dear autism mama

Dear autism mama,

I know things are hard. Like unbearably hard at times. So much so that you probably don't even discuss it. Because nobody seems to really understand you or your world.

The forty hours a week of school and therapy. And the worries of how you're going to pay for all this extra support that is necessary. How isolating it can be in a house all day with a kid who doesn't talk. Not quiet by any means, but lonely. I get it. Because I am you.

My son is on the autism spectrum, mid range I guess you could say. Nonverbal. Future still unknown. And like you, my days are filled with opposition for the simplest of things. Constant sensory seeking and repetition and meltdowns. I know how hard it is, all the time.

But I want you to know something else. And this is the important part. Even though it's not what we expected, and our days are tougher than most—your kid is still perfect they way they are. Really.

It's us, and believing what other people think and say about us matters. But I want you to know and believe this with all of your heart -- what someone else thinks of you or your kid, doesn't matter. It really doesn't. Don't get caught up in the comparisons or the idea the grass is greener else where, because it isn't.

Now I know we can write a list a mile long of all the things our children can't do. It's still autism, and the hardest thing we've ever done. But I challenge you to make a list of all the things your kid can do. I bet you'd be surprised.

Not that the milestones are not important and the help getting there is not needed -- but at least for me, I want to focus more on the good. Our kids are just kids after all, and no one pre-wrote how one's childhood should look. That would be quite boring actually don't you think?

So in this season, no matter how long it may be -- know that you are doing enough. Know that you are resilient, and stronger than you thought possible. And I encourage you to let go of any mom guilt you are holding onto.

Know that kids mostly thrive on feeling loved, so sprinkle that feeling all day every day. And lastly, know that things will get better. They will, because you mama will get better.

And I know this because, I am you.

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