When Skylar was diagnosed over 9 years ago I knew very few people that had children with Autism. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, and very few support groups for parents of children with Autism. I met Tina, who I blogged about here, and she was really my only friend and confidant in the world of Autism. Over the past 9 years I’ve made some great friends that have children with Autism and other special needs and those bonds have remained strong. There is just something about being with other parents of kids with special needs. It is safe! You don’t worry about being judged. If your kid has a melt down, no one bats an eye, whispers, or looks at you funny. It is just so comfortable.
Since moving back to Arizona this past spring I’ve struggled with finding my place. I’ve felt really lonely. The past few days were extremely difficult as Skylar has been sick for the better part of the week and I had only left the house once to pick Hailey up from school. On Sunday afternoon I decided to hop on the computer and check Facebook, Twitter, and a few blogs that I regularly read. When I signed into Twitter I saw that the hashtag “You might be an autism parent if” had started just minutes earlier. I decided to jump in and share some of my thoughts and I LOVED reading all of the things people were writing. I loved that it was not only parents, but siblings, therapists, doctors and authors. I loved that people were sharing humorous stories and I was laughing and then the next minute someone shared something so heart wrenching that I would think “Yes! I’ve been there too! You are NOT alone!”
I spent hours reading and sharing and I hated when it was time for me to sign off. The topic went strong for over 4 hours and today people were still sharing their thoughts. I wanted to share some of my favorite things that have been shared so far and who shared them.
My delightful Twitter friends say “You might be an autism parent if”:
-you had to defend your child to his math teacher because he doesn’t “show his work” (@DefytheSpectrum)
-you still get nervous before an IEP no matter how many times you’ve had one (@gregoriouslife)
-sometimes you have to accept that you go to bed knowing you might not have done your best today, but you survived! (@calormom)
-your therapists are part of your family (@JennySKing)
-Some days you don’t have much to say to “normal” parents (@manyhatsmommyMI)
-you watch a movie via your child mimicking it back at you instead of watching it on TV (@thepyxie)
-you’ve left a full cart in the store and left because of a meltdown (@BeckyH_253)
-one moment you feel completely alone & the next, you’re a part of a large, passionate & supportive community (@autismfather)
-you’re reading these posts and wondering “where have you all been all my life??” (@MojoMamaBlog)
And, my personal favorite:
-the once-in-a- lifetime kid catastrophe that another family would never forget? At your house, it’s called “Tuesday”! (@BobbiSheahan)
Seriously…I could list so many! Head over to Twitter and follow the #youmightbeanautismparentif thread. I know that you will laugh, cry, & maybe learn a thing or two!
I love the new people I met last night and look forward to following their journeys. There is definite comfort in knowing “I’m not alone!”
Have a fantastic week!
*I was nominated for one of Babble’s Top Autism Spectrum Blogs. I’m totally honored by this. If you read my blog and you have found it helpful I would appreciate your vote. I am currently in the 30′s. You can click here and search for I Am JuJu, then click on the “I Like This” icon. I believe you can only vote for one blog per computer/device. Thank you so much for your support! I love sharing our journey with others and I truly hope that it brings hope and understanding regarding Autism.*