Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parents Advice To Other Parents - How Autism Affects You In A Good Way

Having a child with autism can be a very difficult at times and can put a strain on any family. In the beginning you focus on the bad stuff so much that you feel like there is no hope. It is hard to see the future in a good way and the good things that autism will bring to your life.

When we took Sierra to her first evaluation we had to answer a lot of questions about her behavior, then the doctor asked me "what are the good qualities about your daughter?" That question hit me like a ton of bricks! I took a long time trying to come up with the answer and it made me realize that I was just focusing on the bad behaviors Sierra was displaying and not appreciating the good things about her! I later thought that all my children had something to deal with or overcome in their life and autism is no different but maybe just a little harder.

That day changed me and from then on I saw Sierra for her and how wonderful she is and I try to focus on the good way that autism affects us.

I wanted to get other parents point of view on this so I asked this question on Facebook "How does autism affect you or your family in a good way?" they came back with some great responses!

Denise F. -  I have an 11 yr old autistic epileptic son and I could not imagine our lives without him. He such a joy. When he does give us a smile it is worth its weight in GOLD!! He is just an awesome boy. He tries so hard to please. He is an honor roll student in middle school. He's great.
Mellisa T. - I have 4 1/2 yr old son with moderate Autism and mild MR, mostly non-verbal. I also have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter that is neurotypical. I personally think that the best thing Autism will do for our family is teach my daughter about acceptance of other people and their differences at a young age. This is all she has ever known with her brother and I can already see the motherly actions coming from her. I think it will bring them closer together and will more than likely push her to also go into a human service field.
In another aspect, I have worked with families, children, and adults affected by a variety of disabilities for almost 10 years. When my own son regressed and was diagnosed, I think it helped me build better relationships with those families I serve. I think there is some trust that comes along with sharing the hard times with someone that you know has been there and done that.
 Ceil C.still trying to figure it out...
1) Autism, has made me a more patient person.
2) Autism has made it so I can help others
3) Autism ...........?
Debbie C. -  I have 2 grandchildren on the Autism spectrum...You learn not to take for granted any accomplishments or achievements...even the tiniest ones will blow your mind and swell your heart with pride.

Erika P. - Autism has given me patience. I now enjoy the simple things in life. When my son smiles which is all the time I feel so good about life. Autism does not define my son although it is a part of who he is. When others say they want a cure my question is why. Sure I would love for my son to be able to verbalize and not have that frustration but why would I want to take away his talents for music and dance? Why would I want to take him from an innocent world and thrust him into an unkind world. My son is six years old. He has very little speech. He gives insomnia a whole new meaning but he loves with his whole heart...not just bits and pieces. He would give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger and expect nothing in return. My son has taught me the meaning of true love and innocence...and oh yeah I would be honored to blog and share about the love of my life. 
Cheryl R.My son has taught my older son, niece and nephew that being different isn't to be made fun of. There are many occasions they have stuck up for the "special need" children at their school or even for my son when people have treated him different. He has taught them a new type of kindness and understanding and unconditional love
Lori M.Autism has changed my life in every way, but more than anything it taught me there is so much more to language than words. My daughter taught me so much before she was able to say a single word. I will always be grateful for that. She has also taught her brother and sister to stand up for those with disabilities of all kinds. I think our family has a stronger bond than most because of what we go through everyday.

Valerie J.I have learned to appreciate the "small" things in life. I really can appreciate my son's accomplishments, no matter how minor. I also have learned to have a more encompassing sense of humor, such as realizing that I was happy the day my son first lied to me - hey, it's another accomplishment! =) I also love that I have met and become friends with many wonderful, kind people along this journey whom I probably never would have met otherwise.

Shai P. - My son taught me that saying I love you isn't always enough. I learned to show love everyday as I would tell him I love him as I would hug him. He learned love through my actions because this is one time that just saying the words were really just words to him. He taught my family what it means to really love on a deeper level. He now walks up and tells me he loves me as he's hugging me. I no longer have to prompt him to show love and say the words. I will forever be grateful for having my sweet little boy. 

 Kelly R. - The world of Autism is a word that doesn't have a face so you never can tell who has it and doesn't have it, it's a mystery in its own world of how our children see things and some times as parents we don't always quite understand why they don't see things in life like we do as adults. I learned about about my daughter she has taught me when things get hectic don't give up keep going to stay focused. With her it has changed me in many ways to see how all the changes one can go through & at the end of the day she still has a smile on her face. I as a parent have gotten so much help with her speech that I was not going to give up & say she would never talk and from 3 until now its a big difference. Having a child with a disability is some thing that has taught me to be patient with and see things on how she thinks of what should be done first in the order that she wants it to be. I have taken her to friends houses that have kids so some times I sit down and try to talk to them about my daughter for them to understand why she said something that they have no interest in or why she is so hyper at times. I just try to spread the word about Autism in many ways. My daughter is my world I tell people all the time she is the sun and I'm the earth I live my life around her daily schedule.

Thank you Facebook friends for all your great comments! If you still want to add your comment to this post, place it in the comment box below.


  1. Loves this idea and reading everybody's answers

    and here is mine
    R is the best child in the universe to me but he would be that with /without autism
    Here is specifically how how Autism Affects my life in a good way


    1. no love like this love. The spotlight of R's love shines in a tight circle and I am right in the middle of it

    2. I am a better human being and more focussed on the really impt stuff in life - not just on getting into the soccer team etc

    3 Autie mums and dads are the best company - seriously

    4. Many of the angels work in the special needs world

    and many many more

  2. I agree, reading the positives is very uplifting. We have a 12 year old son with high functioning autism. His laughter is contagious, he is extraordinarily obedient and most times only has to be asked once to do something, he doesn't argue and isn't rebellious like most preteens, when he gets excited about something - he pulls in everyone around him with his facial expression and body language! Can't imagine a day without him or his life being any different.

  3. What a great idea! I took a class at my local CARD and each meeting started with what they called our Golden Nuggets. A positive moment that stood out from the previous week. It got us in the habit of looking for the good stuff.

  4. @K. Floortime and Selena- Thanks for adding your good stuff, loved it!

    @Ashley - Yes it is something you have to practice to keep it going, it is so easy to be dragged down by the bad stuff!

  5. I love Griffin's quirkiness that is his autism signature and how he sees things from a unique perspective.

    Autism has taught me more about myself than I had ever known and has opened my mind to a new world and all the special people involved in it.

    I am more patient because of autism and have learned to not worry about things that I cannot change.

    Because I am a SAHM I take my job very seriously but have learned to laugh and play with Griffin at every opportunity.

    Autism has taught me to not care what other people think that it is only important what happens between Griffin and me.

  6. Sarah is 17 and is on the autism spectrum. She is the youngest of three and has two typical older siblings. Sarah brings so very much joy and laughter to us all. Kinda like this one ... when she retells a joke. The joke is what did the fish say when he hit the wall? The answer: Damn! Sarah retold the joke but changed the answer to shit!! (All the same to her!!) Love the way she interprets life!! So many fun stories to tell.

  7. @Lora - I agree, it is only important what happens between you and your child! Love what you wrote!

    @Kathy - That is so cute, Sierra did something like that but not in a joke. I had bumped into her and I said "I am sorry I didn't mean to bump you" Sierra said "Mamma not mean"