To the Parents of Children with Autism

We write this blog and share our story, not to get sympathy from others, but to educate others on what autism is, how different it can look from one person to the next and to offer support to others who are walking the same road.

We don’t write it to complain about our life, but to celebrate life and our sons.

The support for others is a big reason why we do this.

To all the autism moms and dads out there: We see you, we know your struggles and we stand beside you.

To all the moms out there who juggle your family’s chaotic schedule – sports schedules to social schedules, from work to school schedules to therapy schedules just to ensure your child has the therapy support they need to help them to develop the much needed skills they need to make it in this world…..I see you.

To all the parents out there that are functioning on very little sleep every day of their lives because your child with autism has never slept through the night, I feel your exhaustion. I’ve been there myself. The nights seem so terribly long when you’re awake for most of it and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your chin up and raise your coffee cup to others who are in your shoes.

Please know you’re not alone.

To all the dads out there who find it hard to connect with their sons because they don’t seem to be able to connect to much of anything in this world, because their interests don’t make much sense and you’re not sure how to relate to them. I see you. Keep trying and don’t give up on them. Your actions make an impact on them more than you know.

To the mom who feels trapped in her own home because it’s incredibly difficult to take your child out of the house to do activities- because the meltdowns, the sensory overload, the stares from strangers (and sometimes rude comments) and the aftermath of any outing can be too much to handle. I see you. I feel you. I don’t judge. Because we, too, have been in that position and it can be lonely.

To the parents who haven’t had a date night in who knows how long- because the stress of finding a sitter who knows how to handle your child’s behaviors and quirks isn’t easy, because you don’t trust easily and because sometimes the aftermath of being gone isn’t worth the few hours you have to yourself. I see you. I am you.

To the moms who struggle at meal time- because your child has food aversions, selective palate, won’t try new foods or massive sensory issues and doesn’t like how food feels in their mouth. I see the stress you go through to find foods or to even get your child to eat. I know the worry you feel when your child has barely eaten anything all day. We walk that road too and it’s hard worrying if your child is gaining enough weight or getting the right nutrition.

To the parents who had planned your day/evening one way, but then have to adjust according to your child’s meltdowns/stress/anxiety. It can seem like a never-ending battle, one that never is in your favor. I feel your stress. I know the let down of plans never going as planned. And it’s OK to feel let down. I don’t mean let down by your kid, but being let down that this is not the life you envisioned.

To the moms who struggle to balance time with your neuro-typical kids. Boy, do I know the tight rope you walk. I know the worry you carry on how autism affects their lives, your worry that they aren’t getting quality time with you or any time at all. I know the concern all to well, that your other children will come to resent the sibling with autism because of all the struggles you all deal with on a daily basis. I have those same worries too. But think of all that they are learning.

Think of the compassion and patience they see every day and learn to do that with others. Think of the lessons of accepting differences among people and that it’s OK to be different- to not fit in a mold the world thinks everyone should fit into.

To all the moms who have ASD kiddos with major meltdowns who can be aggressive. We know these aren’t tantrums. We call them meltdowns for a reason. I know the hits you take-literally, the kicks, the punches and toys being thrown at you. I know mama, it can be hard. Those bruises and scratches hurt. And I know it’s hard to see your baby struggle with feelings they don’t understand or know how to deal with. I know those big feelings are difficult to deal with. But you’re doing a good job, mama. Keep up the amazing work you do with your baby.

To all the parents out there who have yet to hear your child speak a word, my heart goes out to you. Having a non-verbal child has got to be one of the hardest parts of this journey, never hearing your child’s voice, never hearing them call you mom or dad.

To all you autism parents out there, I’m here to tell you that you are nothing short of amazing. You are the strongest people I know. We were given these children for a reason, sometimes big reasons beyond our understanding.

I’m here to tell you, that even though this road seems lonely most days, please know you are not alone. The rest of us autism parents know what you’re going through, the heartache, the struggles each day and the BIG wins your kids have when they reach a goal or have a breakthrough.

These children were given to you. YOU are their parent for a reason. Keep on rockin’ each day and never give up on them, no matter how bleak the day has been. I see you. I am you.

Written by, Kayla King

I’m a mom to 3 boys ages 7, 6 & 6. One of our twins has Autism and nowadays we find ourselves navigating life with Autism and a service dog. You can follow their journey on Kayla’s blog, Adventures of Charlie and Sunny: His Service Dog.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

This post originally appeared on Kayla’s Blog, Adventures of Charlie and Sunny: His Service Dog.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
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