I write this not for pity but for acceptance. I kept this quiet because I didn’t want pity. I’ve come to a point where keeping quiet doesn’t help, and honestly I’m tired of being quiet.
My son has Autism.
We knew around 14 months. He stopped talking, he stopped seeking attention and he stopped being the child we knew. We called it “the fog”. He was here but not really here. He was diagnosed at 2.
This road has been very hard and very lonely at times. I thought I lost friends when I got pregnant but they dropped like flies during this time.
I’m not as fun as I used to be. My days consist of therapy, schedules, structures and routines.
I don’t ask for a babysitter often because I know he wants us. I know what he wants based off of his grunts or screams.
I don’t go to a lot of events we are invited to because it’s a lot of work. It’s not because I don’t want to go, it’s because we just can’t.
We have come a long way with therapy, diet and oils but he has a long road ahead of him. We have therapy 5 days a week. My son can sign for eat, please and more. That’s the only way I have to communicate with him, it’s heartbreaking.
I don’t write this for pity.
Don’t pity me. My son is amazing beyond words. He is so incredibly smart and funny. He is my best friend.
I write this for acceptance.
To the grocery cashier – please don’t treat me like I’m a crappy parent because my child doesn’t speak to you. He is nonverbal. He doesn’t talk, nor does he make eye contact. Do you have any idea how much I long to hear him call me Mama?
To the perfect parent in aisle 4 – I’m sorry my kid is screaming and chewing on his shirt. He doesn’t want to be here. The lights are too bright and the sounds are too loud. He wants to be at home where he feels safe.
To the parent who thinks I’m being overbearing – you have no clue what causes meltdowns in this house. I do. I watch him like a hawk 24/7. I have to follow the plan we have made for him because it works. Sleep is a thing of the past and is a very sacred thing in this house.
Accept him…accept me.
There is a big difference between autism and being a typical toddler, and we are struggling with both at once. Please know that I know the difference. We are trying so incredibly hard and every day is a struggle and a miracle all-in-one.
The best way I can describe autism is that it’s a diagnosis, not a life sentence. Pity won’t cure autism and neither will complaining about it. All I ask for is acceptance… if not for my child then maybe for the mom who is clearly struggling in public. Don’t stare or roll your eyes. Maybe just go give her a hug, because she probably needs it.