When Bug was first diagnosed with Autism I cannot even describe the immense and devastating tidal wave of feelings that rushed over me. The word Autism absolutely and completely stopped us in our tracks. I tried to tell myself it just wasn’t true, that people are wrong everyday. I sobbed for months on end and begged the powers that be to make everything just be a dream. Eventually, as I think all special needs mother’s do, after the initial denial I went through all of the rest of the stages of grief-
And finally Acceptance.
When we were going through the diagnosis process we had VERY little support. It wasn’t like today where there are hundreds of asd friendly facebook pages, websites, and blogs to log on to. We went to a couple of support group meetings in a neighboring city but it was next to impossible to arrange them with Bug. They were only once per month so it would throw Bug’s routine off in a major way and we would end up tending to him throughout the meetings. We didn’t really accomplish much so eventually we quit going.. We were terrifyingly alone in the beginning of our journey so I often think of all the things I wish I would’ve known all those years ago.
1. Autism is NOT a dead end. It is NOT the end of the world. Things WILL be okay.
2. Will it be easy? HELL NO. Can you do it? YES. A thousand times yes.
3. Will it change your life? YES it absolutely will. In every way imaginable and 100% for the better. You will view the world through a fresh new set of eyes. You will never be the same person you were before.
4. YOU will always care more about your child’s health than anyone else so GO WITH YOUR GUT. Be your own advocate. If you disagree with something a doctor or teacher says, get a second opinion, and a third if need be!
5. RAISE THE BAR! Don’t accept “He/She can’t do that” or “He/She won’t like that”. There are SO many things that my son does that we were told he would never do.
6. RESEARCH YOUR A$$ OFF! Don’t take someone’s word for anything. YOU are responsible for your child’s health. Take the time to READ EVERYTHING.
7. Your child is still your beautiful child, autism or not. You can’t get so wrapped up in the initial fear of the diagnosis that you forget this very important fact.
Keep on keepin’ on, rockin moms and dads!
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