Stop blaming It doesn’t matter how or what caused Andrew’s autism. I have more important things to focus on than the blame game. Above all else, I dare not for one more second, blame myself. It’s nothing I did, did not do, should’ve, would’ve or could’ve done. I am are not the cause. All this mentality will do is drain me and pull me down to nothing but a shell of a resemblance of what might be left of a human being. Right now Andrew needs — all of me. He needs that precious energy and so do and so I do. He’s got autism. Move on.
Quit spending countless hours on the Internet chasing down that next new treatment/therapy in Timbuktu, which may or may not have worked in 2 percent of kids with autism. I go with your the recommendations. But above all that, I must always remember trust my gut.
Laugh Learn to laugh quickly. Laugh a lot. Laugh at the crazy. Laugh at the weird. Laugh at as much of it as I can. It sure beats the hell out of crying. And truth be told, crying won’t change a damn thing anyway.
Quit waiting for it to get easier It’s not going to. I will get stronger. I will even surprise myself, hey Merri you are a badass.
QUIT! QUIT! QUIT trying to fix him! He is NOT broken must always accept that Andrew e(just like typical children in this sense) will be who he is. Not some ideal of a picture I had in mind. Andrew is special, unique, and one of a kind. He is who he is. He just needs a little (sometimes a lot) more help along the way.
Be patient Merri be patient a lot. Be patient in the car. Be patient in the parking lot. Be patient in the store. Learn patience quickly. Be patient with myself too. I am not perfect, and I don’t need to have this all figured out. Patience, Patience, Patience, Patience… Got that Merri….
Avoid Autism Tunnel Vision I do not need to make it all about autism all the time. I must quit with the “If Andrew didn’t have autism he would/wouldn’t do blah, blah, blah.” While sometimes that may be true, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes he’s naked because he’s a little boy. Sometimes he’s stinky, because he’s a little boy. Sometimes he’s cranky, because he’s a little boy. He’ll have some good days, and he’ll have some bad days. And sometimes that will have absolutely nothing to do with autism. I repeat to myself constantly: “He’s still a little boy.”
Forget those ridiculous spreadsheets of what he should be doing by what age his typical peers are doing at that age firmly believe that beyond the diagnosis stage, this is a pointless piece of paper that does nothing but torture my mental well being. I try to ignore them. He will progress at his own rate — not when Timmy, Tommy, Jimmy or Johnny does. And Andrew sure as hell won’t do be based on what some crap piece of paper says.
Get thicker skin I try to ignore the stares, the silent glances and the looky-loos. People won’t always be kind or compassionate. I try to forget them, but it is not always easy. He is my son, I as his mother am supposed to protect him from shit like this. You
Brace yourself for curveballs like when someone says they have a list of 10, and it turns out to be a list of 13… There will be times when curveballs will happen — skills my son will acquire, then without cause or explanation, then lose. There will be times I will think a certain less-than-desirable behavior is under control, and then — whammo! — it’s back with a vengeance. But you learn that this is all part of the web and flow of autism. Andrew will progress, he will regress, he will progress again. The curveballs will happen, but constantly I will learn to swerve.
Look back I’ve read so many quotes, about not looking back — except in my case, I need to look back. And I need to look back regularly. Look back at how far Andrew has come, and the progress he’s made — the progress we both have made. This is especially hard sometimes for me though when those memories come up on Facebook. The ones of Andrew as a baby. I am being bluntly honest, but sometimes it hurts to see those pictures since I feel like I was robbed of my boy by autism. But back down to earth. I will especially need this reminder when he’s only eating five or six things, when I can look back and remember when he only ate one or two. I will especially need this reminder on the days when I am in a full-blown pity party, and he says (in his own special little voice), “I love you mommy,” when I can look back to a time and remember when that was just a dream.
Love I will always love him. I must continue to love myself and not blame myself for this. The hardest one is to love this damn journey. Above all else, the love is what will keep me going. And here is where I have an advantage above those who have not been on a journey like mine. The love I have gotten to experience is unlike any other love I will ever know. It has pushed me, pulled me, damn near broken me, shown me its dark and shown me its ugly, and because of that, it’s the strongest love there is. It has been pushed to the brink and withstood Every. Single. Time.
So, each day, I have to have conversations like this with myself..sometimes multiple times a day, since Andrew needs me and so does Arwyn, just as much as I need them.