It can go either way.

February 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm 5 comments

     I’ve seen autism do many things to many families, and more specifically, to many mothers. I’ve been struck by two types of mothers I’ve seen, and I can see how it can go either way.

     First, the Mom who has such a grasp on her own kids and how they function. She recognizes the difference between autism behavior and kid behavior. She has the delightful ability to advocate for her children without being confrontational, and I envy her that skill. While killing the school staff with kindness, she manages to get what her kids need into their IEPs (Individual Education Plan) and probably makes the IEP team members think it was all their idea in the first place. She is calm, cool, collected, and I want to be around her in the hopes some of it will rub off.

     The second Mom, (sadly, I’ve seen many more of these), breaks my heart. She is beaten down, either by difficulties with her child, frustrations with the school system or the inability to find any doctor who can help. Recently at a meeting for parents with special needs children, she spoke her piece, shaking with anger and rage, and stormed out of the room. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or to cry, and frankly, it made me feel horribly lucky and terribly sad for her at the same time.

     I can see how it could go either way for many parents. We struggle so to help our children, to make sure they are getting what they need in life and school. Nothing is what we thought it would be, but we of course adore our children. We try to maintain a balance between the time we want to spend with them just playing with no agenda and the time we need to spend with them teaching them important life skills. We stay up late researching, sorting through medical bills, trying to read lab reports, and all the while trying to make sure we are taking care of everything else in our lives.

     But I know which Mom I want to be.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. T$  |  February 21, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    i think you are more than you realize.

    I certainly think I’m more on one side than the other, but I certainly have my moments (as you well know….)!

  • 2. awalkabout  |  February 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • 3. nicolemarie  |  February 21, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    oh i really want to be that first mom…i really hope i am. though i’m feeling a bit like the second and we are just getting started.

    It’s overwhelming, for sure. I think at first it’s almost more volatile, and then you get into a groove and learn things, and are able to handle things that come up. I’ve finally realized that with every new stage of development come new challenges, but we’re getting better at taking them in stride, and my Mom always reminds me that “this too, shall pass.” It’s helpful to remember that when the current fixation is bathrooms (where we have to look at the plumbing in every single bathroom we pass – I live for hand-wipes!) or a particular video game (if I hear one more thing about Galaga 88 I’m pretty sure my brain is going to fry!), or sobbing when I’m not first in line to pick up at school.

    I think it depends on the day.

  • 4. lookingforlifeshumor  |  February 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I fear I vascillate between the two – sometimes I have it together and sometimes I feel completely beaten down. But – today is another day. One day at a time!!! 🙂

    I know – I think most of us are in the middle somewhere! And you are right, one day at a time is absolutely the way to go – sometimes one minute at a time, right? 🙂

  • 5. jesch30  |  February 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    And I know which mom you are.

    There you are, picture lady! It worked! Now you have a face.

    I think it depends on the day, but I try to make sure I lean to the one side. Boy, that Mom just broke my heart the other night, and I can’t stop thinking about her. She talked about things that have been going on for years, and you can understand how it can get so bad (given the school problems we had last year). It was just so sad.


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It’s all autism, all the time.

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