Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Autism: What to Say to Another Mom

On Facebook there was a request from Parenting Magazine on what would YOU tell another mother about autism.  That is a great question!  Depends.  What I want to say to people who have a neurotypical (NT) child...

  • The signs of Autism are not always obvious.  That child that is being rude, starting, saying inappropriate things in public, or having a tantrum.  Instead of looking at the parent or child with contempt during inappropriate behavior either PLEASE ignore the situation or ask if you could be of help.  The LAST thing needed is advice!  I promise, I most likely have heard it ALL!
  • Please do not talk about my child negatively in front of me and more importantly in front of them!  If you want to see me hostile and on the defensive this is the fastest way to make it happen!
  • Do not argue with me when I tell you my child has special needs.  I have been surprised by people telling me they do not see how one of my children could be considered autistic.  I am happy you feel that way but you are not a doctor.  Also keep in mind ALL the years of therapy and other things I have done to and for my child to help them get to the point they are today! 

To the moms with Autistic or other Special Needs...
  • Do not doubt yourself!  I did not listen to my "motherly instinct" for over a year because I have others (spouse and doctors) telling me not to worry.  I kept hearing over and over again one excuse after another on why my children were behind or showing odd behaviors.  It pains me to think of the time I lost in the first few years of their life all because I did not listen to my instincts and push harder for answers.
  • PLEASE network with other special needs parents! They WILL be one of your GREATEST resources!
  • Where do you find the special needs parent?  You  Google!  Google keywords such as parent support autism.  You may even get specific and add in your city to find local groups.  Call ANYONE you can and keep asking what and where are the local groups.  You WILL find someone!  Promise!

I am sure there are TONS of things I am leaving out at the moment but this is a start.  As I think of more things I will add it to the list!

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