All I’ve Been Told

Oh, he’s not talking yet? Kids do things in their own time, there’s no need to worry.

Don’t rush to label him. A label could hold him back in life.

You need to do something to get him sleep. You should let him cry. Maybe try co-sleeping. Oh, co-sleeping is very bad.

He’ll eat when he’s hungry.

Don’t tell everyone he has autism. People will judge him for it.

You look tired.

Have you tried essential oils?

Have you looked into a gluten-free diet?

Have you considered horse therapy?

He doesn’t look like he has autism. He looks normal. He seems fine.

Maybe you should discipline him a little more. In my day, kids had discipline.

Why won’t he hug me? He should learn to shake hands. It’s only right.

Why is he wearing athletic pants? He should be able to wear jeans, or khakis.

What do you mean, you have to leave? We haven’t even eaten dinner yet! He’ll be fine. Don’t go. Don’t give in to his tantrum.

Why does he hold his hands over his ears? Why does he say the sound is too bright? Why does he pull at all of his clothes like that?

I read something once, about something called sensory processing disorder. You should look into it.

Maybe he needs new socks.

It’s cold out, why won’t he put his jacket on?

Does he have a special talent? Is he a savant?

He is a good boy.

He is trying. Don’t forget, he is trying.

Life is going to be harder for him than the other kids.

Don’t neglect your marriage.

Does he have friends? Who does he play with at school?

Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball? To see into his future?

Medication is not a good idea. There are all kinds of side effects.

Why does he rub his hands together like that?

Are his cuticles bleeding?

He seems very anxious.

There is medication for that, you know.

My second cousin’s uncle through marriage has autism. He went on medication and it really messed him up forever.

What is it like to have a son with autism?

It must be hard.

I don’t know how you do it.

Is it hard? It looks hard.

You must take time for self-care. Self-care is very important.

Have you tried yoga? Yoga is good.

You can’t leave him with just anyone, you know.

Why does he talk that way?

Why does he jump like that?

Why does he look at the floor when I ask him a question?

Why does he flick his fingers, and tap his head?

This is serious. You need to get him some help.

It must be hard for your other kids. They probably don’t get much attention, what with his autism and all.

Are you scared? I’d be scared.

Are you lonely? It seems lonely.

Don’t worry, he’ll get there when he’s ready.

He’s sixteen now, you don’t have a lot of time.

Does he play any sports?

Does he belong to any clubs?

Does he have any friends?

Does he know he has autism?

Will he graduate high school?

Will he drive a car?

Will he live on his own?

What can you do?

I guess you just have to love him for who is.

I love him.

I love who he is.

Written by, Carrie Cariello

Carrie Cariello is the author of What Color Is Monday, How Autism Changed One Family for the Better, and Someone I’m With Has Autism. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe, and their five children. 

Carrie is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY Parents, the TODAY Show, Parents.com. She has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, and also has a TEDx talk.

She speaks regularly about autism, marriage, and motherhood, and writes a weekly blog at www.carriecariello.com. One of her essays, “I Know What Causes Autism,” was featured as one of the Huffington Post’s best of 2015, and her piece, “I Know Why He Has Autism,” was named one of the top blog posts of 2017 by the TODAY Show.

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

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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