Always thankful to make it to the weekend without any major incidents! The summer is fast approaching and I'm looking forward to some much needed R & R in addition to the beginning of a few projects geared towards raising #autism awareness. I've decided to not complain but to actively participate in enlightening about and supporting individuals with autism!
Dating life for a single #autismmom can be tricky. Case in point, I was on the phone making plans for a potential date this weekend and my son was in the background shrieking at the top of his lungs. Needless to say, I ended the call rather quickly. Can't remember if the date was finalized or not. LOL...my life...
I literally live with #disabilities 24 hours a day. Not only am I the mother of two boys with autism but I am also a special education teacher. Needless to say, I am on the verge of an epic burnout. I feel guilty about wanting to leave special education but I am at a point where I feel like I am underwater, not able to come up for air.
I am the single mother of two boys with #autism. I am very proud of what my children have accomplished academically and personally. I write articles about the impact of autism, speak at conferences, blog and #advocate all in the name of awareness, yet I still find myself feeling very overwhelmed. I feel like I should have it together but then I feel completely embarrassed to admit that I don't. Maybe I don't have all of the answers but I do the best I can in hopes that, in the end, it all turns out okay.
Many parents struggle with trying to figure out the best way and the best time to tell their child that they have #autism. Trust me, this is no easy task...particularly if the child already has receptive or expressive language deficits that make communication difficult. I remember spending 10 minutes going into a discussion about autism with my oldest son, only to become overwhelmed by the barrage of questions that followed; questions for which I didn't really have a kid-friendly answer. I was relieved when he finally moved on, no more aware of what autism meant than he had been before our conversation. The bottom line is that there is no definitive way to talk to your child about autism. You may even want to ask yourself: what am I hoping to accomplish by having this conversation? Is this discussion necessary for my child at this point in their life? Whatever decision you make, go in with a game plan so that your child doesn't walk away with more questions than answers.
It is almost impossible to not know someone who is impacted by #autism spectrum disorders. Just a decade ago, the #prevalence of autism was 1 in 150. Now, with a prevalence of 1 in 68, the reality of autism has been brought closer to home. While we can not cure or treat autism, we can tap into resources that will allow individuals who are on the spectrum to improve their quality of life by engaging in grassroots efforts, creating our own programs or lobbying for increased awareness and acceptance using social media. All of us can do something no matter how large or small starting today...at this very moment. Make it our mission to get involved!
As a parent of a child or children with a #disability, one of the most important things that we can do is to make time for ourselves. Most of our time is spent meeting the needs of our children and we tend to lose focus of our own needs. Sacrifice is certainly a common theme among parents but if we don't take care ourselves in the process, we will succumb to the stress and tension that is often commonplace when parenting a child with a disability. So take an hour or even 30 minutes a week to focus on YOU! For once, without guilt, do something that makes you HAPPY!
Can't seem to get enough sleep. Although we've nailed down a decent sleep routine, it involves my youngest son sleeping with me. Even when I put him into his own bed at night, he finds his way back to my room before long. In the beginning I felt like it was the necessary of two evils but now I'm just a sleep deprived mom trying to make this work. #runningonempty
Autism Awareness month is over but there is still work to do! Raise autism awareness whether you do it through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social network...#takeupthecause #1in68 #AgingOutAutism #familysupport
With all of the information being distributed about #autism, it is very important for families and caregivers to do their own dissecting of the data before drawing any conclusions. So far, there has been no definitive research that pinpoints one primary cause of autism and, for families with individuals on the autism spectrum, their main concern is likely daily living, availability of resources and overall self-preservation. Our work will likely never be down as far as raising #awareness and contributing our efforts to push for greater #acceptance of children with autism. However, if we remain committed to the cause, we will see real changes in the way people with autism are viewed in society.
I'm noticing improved speech patterns in my youngest son. He now uses more complete sentences when responding to or asking questions. I do wonder where he would be developmentally had he received #earlyinterventions? Like so many parents, I dismissed existing signs as an awkward phase that he would grow out of given time. I was especially reluctant to address my concerns because my oldest son had already been diagnosed with #autism and I felt that surely not another one!! I had read stories about parents who had several children with autism and I just couldn't accept that as my reality at the time. Had o been more diligent on finding answers earlier, maybe things would be different; maybe not.
Now that April is behind us and the blue light has dimmed on Autism Awareness Month, we have to make sure that our voices continue to be heard! We cannot let our disagreements about the causes of #autism or how to label individuals with autism to overshadow the need for more resources, better education, improved quality of life, equal access to medical care and overall acceptance in society. We can agree to disagree in order to move forward and focus our attention to the road ahead. #1in68 #AgingOutOfAutism
TGIF...I devoted the month of April to blogging every single day in honor of Autism Awareness Month. I just want to say how proud I am to be an #autismmom. Yes, the road is hard sometimes but God obviously chose me for this journey because He knew that I could do it! It takes truly special people to raise a child with a disability and I am proud to be among the many who do it! Let's continue to raise awareness about autism and the other #disabilities that are part of the lives of millions of people in this country.