I have a child with developmental delays. Some are slight and others are severe. We’ve been through the autism diagnosis process. I can totally relate to the autism mom.
When I was a preschool teacher, I had kiddos on the spectrum or going through the diagnostic process too. I’ve seen parents fight for their kids. None of it is easy.
Although my child hasn’t received a diagnosis, he has many of the same behaviors and delays as children with autism. We use many of the same autism resources and therapies as autism families do. He’s five years old and it’s been an interesting five years, to say the least.
With that being said, my son is amazing. He totally sees the world in a different way. And, he does things differently than other kids. More importantly, he’s just him.
He absolutely has his quirks. But, we’ve learned to work with him in a way that works best for him. My son is ridiculously smart, funny, and just like any other kid. Except, he does things differently.
What the Autism Mom Needs You to Know
Since before my son first began the diagnostic process, I learned as much as I could about autism. I joined autism support groups and immersed myself in the community.
Regardless of whether or not my child got diagnosed, I already knew he’d require much of the same interventions as children with autism. I was right. He’s in most of the same therapies and he receives ongoing monitoring for his delays. Doctors haven’t ruled out anything completely yet.
Through this whole process, I find that people often blame the autism mom for her child’s disorder. Seriously, it’s insane.
As if dealing with the diagnosis and all the autism treatments aren’t enough, the autism mom takes heat for her child’s autism. “You need to parent him better” and “You shouldn’t have gotten him vaccinated” are probably the worst.
It’s disheartening that parents can’t support each other, especially when it comes to special needs kids.
This subject is one I’m so passionate about that I want to help fight for every autism mom out there. She feels defeated, useless, and hopeless. But she’s not.
Things to Never, Ever Say to Autism Parents
I’m so passionate, in fact, that I wrote an article for Reader’s Digest on things to never say to autism parents.
It’s important to me because it’s personal. But it’s just as important for the autism community and those outside of the community. It’s time to gain some knowledge.
And acceptance. Acceptance is something people seem to be lacking when it comes to this disorder.
So, take a few minutes to read it and share it in honor of National Autism Awareness Month.
Click here to read my Reader’s Digest article, “12 Things You Should Never, Ever Say to an Autism Parent”.
Amy is a mom of two, freelance writer, and blog manager who works with family-focused businesses to improve their content strategies. You can find her published work on Reader’s Digest Online, MSN, Niche, Frugal For Less, and other lifestyle publications.