I need to share something…PLEASE, I’m begging each person as you scroll through your news feeds, emails, updates, while your laying in bed, waking up in the morning before you start your day, taking a break to hide away in the bathroom at work, if you read a single post, please, please read this one.
I have a dear, dear, darling friend with a similar, yet harder, lifestyle as ours and she shared something with me recently that was heartbreaking. I want you all to know something: Families like ours NEED support. We NEED helping hands, soft eyes, caring gestures, and understanding. SOME children with special needs, behavioral tendencies, and delays do not “LOOK” like a child who has “special needs” but, just because they do not “look” like a child with needs does NOT mean that they are just an unruly child in need of discipline. When you’re out in public and see a child of ANY age struggling….infant, toddler, tween, teen…Either offer a helping hand or turn the other cheek because (not to be harsh) we don’t need your judgy eyes, sly remarks, pointing fingers, or “someone needs a nap,” commentary. When you have another free MINUTE…just 60 seconds, instead of watching that weird cat video of the kid throwing a small feline mid dance, educate yourself…Hit up google or Siri, and ask how to help a parent of an Autistic Child in need. The more educated the community is, the more tolerable everyone will become and the easier it will be for parents like us. We are not super moms or super dads and we don’t TRY to be, nor do we strive to come across like our schedules or lifestyles are any more important or busy than YOURS but, the truth is…THIS IS our NORMAL and there really is BARELY any time for us to shower, brush teeth, catch up on shows, sit and eat a meal while it’s even at room temp after sitting out while everyone else eats, reply to texts, or even take a breath without it being full of anxiety and stress. We don’t vent about our over-stuffed therapy schedules that lead to overly tired kids, meltdowns, and limited tolerable environment selections because we want you to feel BAD for us or to “ONE-UP” you…We just want you to know that we aren’t ignoring or pushing you to the side, we are just pre-occupied and by the time we have an extra free minute to possibly text you back, there might be something we want to do for OURSELVES FIRST, like: pee…poop or, idk maybe watch THAT funny cat video on facebook that you’ve seen six times already. I am not exaggerating and you wouldn’t believe the amount of judgement that is sometimes placed on parents like us just from simply venting about the struggles…Some of you might be doing it now…or some of you might have been THAT person who is thinking to yourself in line at the store: “That parent needs to get a hold of their kid.” But, sometimes, we’re at THAT store to CURVE the behavior. SOMETIMES we’re just really freaking tired of having an empty fridge because we haven’t been able to manage the grocery store during a peak behavior time (which can be WEEKS) and we’re starving or sick of take-out food and so is our wallet. SOMETIMES, we need to see other human faces than the ones two feet below us every single day. Sometimes (MOST OF THE TIME) you’ll show up to our homes greeted by a child in only their underwear. If you’re lucky, they’ll at least have their privates covered long enough for us to answer the door because our children can’t bare the feeling of clothes on their skin which leads me to: SOMETIMES we don’t want company and don’t want to feel guilty saying “no” because we’ve spent close to the entire day cleaning up poop from the floors and walls because our children REFUSE to train and REFUSE a diaper but, have no problem crapping on their brand new train set or barbie doll. SOMETIMES, no, ALL of the time, we just need support. We are TIRED, hungry, probably constipated, anxious, stressed the F out, balancing things we NEVER thought we’d have to manage, worrying about YOUR (general) judgement and opinions, and trying to maintain and happy life for our children, husbands, and ourselves. I have personally been an anxious wreck really struggling for months and it has only gotten worse. The anxiety sucks, the constant worry about other people and their judgement while I’m filling my grocery cart…it DOESN’T stop. Too many people have said to me, “Don’t worry about what other people think.” But, what they don’t understand is that it’s NOT just about what those people think or feel about ME at that exact moment and MY child while he’s throwing a tantrum or having an unexplainable meltdown, it’s about the OTHER kids in the world like him, and the other parents who are also getting the judgy eyes and snarls. Just please, educate, understand, and be nice.
an Autism Mom.