Family Relationships

Autism Awareness Month

Autism is quite the buzzword.

We have our own month.

Our own day.

Walks and runs and lightbulbs.

And I struggle with the gimmickiness of it all.

But I also benefit from it.

And so does My Boy.

There are a million diagnoses in our world.

We could be living with any one of those.

We could be wishing that everyone or someone or anyone knew or understood our struggles on ANY level, even the most generic.

We could be voiceless.

But because so many have gone before us, our path is already a path.

Our voices are heard.

Our struggles and our triumphs are televised and memorialized in blogs and documentaries and Tshirts and banners.

While we may choose to forge new paths or we may look to different voices to advocate for us, gratitude for those who first began awareness campaigns is paramount.

Be grateful.

That doesn’t mean you can’t make your own way.

But be grateful that when we say “he is autistic” people have heard the word.

That neighbors have YouTubed Temple Grandin.

That teachers have researched for IEPs.

That therapists have created sensory equipment and mothers have blogged curriculum and doctors have studied causes and correlations.

Be grateful that we are not invisible.

As we start this month, blowing up newsfeeds and mailboxes campaigning for our loved ones, be gracious.

Remember those who still have no advocates.

Remember that no advocacy is ever perfect.

Remember that no parent or child or teacher or therapist is ever 100% right or 100% wrong.

Remember that we are doing this, not to be superior or to demand respect or to get “more.”

If we are doing it for the right reason, we are doing it for him.

And for others like him.

We are doing it to say:

“He’s here.

He’s loved.

He’s worthy.

And we want you to know.”

That, my friends, is Autism Awareness.

That, my friends, is the point of sharing.

And I am grateful for the opportunity.

Happy April.

❤️

#SpectrumMom

P.S.

Pic of My Boy.

In a moment of pure, glorious joy.

#AutismAwareness 

 

Dear NT Family & Friends,

Dear Neurotypical Friends and Family,

Um. So, hey, I just wanted to let you know that… yeah.

I don’t do jealous.

I don’t know why, I just never have.

I’ve never wished I had someone else’s job or car or house or family.

I’ve wished that I had a bestseller on the New York Times… but it’s more of a naptime fantasy than actual jealousy over anyone else’s book.

I don’t want THEIR success.

I want mine.

And I want success for my Boy.

There are a million ways my mind wants to go when I start down this thought-road, so I’ll try to line up a clear, easy to follow map.

And it starts with this: I am not jealous of you.

I am not jealous of your child.

I am not jealous your child is not autistic.

I am not jealous your child is top reader in his school.

Or that she won a state solo contest.

I am not jealous your husband helps with your laundry. I’m not sure how such a thing happens exactly, but I’m not jealous.

I’m happy for you.

I just want to throw that out there.

Because lots of someones are apparently concerned, since I started talking about my Boy’s autism, that they can’t share with me. They can’t brag. They can’t talk about the wonderful, amazing, fabulous things their kids are doing.

Out of kindness and consideration for feelings I don’t have.

But maybe one day I will. Maybe, as my Boy grows and our differences are more noticeable and our struggles more intense, I will have a hard time celebrating with and for you.

But not today.

Today we are living in that soft, gray cloud that floats ambiguously between the storm of pre-diagnosis and the soft, lily white fields of “we’ve totally got this autism thing.”

We are somewhere in the middle.

Where life is manageable.

Where hope is concrete and pain is fleeting.

Where I can share ”us.”

We don’t have it all down yet, but I can see that the tunnel we’re in doesn’t end at a brick wall.

I can see that the very, very rough years we’ve been through had purpose.

And that’s why I’m sharing everything I do. I’m sitting here on Facebook every night talking through my thoughts and feelings. Sharing the hard and the easy. Sharing the laughs and the tears. Reaching out because I know we’re not alone.

I’m not jealous of what you have, I’m trying to share what I have.

I know our life looks very different from yours.

And I’m okay with that.

Because I love what we have. I don’t love that my Boy has to struggle to get through a meal or to get dressed or go to the bathroom. But I love him. I love how he loves me. I love how loving him is turning me into this insane advocate-ish, educated, aware human being.

I love this crazy, messy, stained, saturated life that we have going.

So, I said all that just to say “congratulations, I’m proud of you guys.

You guys are awesome.

Tell me all about you while we’re here.”

And I hope, really, really, really hope, you’re proud of us.

Let me tell you all about us while we’re here, too.


#SpectrumMom

Pic of Me holding my Boy. Who is wearing iLs headphones. At Occupational Therapy.

A Picture I took because after 5 months of his wearing them twice a week he’s finally decided there’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting and KEEPING them on.

Which is a huge triumph.

One of many we had today.

Celebrate with us.