Do you feel tongue tied when you meet parents with special needs kids? Are you worried that you might say or do the “wrong” things?
As the mother of a child with autism, I’ve seen a lot of people in your situation. And even though most mean well, sometimes friends and family do end up with their foot in their mouth.
My son Addy was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder about one year ago. I remember sitting in that doctor’s office, twisting a Kleenex in my hands to calm my nerves, feeling terrified to hear her say the words I knew were coming.
That day feels like a lifetime ago. The process of getting a diagnosis and taking the next steps was at times overwhelming, and it was an adjustment that took time not only for me, but for those closest to me as well.
Through mostly a process of trial and error, my friends, close family, and extended loved ones no longer worry so much about what to say or do when it comes to Addy. His autism is merely another part of what makes him who he is, much like his love of Thomas the Tank Engine and grilled cheese sandwiches.
According to CDC, 1 in 68 children is identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Today, I’d like to share with you, the best I can, what it is like to be the parent of a special needs child, and what you can do to support that parent in your life with a child like mine.