Find Hope and Hold Onto it With All You Have


I wasn’t one of those mothers who saw it coming. I was blindsided when I heard the word autism.

It hit my like a freight train and shattered my soul into a billion pieces instantly.

That horrible feeling of not being able to breath, unwavering fear, fear of the unknowing, and worst of all, hopelessness, took over every inch of me.

I thought at that moment I would never feel as horrible as I did then. As many of you know that would not be the case.

That feeling would take over my body many times throughout the next three years and I’m sure for the rest of my life.

I mourned the life I thought my son was going to have. I went through the anger stage, the seclusion stage, the stage of fighting like a warrior (which I’m not sure if you ever come out of) but at one point I became exhausted. I remember looking at my own mother and just in state of desperation asking how can I keep going.

I had gotten my son accepted into the Duke University stem cell study. I had enrolled him in a full time private ABA program. I had been to every doctor, therapist, teacher that I could. It was a waiting game.

For the first time in two years I wasn’t researching, traveling, or going to meetings or appointments. I was alone with my own thoughts, nothing to focus on for the future. No more hope. There was that feeling again.

I took a very hard look at my life. Yes, we would be different. Yes, things would be hard. But my life would have happiness if I slowed down and let it in.

I had to change what I thought Hope was. That ties to the acceptance of this new life.

Hope could be as simple as seeing his smile each day. Seeing him trying new foods. Watching him responding to his name. Observing him counting to 10 for the first time.

You see when I was focusing on the distant future I lost sight of the amazing little things or when they would happen they wouldn’t be as exciting because I was hoping for him to live independently in 20 years or go to college. I wasn’t focused on the daily blessings.

When I did that my life changed. My family’s life changed.

Last week I met a mother who was in the horrible stage, just receiving the diagnosis. She asked me for advice. I took a minute and said find hope.

Find hope in the little things and hold on to it with everything you have because this road is not for the weak and autism will try and strip hope from you but if you can manage to keep the smallest bit of it with you that will be the key.

And of course I gave her my daily motto.

Fight, Fight like hell momma…you are all he’s got! 

Written by, Taylor Alfonso

I am Taylor. I am a mother of two beautiful children Stella Grace and Brady. My oldest, Brady, was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his 2nd birthday. I am a autism momma loving my little man with all I have. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook @tayloralfonso

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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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