It is this time of year when I start blowing up my Facebook newsfeed with information about Autism. Why? Because I believe not enough is being done to educate the public on this disorder. It is the middle of April and I have seen zero news stories about Autism, but a lot about the Zika Virus. In fact one news article today had the headline, "Scarier then once we once thought". While, I understand that the Zika Virus is serious is not having 1 in 68 girls and 1 in 42 boys diagnosed with Autism NOT scary?
Each advocate for Autism has there one agenda for why they want Autism Awareness, but at the end of the day, parents just want to have a cure. A hope that future generations of children will not have this neurological disorder that impacts our family and community greatly. I advocate for Autism Awareness because of the way I feel that parents and the children are looked upon. The judgement that goes with having a child on the Autism Spectrum. However, its just not Autism that I advocate for, it is for all special needs children that are judged and made feel less in our society.
As a mother with a special needs child, there is always a constant battle. Every aspect of my life and my daughter's life must be thought out and planned. There is no spontaneous trips. A simple act of going to the zoo or beach has hours of planning and preparation and even then I always seem to fall short. A simple conversation with her around is never simple. I have to constantly be organized. I have to fight for the medical treatment that she needs, the ever changing wavier system, and school. There are so many different people in our lives that I have to make sure that it is all taken care of and nothing falls through the cracks.
Then there is her. Oh, how I love her. However, I never know when something might be the trigger. Everything I do is a system. We have routines that we must follow. One slip up and down she goes in a hurry. Her frustration level is high. She is stressed. There is no peace. I used to watch TV, I don't much anymore, I like the quiet. The stillness of when she is in bed-asleep.
I say all of this to say that I would like for not one person to ever be diagnosed with Autism again. I want you to be aware because I urge you that if you know someone who has a child with Autism or any special need that you do something nice for them. Send them a letter, encourage them, give them a smile. That small token can put energy into a mother and father that can keep them going until the next small gesture comes.
Be aware. Don't judge. If you hear a kid screaming, laying on the floor of Target (yes, this happens)-just say to them, "you got this" and smile. I'd love it if someone did that to me. Instead of the scorning looks. I have learned over time to just let her have her moment. So if you see me and you see her laying, know that we may be there awhile. But, I am praying the entire time.
I know that my God even in my most desperate moments, knows where I am at. He knows when I have to just put her to bed at 6:30pm, because I just can't do it anymore. He sees my tears when I feel like such a failure. He hears my screams when I ask "why Lord why". He see me curled in a fetal position because I just can't face another moment. He sees me as I lock myself in my bathroom because I need a time out. He sees me laugh when she uses a word that she has heard from someone (my favorite is "actually"). He sees me smile when she gives me a hug. He sees my heart jump a thousand beats when she says, "I love you mommy". He sees it all. Psalm 139:14, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made". Genesis 1:27, "God created mankind in his own image and in the image of God he created them, male and female".
So to all my special need mom peeps out there: Just remember "YOU GOT THIS". For the rest of you that took time to read this blog, Thank you and make yourself AWARE. Make yourself available. If you ever get the opportunity to be in the room with a special needs family, learn something. If you see our family, you will learn that the love we have is unconditional.