5 Tips for Moms and Dads Dealing with Autism
Hey there folks. I just wanted to give you 5 Tips for Moms and Dads Dealing with Autism. I know it is hard when you first get a diagnosis. We all struggles in different ways. Yet, sometimes knowing what to expect and how to deal with it can help you feel less out of control.
Be the Best Ringmaster You Can Be – Tip #1
You are in this for the long haul now folks. So you are going to have to fun the show. There are good things and bad things about that. The good thing about it is you get to control something. The bad part is you are the one that is also accountable and responsible for it all. So, here is the tip. Learn to be the best advocate you can be for your child. Get informed and take advantage of every possible service you can find. You got this!
Stepping in Poop Pissed Me Off – Tip #2
If you step in poop it pisses you off. That is perfectly okay in that scenario, right? Feelings are okay to have not matter what the situation. Try not to push away any feelings that come up as you move through the journey. It is a journey after all, and if you don’t deal with it now – you will deal with it sometime. It is also possible to feel both ambivalent, angry, and happy all at the same time. Those emotions are expected and it is perfectly fine to have conflicting emotions.
Think about it. If you slip on your way down the stairs and make a huge spectacle of yourself. On the way down the stairs you get hurt, but not terribly. At the same time you realize you slipped on a lego, but you see you sweet little kiddo near the bottom of the stairs and he or she says lego. Let’s say your kid is non-verbal. Holy crap batman – you are going to be a hot mess of emotions. Or at least I would be. I would be pissed I stepped on a lego. Excited to hear the first word. Feel silly for falling in such a crazy way. Emotions are not one size fits all and you can’t have just one. They are more like Lay’s Potato Chips – you can’t have just one.
When You Step in Elephant Poop at the Circus – Who You Mad at Boo – Tip #3
Okay, so you are at the circus and you didn’t see the steaming pile of poop right in front of you because you were chasing your little sweet potato. You step right in it. My question, who are you mad at? The poop didn’t do anything, it is just sitting there. Elephants poop. Maybe you are mad at the trainer for not cleaning it up, but you don’t know he had to run after a small child that was running under the elephant. Or perhaps you are made at your child for running away from you.
Look guys, you can have any emotion you want and be mad in all of these scenarios at all of these individuals. Yet, facts are facts. Elephants poop and our kids have autism. So, what is the tip here? Try to direct your anger, if you have any, toward the disorder vs. your loved one. Trust me, they didn’t ask for it either. When you are arguing with your spouse or friend over an autism relationed issue, try to remember the topic is possible hard for you both – so be careful not to get mad at each other – you are both dealing. Poop happens folks. Autism happens.
Appreciate the Small Victories – Getting the Consolation Prize Is Still a Prize – Tip #4
I do like carnival games. When I was a kid, I always wanted to try to get the little circles over the top of the glass bottles. I never won the big prize. Probably a good thing too, since it is very unlikely that we could fit the huge unicorn or whatever it was in the car. But, you know what. I loved the little squirt gun or turtle stuffed animal I got anyway. We loved things so much differently when we were young and innocent.
Autism is one of those things that you can see as a gift or a not. I chose to look at it as a gift. Why? Well, it helped me see that every single step is important – not just the milestone at the end. For example, we are in year 4 of potty training, my daughter is 6. We still clean up lots and lots of poop. But, she pees in the potty, she goes to the potty to poop, and everyone once in awhile she tells us #2 is on the way.
So, we celebrate every success. Each day when she goes where she should, we celebrate. Why? Cause maybe we never get to #2 being all done. Or, maybe because our life is so much more full of joy when at least 2 to 3 times a day we all shout hooray for Zoe as she makes it to the potty. It’s your choice. But, my house is so much more fun this way.
Get Involved at the Circus – Tip #5
Last tip of the 5 Tips for Moms and Dads Dealing with Autism – get involved in the Autism community. Why? Cause its your new tribe boo! Yep. We all are here and we all think different. We are less likely to judge and more likely to have fun. You might be the ringmaster, but you need others in the circus to make it go. We can all help each other navigate the big tent together.
Thank you so much,
The Reluctant Ringmaster, Jackie Schwabe