My son turned 11 today. It wasn't quite what he expected or wanted. We disappointed him in his presents. #parentfailmoment.There was a LOT of shouting (from the little man). A huge lot of crying. And parents made to feel pretty bad. This is the reality. I don't let myself feel too bad. But it's never nice to disappoint your kids.
If you didn't yet realise I am an #autismmum. This means my one of my children has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While Autism doesn't define our family. It does transform the way we do things.
When you have children with ASD you come to understand the many traits that children with this diagnosis have. For my son it is a lot to do with lack of social cues and communication.
On the DSM 5 high functioning autism part A is defined as:
Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
(part B) is ... Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
In our experience both these parts ring true. Our son does have some 'deficits' in his social communication. He also has 'restrictive' behaviors.
At the same time this definition in itself is quite restrictive. With a lot of support and work he is so far ahead from where he was when he was diagnosed at 4.
Being an Autism Mum then and Now
But in my view being an Autism mum while it has it's highs and lows has given me the chance ro grow and thrive. He has also.
The way we interpret and 'survive' life has a lot to do with how we feel and think about life.
My son is amazing! He teaches me new things every day. Sometimes I forget this and life is full on.
We went through a period of time when things were not so good.
I remember crying in the car after school drop off.
Trying to avoid the school teachers who would tell me what awful things he had done. To an autism kid deliberately wetting everyone in the bathroom is funny - not to the teachers!
I remember feeling so... stupid as I couldn't understand how to apply for fascia funding. There was NO one to help me. And navigating NDIS was a mindfield!
Days can be like this. But they are now few and far between.
Keeping life in perspective. Seeing things from his viewpoint. And allowing myself very littel wallow time is how I thrive.
This series of blogs is to encourage you. That if you are in this situation it doesn't have to stay this way. You (the mum) can thrive, not just survive this period of life. Whatever the circumstances.
There are a few areas you can shift your thinking in and ultimately change your life.
Just don't stay stuck.
3 Ways you can begin to thrive...
And i get it if you are saying 'What would she know about what I'm going through. I get it when you feel there is nothing to celebrate. If it's too much. Pick just 1 thing to work on. Just don't stay stuck. Stuck and wallowing is not a good place to be.
1. Pick one thing you can be thankful for daily. If you are a writer write it down.
2. Find other people who you can down load on. People who relate are the best.
3. Do one thing differently - break the habits that aren't working for you. For me I need to get up and move about. Sitting in the same place means wallowing. There is the wallow couch at home. The wallow couch is not my best space.
Life can truly be amazing.
Keen to connect and chat further? Feel free to connect with me. Are you a parent of Special Needs Kids? Join our FREE group for uplifting tips, stories, advice and just a great space to connect with other KAPS parents - Kick Ass Parents Of Kids With Special Needs. You are welcome to join here. Not a KAPS, but know someone who is? Please invite them to join our group. It's a great space!!