I love stuff like this, flash mobs, flash blogs... what fun! When this came across my screen I knew I wanted to participate but darned if this wasn't the worst possible week for me to be positive. Its been rough around here, there is a lot going on, a lot of changes, tons of meetings, stress stress stress. All of that stuff makes this even more important.
When Autism gets to be too much, when it starts to close in on us it is at that time I need to change my focus the most. I need to think of all of positives. I need to alter my view point and zoom out to see the entire picture in front of me and then I can re-focus on the things that are the most important in my world.
LOVE I remember a doctor telling me that my child may not ever exhibit the signs of love, he may never say, "I Love You, Mommy" he may not hug or kiss me or want to be touched at all. But what I remember more than that was saying to her, "Look up, he's hugging me RIGHT NOW!" And he was. It was in that instance that I found-
KNOWLEDGE Sitting before me was an expert. She had multiple doctorate degrees, she was THE Autism doctor in the area and she was charging me $300 an hour (2 hour minimum, no insurance accepted). She looked at the file in front of her, observed my son smacking his head on the floor and spinning tops and postulated that he would never talk or hug me. I realized then that I was the expert, no one would understand my son better than my husband and I. With that new found knowledge, I then needed-
ABILITY Never underestimate the ability of a parent on a mission. My business degrees and a few years handling people and benefits in Human Resources was the best preparation for my new life as a researcher. My years of reading romance novels has dramatically increased my words per minute reading time. Sheer force of will makes me stand up in front of teachers and administrators and talk about what I've learned, what we've tried and how they can be a part of our team-
SUPPORT Friends, family, home, health, community, the Internet and the library are my salvation. Without them nothing else would be possible. The online Autism community is amazing, seriously amazing. I have found support and understanding there when I couldn't find it anywhere else. Autism parents have some serious mad skills, we all want to help our children and don't mind sharing both the good and the not-so good so that we may all find-
ACCEPTANCE It's a basic human need to be accepted. As an Autism parent I hope (fight and wish) for acceptance for my kids, acceptance for our family, acceptance for our good days and our bad.
Our diagnosis is 10 years old now. It is so easy to get caught up in the details of the day, each fight, each hurdle, each stressor but zooming out and looking over the last 10 years I don't remember today's 5pm meltdown. What I remember is the hug I received in a doctors office, not just the first 1 or 2 spoken words but the first 100 words (and we celebrated each one), the 2am article I found on a website that gave me the answer, the song that he played and the second after a meltdown when he came back from somewhen in his mind and told me that he needed me.
Thank you for letting me participate in this Flash Blog. It was what I needed today before I even knew I needed it.
ADVOCACY -> AWARENESS -> ACCEPTANCE