Even as a mother, you can never fully explain what Autism looks like. You never know what tomorrow will bring and you never know if you will have a good day or a bad one. It’s hard to explain what Autism is to family and friends because they just don’t quite understand what you’re going through. With every mother with an Autistic child, there is a story; a story of a mother's perspective on autism.
Autism is All Consuming: When you hold your little bundle of joy for the first time, you never expect to hear the words Autism come from the doctors mouth about your perfect little child. However, in the blink of an eye, your life becomes consumed with taking care of a child with a multitude of needs. A child you have to make special meals for; a child you have to make schedules for; a child that needs visual clues to put on his or her clothes and shoes; a child that needs your love and affection, but doesn’t understand how to give it.
Autism is Fear You Can’t Explain: You can never imagine the fear a mother faces when her Autistic child gets through two locked doors and is outside somewhere as you search for an hour. You can never understand the fear of keeping your child safe not only from others but from themselves; trying to contain them as they bang their head on the table or throw themselves onto the floor. When you have to put alarm systems in place for your child’s bedroom door, window, and the door to the outside, the fear you live in never goes away.
Autism is Researching Something with no Answers in Sight: The Autism Spectrum is so big and so broad that finding answers seems like an endless roller coaster. Once you find something that works, it only works for a short while then your back to square one hunting down answers. You never really know what will work or how you will continue to find answers. There is no cure; no one size fits all. Every child with Autism is different and every reaction not the same. You can research until you are blue in the face and still find no answers to the feat that you face.
Autism is a War you’re Constantly Fighting: This war continues day in and day out. You never stop for a reprieve; you never get a break from the fight. Each morning you wake up hoping to make it out alive. You fight to get your child to put their clothes on; you fight to get shoes on; you fight to get them into the car; you fight to get the right services they need in school, and you fight until your very last breath to give your child the best that you can.
Autism is a Child with a Mother Who Will Never Give in: I will fight for my child no matter the struggle. Through sleepless nights, fear that never ceases, and tear covered faces, I will never give in. In the home of an Autistic child, there is a mother who will never stop loving, stop researching, stop trying, or give in to the teachers, preachers, and others who think they know best. There is a mother sickened with fear, bags under her eyes with sleepless nights, and aging gray hairs.
Autism is found in the face of a mother who loves her child more than life itself. It affects not only her child but her everyday life as a whole. Each waking breath; every single step is made with, but one thing in mind; her Autistic child!