a few.
Fear- So many thoughts immediately flood your mind. Mostly negative. What did I do? How long will this last? Will my child have friends? Fear will honestly grip you. You are so unsure of what each moment will hold that you often just live in a world of fear.
Grief- Yes. Grief. When you realize that things won’t be “normal” you grieve. You grieve for the child you love unconditionally that may face obstacles that others won’t. The fact that I can count on my hand how many times Jeremiah has been invited to a birthday party is sad. It’s just a lonely world at times. I can’t really put into words how you can grieve for a child who is alive and well, but you can. Trust me the feelings still pop up every once in a while and I sob! The good thing is this feeling will pass.
Hope- Once you move from Fear and Grief and other emotions comes a little Hope! Hope that your child will be just fine! Hope that the systems and therapies available with help your child win. Hope that days will get brighter and that your child will be successful in their lives. Hope can can come in many forms, small and large. When your child accomplishes a task, says a new word (my son is considered non-verbal), does well socially, gives good eye contact, has a great day at school… It gives you Hope! Try to find one thing a day that your child does that gives you a glimpse of Hope! 💙
Drive- You will find that having a child with special needs gives you a sense of Drive and Determination you never knew you had! You will research constantly about therapies, doctors, foods or anything that may help your child. You will want to fight hard for the things your child needs. When you see a deficit in areas your drive will cause you to want to improve it. My personal drive to want to finish my culinary degree came from having 2 Kids with special needs. I found out my son had autism about a month into me starting the degree. I could have stopped, but I felt more empowered to keep going. You also have to “Drive” your child to countless appointments! Lol 😊
Thankfulness- This is an emotion I feel daily. I am so grateful for my children. They are all a blessing. Having 2 children with special needs has taught me countless lessons. I am thankful for the doctors, OT, PT, Speech Pathologist, ABA therapists, Bus drivers, teachers, paras, principals, church Kids teachers, family and friends. I am thankful that I get the opportunity to parent such a special son. He truly makes me happy! He gives the best kisses and hugs. He’s been so considerate of his sisters lately. After waiting 6 years to hear him say, “Mom,” he did last year! Now he says it all the time! This is a huge victory. He prays all the time. Most words we don’t understand, but there are some we do. He always ends with Ah-Men and then looks at you for approval! Lol I’m grateful for my husband and other children who are invested in Jeremiah’s success. We don’t do everything right, but we are trying. 💙
Today as we reflect on Autism Awareness Day, please say a prayer for a person with Autism or their family. They are dealing with a lot. Behind their smiles, good jobs, fun posts… parents with autistic kids are often tired, lonely, and just want the best for their child!
I want to encourage parents…You rock! You are valued and you are loved! You matter and you are important! No one is living your life but you. Make the best choices for your child and stand by it. Don’t let others discourage you, because you know the weight you carry. God has equipped you with everything you need to be successful in life and in parenting! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take breaks and breathe! You got this! 💙
God is faithful and every child has purpose and promise! Celebrate your child with Autism everyday and watch each day become Special! 💙
“Before you were born, I set you apart!” Jeremiah 1:5
💙 XOXO- Kinesha💙