I firmly believe my sons diagnosis has made me a better, kinder person. Here’s 5 reasons why:
- Autism has made me realise that kids you think are being naughty might not be. Those kids lying on the floor in the supermarket screaming, or being out of control in a restaurant may not just be being awkward or being naughty. There could be a medical reason such as autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder or a whole plethora of other reasons which I wont pretend to understand. The fact is, these kids aren’t always being naughty. The parents do not need another eye roll, they need help and understanding.
- Everybody’s notion of hard is different. To me, my son’s autism is hard. Knowing I may never hear his voice is hard. Fighting the system (always) to get help and support is hard. Being sleep deprived is hard. Communication on all levels with my autistic son is hard. But my level of hard doesn’t make your level of hard any less and my level of hard shouldn’t be any less than your level. Took me a while to appreciate that.
- People will tell you they are ok when really they aren’t. It’s not often people ask how I am and get full chapter and verse, that I’m struggling, that I’m burnt out and that I need help. Not many know that side of me because society dictates when we are asked how we are we respond “alright thanks, you?” also, because I don’t want to burden you or make you uncomfortable. I set this page up as a form of therapy for myself but also to educate others and to offer support for others following the same journey. It works, I’ve had messages from people saying thanks.
- You’re only ever a couple of steps away, or a couple of wrong decisions away from losing it. Your sanity, your house, everything. Who you are or what you have doesn’t alter it, that’s fact. I try not to just walk by the homeless on the streets. I stop and have a chat, ask them if they have somewhere to sleep, if they are warm enough, how their day is looking before offloading shed loads of snacks to them. Autism hitting our house didn’t make me do that, but what it did do was open my eyes to life’s struggles and challenges that people go through. Often with little or no warning your world can be turned upside down.
- Autism has made more accepting of people. I understand now more than ever that everyone is different and that’s a wonderful thing.
What is it they say? When life gives you lemons, make tequila. Or in my case: When life gives you autism, be kind 💖 (I’ll take the tequila too please, thank you!).