When I became pregnant with Caitlin, over 19 years ago, I knew that I had been given an amazing gift. At the age of 30, I was going to become a mother and I knew my life would change forever....I had NO idea of the journey that was about to happen in my life.... 19 years and 5 more children later....my journey continues.
Caitlin will be 19 years old next week. So, for the last 19 years, I have parented a child with Autism. Well, make that...I have parented 6 children...5 with autism.
Was it easy.???
NOPE...parenting is hard work.
This morning, as part of my morning ritual, I read AoA and JB Handley's blog on
how hard it is to be a biomedical parent.
This is part of what he wrote:
Soon after my son’s autism diagnosis, my wife and I were receiving advice from a DAN! Doctor helping our son. Transdermal glutathione and something very smelly called TTFD were prescribed, and we were told to rub each of these creams on his skin every night. “How long do we need to do this for?” I asked. “Six months, maybe a year,” came the doctor’s reply. “A year? Are you kidding?” I couldn’t believe it, what an inconvenience! Those of you who are biomed veterans are already smiling. Five years later, I see the world a little differently, and I have this to say to all parents battling autism: This job of recovery ain’t for the faint of heart.
Okay...first off... six months to a maybe a year...
I think it has been way longer than that JB !!!!
And you still trust this DAmN! doctor...???
Cream on the skin...???
Parenting my children has not been easy, but man, I would not trade one minute. I have children who have come from non-verbal to excelling in school and in life. Our children have extracurricular activities that NT kids have.
Our youngest, who is still non-verbal...yet, very opinionated, is thriving in regular education classes due to the fact that he has devoted teachers and therapists who expect nothing but the best from him.
I do not know what the AoA crowd expected when they were preparing for the birth of their children.
If they were expecting the homecoming queen or the football king. The next president of the United States or the next Man in space...
But, what I see is that it is not about their child, but how they are perceived with their child.
Recently, I read a post about a mother who was upset that her children were not going to be the most popular children in school. They would not know the upset of breaking up with a boyfriend...would not know the fashion senses that they are supposed to know...
I think about Meaghan, who just turned 12....the angst of boys, makeup, clothes and grades.
The fact that she is aware of all of this... It takes me back to my childhood and all the 12 year old angst I felt... It has not changed in 37 years...still the same snarkiness. Yet, Meaghan has an advantage over these kids....she is amongst a family who accepts and loves people for the way they are.. She is nurturing and loving...she cares for her fellow classmates, even when they are hateful and rude. I am so gratefully proud of her... and all my kids...
Parenting these children has not been a hardship, it has been a blessing... and I continue to thank God every day for allowing me to be a part of their lives...Autism and all...
So, JB.... It is not about how much cream we smear on our kids, or how we alter their diets, or how we take them to a doctor who will tell us in 6 months to a year that our children will be "normal" that makes us a great parent...
It is about walking the floor with them at night when they cannot sleep... it is about making sure their homework is done... it is about making sure they mind their manners and face adversities when others do not want them to... It is about taking them to their band and choir rehearsals , speech therapy, occupations therapy, baseball practices... it is about making sure they know no matter what...they are why we were put here on Earth It is about waking up every morning and thanking God for putting these amazing kids into our lives !!!