Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sometimes I think about what life would be like if we didn't know 1DS has autism. I think about all the kids like him who are undiagnosed and not getting the services they need. It makes me so sad.

I am a very hands-on mom. I breastfeed, babywear, make my own baby food, and so on. I enjoy being involved in all facets of my kids lives. So when it was suggested that my not yet two year old needed help that I couldn't provide, that was a big pill to swallow. I did not want to accept that my toddler needed more than I had to offer. He was still just a baby, and to me all a baby needs are his loving, caring, involved parents and grandparents. I didn't want him to need anyone else. Even though he was difficult, he was never a burden to me and of course he still is not. I don't ever wake up in the morning and think 'oh no, another day with the kids all day, what am I going to do?' I get my me-time at night when they are in bed, and every now and then I leave them with daddy to go shopping. How could a stranger, ESPECIALLY a childless stranger, possibly know what's best for my son better than I did?

But then I also realized that I couldn't just bury my head in the sand and pretend the A word didn't exist. I couldn't pretend to know enough about speech and occupational therapy to handle it myself. In order to do what was best for my son, I had to swallow my pride and allow people to help us. I had to admit that I could not do it myself. But I did it for him. It's not about me. It's not about me being a bad parent, it's not about how many stories I read to him, or how I would buy him grapes to eat in the grocery store so that he wouldn't scream while I was grocery shopping. It's about HIM. It's about making his life easier. It's about making him happy. It's about teaching him how to enjoy the beautiful gift of life he has been given. How could anyone turn a blind eye to these things?

I don't know how, but I do know it happens all the time. There are so many "difficult" and "naughty" and "shy" and "fussy" and "high maintenance" kids who could be making more of their lives if their parents could swallow their own pride. I know it isn't easy, but once you do it, it pays off in a big hurry.

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