My Child is Different, So What!

My child is different! People stop and stare, they tell me to discipline him…he is out of control, grabbing items off of shelves, making strange sounds, trying to run away from me. I feel tired, sometimes I feel crazy,  and worn out and tired of strangers and their ignorance.

The general public is not well educated on topics such as autism and more often topics on human development, let alone accepting of people with autism or other disabilities. The sad truth is that people with autism are valued by very few people in their life time. Educating the public is a slow process. The media has done much to help raise an awareness through movies like Rainman, I am Sam, Bones and a few others.

Education does not automatically assure acceptance.  Acceptance requires a change in belief systems and heart. As parents we love our children, rejoice in their accomplishments no matter how large or small and will continue to do so. Having a child with autism can be a challenge and exhausting.

It is important to honor your work with your child, your joy with your child. The masses of people in public places …don’t worry about them, who cares. “Ignorance is bliss” is an old saying that took me years to finally comprehend. Ignorance allows the ignorant to be irresponsible – people cannot be forced  to change – educate them anyway. Talk with them about autism, plant seeds of information. Information can change perspectives and beliefs.

Connect with others who share the same values and challenges as you. Take time out to breathe and stoke your fires…honor one another as you move through life…and hold all the joyful moments you can savor. God has given you a great gift, your child with autism, who will in time work miracles in your heart!

I know at times, you might feel crazy, overwhelmed, and exasperated … you are okay! Talk with others, keep a journal, seek out professional help if necessary. Talking about and expressing feelings can be a venue to optimal health and provide new ways to solve perplexing problems.

About Mary

Hi! I have been providing services for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ages 3 through age 27, for twenty years. I also teach teachers and other professionals strategies and interventions to improve and develop communication skills, social understanding skills, and replacement of stereotypical behaviors. I try to create an awareness and empathic response with professionals working with families and caregivers living with the unique differences and challenges of ASD. My other goals include educating the public about ASD. ASD is a label that provides a common ground for discussing treatment, strategies, and other interventions to help the child or person. The label is not the child and vice-versa. Over the years I have observed many children develop communication skills, experience social success, and decrease and change stereotypical behavior into productivity. The children I work with are unique and wonderous. Like you and I they have specific interests and strengths that are valuable assets to their Quality of Life.
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