Acceptance

Yesterday my husband asked me, “have you really accepted the fact that Hank has Autism?”

It’s one of those conversations we always find a way to circle back to.

Between talking about services, school, behavioral interventions, potty training, aggressions, speech, etc, etc, we always come back to this. 

“Acceptance” 
There’s a pause.
A comma perhaps,
Most likely a big fat question mark? 

Usually when we ask it to each other, we are really in a sense asking it to ourselves.

We are seeking reassurance and validation for our feelings.

What we are really saying is, “hey honey I’m having trouble believing that this Autism thing is going to be forever, can you relate?”

Or “hey babe I know there’s no “cure” for autism but Is it still weird to kind of hold out hope our son is going to be “normal” one day?

And the biggest question mark of them all “is he going to be okay?”

But I don’t pause, I don’t even hesitate. I respond right away,

“Yes” Exclamation point!

I accepted the fact that a very nice Dr. at DuPont with an amazing bedside manner told us on August 14th, 2018 that our son does in fact have Autism.

I accepted the stack of papers she put in my hand as she sent us out the door with our “newly” Autistic son. 

I accepted the fact that the school psychologist at the IU also concurred that our son has autism.

She wasn’t nearly as nice as the first Dr., but I willingly accepted her papers too and went on my way. 

I accepted lots of papers since that day. I sat in plenty of cold, sad rooms with multiple doctors, all saying the same thing. 

I have a whole filing cabinet full of stacks and stacks of papers for our son. 

I accept the fact that my son has Autism as much as I accept the fact that the sky is blue.

Period.

But here’s the thing, sometimes the sky isn’t blue.

Sometimes it can be pink with baths of red and swirls of light.

Have you ever seen a sunrise over the ocean and marvel at the expanse of the sky? 

Sometimes the sky can be golden. This is my favorite sky, sunset or “the golden hour”.

The period of time right before nightfall when the sky is So soft and warm you could soak it up. Everything is illuminated. 

Sometimes the sky is gray and dark and stormy. Sometimes it is so full of rage it shakes with thunder and pours buckets of rain. 

The sky can look white right before a snowfall. 

The sky can be black at night. Sometimes it’s so dark you can’t even see one star.

I accept the fact that all these things can exist together. 

I couldn’t shake our conversation from yesterday. Did I really accept my son’s autism? I wasn’t sure.

So I did the only logical thing and started googling the definition of acceptance and I kept getting the Webster’s dictionary definitions of the word.

I still wasn’t sure, and maybe even more confused than when I started my search.

So I decided to look up “what is the TRUE meaning of acceptance “ and alas! I came upon this beautiful definition I’d like to share:

Acceptance means to be in the embrace of what is without resistance. 

Read that again. 

Yes! Embrace without resistance! That was it.

I could embrace my son’s autism and all the feelings that came along with it, as long as I acknowledged and honored those feelings without resistance.

That’s the thing with raising a child with Autism, there are good days and bad days.

Blue skies and gray. All these things can exist together.

All my feelings can coexist without judgement. 

At the end of the day, 
My son is not a statistic. 
He is not his diagnosis. 
He is the goddamn sky. 

Written by, Franny Whiteside

My name is Franny Whiteside. I am a mother of 4, My middle son Hank has Autism. I am trying my best to raise kind, compassionate tiny humans and teach the power of inclusion to anyone who will listen. I am a reiki master, a runner, a lover of music and cooking. You can connect with me on Facebook.

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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 our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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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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