I’m a little annoyed with my World Autism Awareness Day post. Not because it isn’t true and not because we don’t need more support and services and solutions but because I didn’t take the time to share how amazing it is to have a child with autism. Yes it is not always easy and no neither of us slept for her first 10 years but being an autism parent is an insanely rewarding job. The little things are the big things. Always.
I wanted to share a story of one of those small victories because life as an autism parent is full of them, each one as much a gift as the last.
Rolling over to an alarm that had been buzzing far too long, my mind caught up with the clock.
I took the stairs two at a time, wrapping my robe at my waist.
My foot pressed the bottom step just in time to see the bus doors close against her deep brown waves.
Standing in panic for a moment I looked for signs. An empty bowl sat in the sink, not far from an open cereal box on the counter. The table teetering with homework and a fraying backpack now stood clear.
Even at 17, I still wake with her each morning. Time management and organization, fine motor skills and appropriate dress, not always the strongest of skills in those with autism.
I have removed myself inch by inch over the years, waking a few minutes later, allowing her to begin on her own but always checking before the door closes.
A comfort for both of us, satisfying my need to know that she gets off to a good start and her need to survive another high school day, our routine never changes.
My phone buzzed in my palm, she must have forgotten something.
I left by myself mom
Not for the first time, I underestimated my daughter.
The pride in between her words took me back to the she-won’t-be-able-to‘s we had heard over the years.
They had no idea what a strong spirit they were dealing with.
Neither did I.
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