Tag Archive: parentlife


As a parent we want nothing but the best for our children and to watch them succeed. That still rings true when you’re a parent to a child on the spectrum only it’s harder to see the big picture or feel major judgmental guilt from yourself / others while your child is going through their daily struggles. Preeti’s post came up in my feed and it was a good reminder that I needed to tell myself, perhaps it will be useful to you as well. It doesn’t matter if your child is on the spectrum, is “normal”, has ADD or whatever their story may be all their paths will be different and it’s important to remember that being judgemental of themselves or other will get them no where. Be proud of who you are and what you yourself have accomplished, because this is your path that you are taking in life.

 

Original writer:Preeti Dixit
Original post: https://themighty.com/2018/03/from-one-autism-parent-to-another/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Autism_Page

 

Being an autism parent can be hard. Not only do we have to deal with substantial challenges while raising our kids, but we have to do so while facing social isolation. Ours can be a lonely road, marred by self-doubt and plagued by lack of validation.

While other parents talk about their kids excelling at school and sports and extra-curricular activities, we are trying to help our kids manage their sensory issues — perhaps to brush their teeth without crying, wash their hair without screaming, cut their nails without panicking, and generally go through the day without having a meltdown. Only another autism parent can understand why my son getting a haircut at a salon makes me want to celebrate, and why my son playing at the park makes me want to cry.

Parents of neurotypical kids cannot understand what we are going through because they haven’t experienced what we experience daily. It is important to keep this in mind, and not judge them or be affected by their judgment. It is also important to accept that our paths diverged the moment we started our journey and stop comparing ourselves to them and our lives to their lives.

It is very much possible to live a happy and fulfilling life with autism once we let go of our idea of a “good” life and focus on the good (which you will find in abundance once you start looking) in our life instead.

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When you see a blog that hits so close to home you have no choice but to share it

Written by : Rhona Silverbush
Original blog found here:
The Advice I’d Never Heard About Supporting a Child on the Autism Spectrum

“My son Jack gets on kicks. Remember those Magna Doodle drawing boards? We had several minis (understatement!), because we couldn’t leave the house without one for what amounted to a large percentage of my son’s young life. One of the many reasons?

One of the sweetest (says his unbiased mom) was his cash register kick when he was about 6. He had calculators with rolls of paper that print out the calculations that are punched in, and they were his “cash registers.” Everyone who works at our corner grocer has known Jack his whole life, and they were charmed by his sincere desire to help out. “Jack’s going to help me ring up customers,” one would declare when they saw us enter. “Oh, no — he helped you last time. I need his help today,” another would say. And Jack would beam. He’d take his station alongside one of the cashiers, who would call out the prices to him as he or she was doing the actual ringing up of a customer’s items, and Jack would happily plug in the numbers and crow out the final tally. The cashier would quietly adjust that to account for tax and complete the transaction with the customer, and on they’d go to the next.Jack would use them as signs — he loves signs. He’d pretend that a walk we were on was a train ride, and he’d write each stop on the board. We’d pause along our way whenever we “pulled into the station.”

The other sweetest? Label makers, when Jack was 7 and 8. He’d print labels for people in the building and the neighborhood that were mini “gifts” to them, and he would beam when the recipient “got it” that he or she had just been gifted something precious.

Every year, he trick-or-treats with his dad, always in a very singular costume of his devising, and goes into stores in the neighborhood. “What are you this year, Jack?” or “Wow, Jack, that’s amazing,” are the common refrains. And we live in a building with a doorman now, where Jack sometimes likes to sit in the lobby with his LED sign reading “Welcome to Our Building.” The sign scrolls. It has three colors. It’s truly awesome. In case you hadn’t guessed by now, Jack is on the autism spectrum.

Don’t get me wrong — Jack is actually quite shy. He hates being in the spotlight with every fiber of his being. But as I hope you’ve gleaned by now, he seems to enjoy connecting and forging relationships with people as much if not more than anyone you’ll ever meet, and that tends to win out over his shyness — so long as he can engage in his own way.

There’s nothing shy about me, though, and I wind up getting asked a lot to speak with moms of children newly diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I recently spoke by phone with one such mom who said, “My 8-year-old son does a lot of things people find annoying, and they get irritated. I just don’t know what to do. He doesn’t mean any harm.”

I hear her loud and clear. Same here. Jack’s challenges aren’t always visible to the naked eye, and it can be easy for a stranger on the street to misinterpret them. As he gets older and wants to go places on his own, I worry that he’ll bump into someone and be scolded, or worse.

I had two answers for the mom on the phone. The first was obvious: As her boy gets older, teach him to advocate for himself. “I’m sorry — I wasn’t ignoring you. I have trouble with auditory processing and didn’t know you were talking to me. Can you please repeat that?”

But equally important, I believe, was my second answer, and it’s not one I’ve heard or read anywhere, which is why I’m writing about it now: This mom and her child’s dad need to get out there and actively build their son’s “village.”

A dear friend of mine lives in an actual village — a small seaside town, where nearly everyone knows her son, who is also on the autism spectrum. They’ve known him since he was born, so they really know him. In their minds, he’s one of theirs, and so they all adore him and look out for him. I don’t live in a small town, but my neighborhood in my big city is akin to one, and Jack’s dad and I made sure from the get-go that Jack’s neighbors knew him — really knew him — so that they, too, could truly “get,” appreciate and care about him.

Communities often rally around those they perceive as their own. I urged this mom of the 8-year-old to get him out there in ways he could tolerate and see to it he becomes familiar to those around him. And to fill them in about his diagnosis — engage their empathy, which can override their prior irritation. He’s a wonderful boy with many attributes, strengths and challenges. Let them see the full picture. I urged the mom to turn the people in her area from strangers into her son’s community, so that they, too, can see what she sees when she looks at and smiles on him. Yes, incidents with strangers will be unavoidable. But there could be far fewer strangers and far more people looking out for him as he grows older, far more people cheering him on. Far more people sincere when they say their version of our corner cashiers’ “No, you had Jack with you last time — I get him with me today!”

 

 

Being a parent of a child with a disability there are many things I can relate to but also feel very alone with. It’s why when I saw this video in my social media feed from the fine people over at The Mighty I felt the need to share it. The video is short but filled with things that you may relate too, simple reminders you needed to read / see again and maybe even a few things that will be helpful as well.

The video is called:
Secrets of Being a Special Needs Parent

I hope it helps you feel a little less alone or perhaps spread some understanding if you happen to be reading this but aren’t a parent to a special needs child or even a parent at all.

Maybe your morning was so crazy that you forgot to put that permission slip in your kiddos school bag. Or did you turned your back for one second and your five year old tripped over their own toys and bumped their head or perhaps your newly walking little one just also had their first sip of coffee because you didn’t think they could reach it on the table just yet.

It’s ok, just breath and remember that this doesn’t make you a bad parent because guess what….WE ALL MESS UP!!!

As a parent we want nothing more to make sure our children are safe, properly cared for and know how loved they are. However life can and will just throw you an unseen curve ball which results in a scrapped knee, bump on the head or slip onto the bum. When these moments happen we already feel bad enough that we weren’t there to “save” our kiddos but the extra judgemental looks / comments that come from those around us don’t make the situation any better. So here is that reminder you may need to hear right now:

You are only human and even those who aren’t parents make mistakes and mess up too. No one is perfect and we’re all trying our best.

Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to prevent things from happening. Store cleaners / chemicals properly, have window locks so even if a bedroom window is open a crack no one can call out of, teach your kiddo to wear their helmet, the list can and will always go on for your own home / situation. All we can do is try to be the best parent we can be for our children and keep in mind that most accidents are just that accidents that no matter how much you planned and prepared for this one incident would of happened no matter what.

Hopefully this little blog entry is just what you needed to hear today, because I know that I need this reminder once in a while too.