This week is #SpectrumSpotlightWeek. I spend a lot of my time advocating for autism and my son, but sometimes I only want to speak for the one thing I know most about, me. I want to shine a light on myself and all the autism parents, because although we don’t have the time to sit and think of all the things we’ve overcome and challenges we’ve faced, but sometimes you need to make the time.
The biggest challenge I faced was shortly after my sons Autism diagnosis at age 4. He was born early, had several surgeries and delayed milestones.. but I still held fast to all the dreams of a “typical” childhood for my son, until his ASD diagnosis. 3 years ago soon after his diagnosis I read a blog, as I often do.. It talked about grieving the child that you thought you were going to have. Yes, that sounds odd, but the truth is we all have dreams for our child’s future.. but we never plan for a premature birth, brain surgery, or autism.
When the unplanned happens, you stop planning. If the unplanned turns into the unexplained, you live moment to moment unbelievably grateful. Time doesn’t slow down for you to process what you lost down a path less traveled, you just keep moving. You become so focused on IEP meetings, therapies, and your child achieving goals that you forget you too had dreams; for yourself, for your child, for your family.
I never slowed time down to grieve for the child I thought that I would have because I’m so in love with the one I got.