Is this thing on??
Welcome to Autism Momming 101. Thanks for coming and so glad you could join me! In this class we'll explore the ins and outs of raising kids with Autism. I'm no expert, not by any stretch. I just know what I know based on what I've learned and continue to learn while raising my two amazing kiddos on the spectrum. I was going to call it Autism Parenting, but that sounds super boring, and no one likes parenting classes. I could have called it Autism Momming and Dadding, but that's long and awkward. So Autism Momming it is! But Autism Dads shouldn't feel excluded, though. I know you're out there and you should know that we are so glad you're here. You should also know: you rock!
Anyhow, let's get back on track. We certainly didn't ask for this for our kiddos. It's heart breaking when you first realize than something is off. When you're on a playdate with your friend, and you see her little girl babbling and laughing and stacking blocks. And then you look over at your sweet girl and she's sitting in the middle of the floor, by herself, spinning a wheel on an upside down toy car, or lining up blocks and just staring at them. All while not making a sound. Or when instead of playing on the equipment, your little man just paces silently back and forth over the playground bridge, tracing the straight line of the hand rail with his eyes.
You don't want to admit it, but you know you've got to do something. So you call Early Intervention and your little is evaluated and admitted for services. You think this is going to help, and sometimes it does. Sometimes it's successful and your little comes through with all the skills needed to succeed in preschool and beyond. But sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, progress isn't made and you end up getting an appointment with a pediatric neurologist. And then you get your diagnosis.
Your sweet baby is 1 in 68.
You're floored. How are you going to get through this? Where did you go wrong? Was there something you did that could have prevented this? Maybe you should have read to him more. Maybe you shouldn't have let her watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and put on some Mozart instead. What's going to become of your child now that they have this life changing diagnosis? How could this have happened?
Well, first off stop blaming yourself. This isn't your fault and there's nothing you could have done or not done that could have prevented this. There is no known cause for autism, it's just one of those things that happen. No amount of extra reading, classical music, or limitation of screen time could have changed that. Second, you have to remember to breathe. S/he is still the same sweet, beautiful child they were before, now you just have a little more insight into what's going on inside his/her head. And third, take it one day at a time. If you keep focusing on tomorrow, you're going to miss out on today.
I know. It's daunting. I'm still freaking out and I've been on this ride since 2010! It's scary! But like I said, breathe, and take it one day at a time. With you by their side, your kiddo(s) is(are) going to be just fine. That's why I'm here, and why we're all here in Autism Momming 101. We're here to share what we know and what we continue to learn on this spectrum wide journey that is autism.
So welcome to class! And I hope you enjoy your time here and we're all able to help each other learn and grow.
*feel free to browse through my old posts. I haven't written in almost 2 years, and it was time for a face lift!*