Letters to New Parents of ASD kids: #1 I Believe You

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Dear new parent of a child with autism,

I'd prefer to be sitting across from you at a local coffee shop rather than sitting behind this glowing box tapping away on the keyboard. But this will have to do for now.

First of all, I just want you to know that I believe you! I believe everything you'd tell me about your child.  Things like those unusual behaviors  that when you tell your friends, family, or co-workers, they say:  "My child did that too, and he's fine", "All kids go though that stage." Or:  "Boys develop slower than girls do." , "Boys play different than girls."

I believe that you know your child best, and you know when there is something different.

When Stevie was first showing signs of autism (a little before age 2), all my friends told me that I was over-reacting. "He's too attached to you to have autism." But I knew. I saw the signs. I saw him dancing on his tippy toes and staring at the screw in the wall like it was the most exciting thing to cross his path that day; all the while ignoring all the brightly colored toys and siblings beside him.

I saw him in his crib, wiggling his fingers in front of his eyes, giggling.

I watched the sudden un-awareness of others around him.

I watched his progress in language and speech come to a stop.

I was there when he became afraid of his food.

I watched, helpless, as he went into high-pitched screaming fits where everything and anything would make the fits worse, and he'd scream for hours.  Sometimes up to 4 hours straight. Screams. And I'd sit helpless here behind this glowing box searching for help. For ideas. For anything that would help me be a better mom to him. To help him calm down; stop crying.

I knew this was not normal.

It's so hard to know in the depths of your soul,, and yet be told that it's normal; you are over reacting.  I learned to just nod yes, and leave it at that. I knew. He was my child and I just knew he had it.

Mostly, I knew because my first son also has autism. I had already been through this once before.

So hang in there. God gave you this particular child for a very specific purpose. You are the best parent for him (or her) that there ever will be.

God knew. God knows. God has this whole thing planned out.

So don't give up, ok?  God is here with you. He will help you in your time of need.

Until next time,

Merri