We can express what it’s like in the world of being an Autism Mom all day long, especially when we have to take our severely Autistic child away from his comfort zone. It just still seems difficult for others to understand. If my 1998 Autism Mom self had today’s technology to record me sharing my feelings back then, I would have said what the Mom in this video says. Continue reading
- “Oh, I Got an invitation to the newest Ladies’ Bible study at church! Awesome!”…I go to Bible study. Time comes to share prayer requests. Ladies start to share their requests…”my son argues with me”… “my daughter wants to wear inappropriate attire.”… “My husband is out of town again”…and so on. My turn, “I um [my mind realizes there’s too much to share in given amount of time and no one can understand my life as an Autism parent anyway] Please just pray for our family and for Tyler. Thanks.” First and last visit to Ladies Bible Study because I feel like I’m in another world and I don’t want to feel that way again.
- At counseling session for depression and anxiety: Therapist: “I strongly suggest you attend an Autism Support Group I learned about in our area. Here is the Info!” I say, “OK…I will try to go.” More anxiety heaps up because I’ll have to leave Tyler with someone so I can actually go…who do I leave him with? Days pass, and I found a sitter. At Autism Support Group Session: Sharing time. Sharing from other Moms there something like this…”my daughter is screaming every morning because she wants to wear the same outfit every day…” , “my son is always requesting videos about animals and we can’t watch another one! AHHH”, “the other kids are leaving my son out of play time because all he wants to talk about is the latest computer game he played.” and so on. My turn to share, “Well um… [all it can think of is angry things like AT LEAST YOUR KID CAN COMMUNICATE! MY GOD! REALLY??!!! … but I can’t say that. So I say] …My son is severe and can’t communicate. So yea, that’s what we deal with mostly.” ~*silence in room…everyone is thinking of something to say but don’t say anything*~ First and last visit to Autism Support Group because I feel like I’m in another world and I don’t want to feel that way again.
- I discovered that my best friend since middle school lives near and she has 2 kids about the age of my 2 oldest. She invites us over for a play date. I pack up kids, go to her house. Older kids and my youngest get along great. Tyler wonders off upstairs to her daughter’s well organized and tidy bedroom. My friend and I are in kitchen sharing stories about husbands and house decorating. Tyler upstairs sees bookshelf full of Golden Books all neatly in rows. Tyler pulls all books off shelves and piles them up and sits on the “mountain” of books happily. We decide to go check on Tyler. We see Tyler on book mountain he made. My friend: “Tyler, get off the books..” yells at her daughter, “come up here and put these books back on the shelves right now!” I said, “I’m so sorry, I am sure Tyler did that, I will work with him to put them back.” Friend: “No, let’s go downstairs with Tyler. She’ll do it. ” Her daughter has sad face and shows frustration about the whole matter. Tyler is clueless & now downstairs has discovered stored away markers under couch and proceeds to remove all the caps and throw them. My friend: “Tyler, stop that. Those are not for you.” I say, “Hey kids, let’s pick up all the things neatly and get going…mommy has some things to do.” My thinking has turned to having to remove ourselves from this perfect setting and apologize for Tyler’s behavior. The next day I receive a phone call from my “friend.” I tell her , “I think we shouldn’t come visit with Tyler any more.” She agrees, “Yea, I was just going to say that. Not a good idea to bring the kids over here.” This was last visit to her house because I feel like I’m in another world and I don’t want to feel that way again.
To rest of the world, generally these thoughts represent the inside of the mind of an Autism mom. Be aware of these things..don’t judge them for declining a play date invitation and not sharing their thoughts. Just be encouraging, invite them with no expectations, and hope they can come. If they do, remember they are in a different world than you. Be accepting, patient, and kind. That’s it..it is as simple as that.
During a recent visit to my Autistic Son’s group home to pick him up for a weekend of leisure time with us, I was so struck by how well this has all worked out for him. Continue reading
This list is a compilation of real experiences I have had with my autistic son over the years. I scribbled them down one day sitting in car pool and forgot about them. As I recall these “wrong ways” I attempted to manage him, I am amused. But let me assure you that as it was happening the MK (Missionary Kid) inside me – (a post for another day) was horrified. Continue reading
Tyler says “Thank you.” He waits for you to say “You’re Welcome.” When he happily replies, “Grapes.” That’s it. Nothing comes next.
This is a cute anomaly which Tyler replayed over and over since he was about age 10. I have contemplated many hours over what is the meaning of this. He rarely makes eye contact and at every representation of this short conversation he smiles and looks directly into my eyes. The conclusion of this interaction “Grapes” means something to Tyler. But what? Continue reading
I want to introduce a dear friend, Cindy Jones. I have known Cindy for many years. We got to know one another at our church. We often found each other volunteering and having lots of fun in various children’s programs throughout the years. She has a heart of gold. She had the awesome opportunity to volunteer for Night to Shine 2017. I was delighted to see her posts on Facebook about it. I asked her to share her experience as a volunteer at this very special event. Continue reading