Sometimes, beginnings aren’t all they are hyped up to be. Remember the words, “Ready, and Begin” in school when beginning timed standardized testing or the dreaded SAT test? It wasn’t one of the best beginnings I ever had. The first day on a new job was always somewhat scary for me. I still remember the fear and excitement tangled together as I began a new job.
I imagine that’s what it’s like for my autistic son when he starts something new. Except, you need to add anxiety into the mix, multiply those feelings by a factor of 100 and have the location of the new job be on an alien planet where their version of a Universal Translator doesn’t have English quite right yet. I think that’s closer to what beginnings can be like for him. Yet, even with all the research in the world and every tool I can get, I still may not have everything to get him through, say the first day of school. What I do have is a lot of love for my child, which is the most important thing, followed closely by a large dose of patience.
How is that any different than parenting a “normal” child you might ask. There’s a difference, trust me. I have an autistic son and a “normal” daughter. Parenting them is as different as night and day. Plus, it brings a whole different set of dynamics into play. With the multiple diagnoses my son has, including autism, comes multiple therapy appointments. To my daughter, they appear to be a fun playtime. She completely understands the difference between her dance and his golf. What she doesn’t get is that a therapy session in a sensory gym isn’t fun for her brother, it’s work.
These are just a couple of the reasons Laura and I decided to start this blog. There are still so many things that are unknown when it comes to Autism Spectrum Disorder and much more to be discovered. But while we wait for discoveries in the Medical Community, there are a few things we know we can do.
We want to help promote Awareness in a positive way. ASD is a huge spectrum and no one person is the same as another. We also want to Support others whose lives are a bit bumpy due to an ASD diagnosis. Autism doesn’t just affect the person diagnosed. Entire families and households are forever changed the day the diagnosis comes. My family went through huge changes with the diagnosis and we still find ourselves adjusting and changing all the time.
Then, we want to be a small part of Developing Community among those affected by Autism. We understand the journey. It doesn’t end. There is no “cure.” It doesn’t just go away. No matter how hard you try, you can’t just ignore it. Instead of ignoring it, let’s embrace it and see where it leads. The autistic mind sees things we could only dream of thinking. Let’s encourage each other and our autistic family members and bring awareness to the world around us.
With a lot of Faith, Love and Fidget Toys,
Jessica and Laura