What Have I Learned About Autism?
What have I learned about Autism? I question myself daily. I open my mind and absorb everything. I can throw out statistics but whose statistics are they? I can quote the CDC, the FDA, the Pro & Con this or that.. but what have I truly learned? What I’ve learned best is to follow my heart.
My son is 3 1/2… in our world even if he was diagnosed at birth (which is impossible) he would still be considered “newly diagnosed”. I would still be considered “a new mom”. His diagnosis was actually around 2yrs.
So a year and a half later what have I learned?
I’ve learned that a child throwing a fit in public, may actually have underlying issues.
I’ve learned to be a better parent.
I’ve learned to keep an open mind. I’ve learned that regardless of the situation the tacky yet true statement “opinions are like assholes, everyone has them” is still relevant. I’ve learned to say what I feel and then STFU. Because sometimes if we shut up, we may just learn something.
I’ve learned to be less judgemental.
I’ve learned to not be too hard on ignorant people, they are just a product of our failed educational system.
I’ve learned that Autistic Children are resilient.
I’ve learned to not blog about things I’m still figuring out. I’ve learned to not lash out at people and organizations that don’t believe in the things I do. I’ve learned if I have something profound to say, to say it only if I’ve experienced it personally. I’ve learned not to judge another person’s experience.
I’ve learned that I am the I in IEP
I’ve learned that the blogging community can be full of cliques. I’ve learned that I will remain true to myself and not participate in blogs where the blogger encourages that type of behavior.
I’ve learned that even though I am not a huge fan of certain non-profits such as Autism Speaks, that I can still empower my community by attending walks and events. I’ve learned by opening my mind and attending said events, I am able to make connections with my local Autism Community. I’ve learned that by doing all of this that maybe, just maybe Autism Speaks has served the purpose I need to further my activism in my own Community. I’ve learned to hold my judgment and participate then navigate.
I’ve learned that the government is sitting back laughing and is the real puppet master of The infighting within the Autism Community.
I’ve learned to state my opinion and then move on. I’ve learned to allow others to have their own opinions, no matter how aggressive and demeaning they may seem.
I’ve learned if I truly want to be here for my son I had to change my lifestyle and exercise daily.
I’ve learned that my typical kids deserve just as much time as my Special Needs Son.
I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely.
I’ve learned that just because your a big star with a big name does not mean that you care about the little people whom Autism has engulfed, financially, physically, & emotionally. I’ve learned not to lash out at you for your ignorance. I’ve learned to know what you’re about and stored that in my memory bank. Because one day i will be a 501(c) and you will hear about my non-profit. And I will thank you for teaching me how a non-profit should be run, and who a non-profit should REALLY HELP.
I’ve learned that although our family doesn’t “do the diet” that I can still collect recipes and point families that do in the right direction.
I’ve learned that we can all get along and respect each other. I’ve learned that $5.00 to donate to shut it down for a day for Communication Shutdown doesn’t mean we are telling people the rest of the 364 days of the year we won’t advocate daily for our kids. I’ve learned that if you don’t want to shut down, its okay to have alternatives. I’ve learned we can agree to disagree and not disrespect each other.
I’ve learned that sometimes he is just being 3 1/2 and needs to be treated in that manner.
I’ve learned that my loyal blogging friends who are Non-Special Needs Bloggers really do “get it” and care about our children.
I’ve learned that nobody but me can change my community services for our children. I learned if you want real change step up and do it. Stop complaining that they have “nothing” for Autism here. Yes, in some Rural areas and dirt road towns its a lot harder. But I’ve learned you have to make the difference and not rely on others. I google Autism Events daily. I love the Autism Calendar… and Google is my Bitch.
I’ve learned that you can turn a non-autism event into an Autism Event. I just did a CPR class and invited Autism moms. I met the Fire Department and opened the conversation about Autism. Could that have possibly saved one non-verbal child’s life in a fire? I’d like to think so.
I’ve learned that if I truly want to learn something about Autism to take most things with a grain of salt and to listen to Mothers who have struggled with No services. They have been labeled as the problem, they have lived with absolutely no awareness… THEY ARE OUR TRUE SOLDIERS… parents like Brandon’s Mom-Amalia Starr, Aspergers2Mom-Elise, Eustacia Cutler (Temple Grandin’s Mother), and my very dear local mom of an Autistic pre-teen-Marisol Romeyn (who has taught me more than any book, blog, doctor, or manual).
I have learned that to truly spread Autism Awareness WE MUST GET RID OF THE INFIGHTING WITHIN OUR OWN COMMUNITY. I’ve learned that debating back and forth between each other only causes confusion… and most importantly our message gets lost and our children suffer.
What have you learned?