So much goes through your mind when you get a diagnosis of autism for your child. There are so many questions and not so many answers. Autism is such a broad spectrum.
How will your life be?
Will you go on as before?
What does the future hold?
What changes will occur?
What changes will you have to make?
Will his life be difficult?
I can go on and on. As time passes you just have more and more questions.
I had all these questions and more. Right away I knew that my life will never be the same. I knew that there were going to be many difficult times to come.
What I didn’t know was the amount of love, compassion, and education I was going to experience.
Yes, having an autistic child is difficult, but it transforms you like you never thought possible. It bends you and molds you and sometimes breaks you. But being a mother of a child with autism, you come out stronger and better.
I became a better person because of C’s autism diagnosis.
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Here are my 10 Positives of Parenting a Child with Autism
1. More patience
I have more patience for everything. For everything concerning my child that is. (I don’t have the patience for discrimination or ignorance). C learns differently than other kids, and I have to be there for him. Guiding him and leading him. Sometime explaining things to him 10 different times, 10 different ways until he understands.
This wasn’t the easiest lesson for me to learn, and I think I’m still learning this every day.
2. Speak better and more clearly
C’s first diagnosis was speech delay. We had to choose to speak only English to him. (We speak both English and Russian). We learned to speak slowly and clearly. Describing everything, asking questions and waiting patiently for answers.
3. Have my priorities straight
I learned what is important and what is not so important pretty fast. I think we learn this lesson once we become parents. But more so with a special needs child. So many things become unimportant such as a perfectly tidy house or dishes free sink. I know that taking care of myself, taking care of and spending time with my children is more important.
4. More LOVE than I ever imagined
When you have your first child you learn that you are capable of a love that you never imagined. Having a child with special needs and caring for them and fighting for them expands and multiplies that love even more. Plus the love that you get in return from these children is so extremely precious.
5. Very involved and engaged with School and teachers
C started school at 3 years old in preschool. I made sure from that day to be involved. I try to not miss anything that is happening in the school and his class. All the teachers, the principal, office staff and other school staff know C and they know me. I don’t necessarily participate in everything the school puts on…because of priorities. But I make sure to know how C is doing every day on all the subjects. I personally speak to the teacher at least 3 times a week and I email her often. This way she knows what is going on with C at home and I get a better clarification of assignments.
6. Celebrate small things in big ways
Every little progress made we make a huge deal out of it. It’s important to notice and acknowledge the small wins, with the big wins of course!
We celebrate each new word or unique complex sentence. We celebrate when a good decision is made. We celebrate when he tells a joke.
To some, it may seem silly but for us, it’s all progress and hard work. We want to celebrate and encourage.
7. More compassion towards others
I always thought I was compassionate and caring towards others but my personal experience has brought this to a different level. I have a heart for everyone that is differently able.
8. More educated on people with special needs rights
When C first started public school I tried to get acquainted with the disability rights and rights of children. Since then I have been interested in people’s rights.
9. More aware of the lack of awareness and acceptance
In my own little bubble, I always thought people were accepting and aware of people with autism. But I’m learning that is not the case. We as people and society have such a long way to go.
People that have autism are not broken and nothing is wrong with them. They are different, differently able, their brains are wired differently. We have to get to know them and learn to understand them. Be more excepting.
10. I am in a position where I can help other parents
I am so grateful for the opportunity to educate people and help other parents. I have learned so much so far with all that we have been through with C. I’m glad that I have this blog as a platform to share and encourage other parents.
Autism diagnosis for your child can be a rollercoaster. Depending on the severity you may have more bad days than good. You may have more negatives than positives. I would like to encourage you to take a moment and think about the positives of being a parent of a child with autism. Even if it’s just a few things or even just one. Hold on to it. Cherish it.
Go on and just love you precious God-given child.
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