My Fears are Different

Parents have many fears for their children as they grow up…but as a special needs mother, my fears are so different than most.

It’s difficult to put into words. 

So here I go….

It’s hard not to have tears roll down your face at night when everyone is asleep..when you look at your child so perfect, who is sound asleep, just thinking how much you love them. 

You lay there and think about everything.

You can’t turn off your thoughts and fears. It’s hard to relax and take a deep breath.

It’s hard to watch how easy life seems for typical parents. It’s hard hearing typical parents complain that their kids never shut up, it’s hard watching their kids get to be kids.

They say children are mean, but adults are worse. Mean, disrespectful adults raise mean disrespectful children. Period. 

I have had many ups and downs since my son’s diagnosis, but I still cry.

I cry a lot. Its not a bad thing- it’s ok to cry. 

I need to feel my feelings. I can’t always be the perfect, happy, positive mother.

I’m not superwoman. 

Parent’s need to teach kids to be kind. Teach them that being cool means absolutely nothing as you age, but your character means everything in life. 

I was badly bullied in middle school all the way up until my senior year of high school. I was extremely overweight for many years and had thick short hair. I was the ugly duckling at that time in my life. I was a bully’s ideal target. 

I’m nearly 40 years old and I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t affect me deep down- I became anorexic, lost over 100 pounds and then struggled with bulimia for many years into my late 20’s.

I was able to fight back at my bullies…I never let them tear me apart without a fight. 

A person who is autistic, that’s a whole different story. They don’t operate like us.

It makes me feel ill to think about my son being bullied for his differences. I try not to think about this, but I also can’t be naïve. You would think those with disabilities would be off limits to bullies, yet they are a bully’s number one target. 

I fear that he will never speak, that apraxia of speech will forever rob him of his voice. 

I wonder if he will ever have friends or a friend… or if he will be bullied and harassed his entire existence because he is different.

I fear dying. Who will love and care for him like I do? 

I fear someone hurting him or abusing him and he can’t tell me.

I fear he will never be able to live on his own without help.

I fear he will be lonely and depressed.

I fear he will wander off…I read all these stories about autism and wandering.

It makes me sad to think I may never be a grandmother…I know he can still find love one day, but I have thought of that. 

It makes me sad that I can’t make this world truly understand autism…sad that the world gets meaner by the day.

The list of fears are endless. It’s so hard not to just feel completely helpless some days. Some days I wish I had a magic crystal ball to see into the future.

My son is only 3 and I remind myself his future will still be beautiful. 

You then get those people who say “you can’t worry about all that now.”

It is hard not to roll my eyes to this. Why?

Because the average person/parent…you don’t get it. I’m not like you.

I’m not a parent to a typical child and when “normal” parents realize this I think they will understand. 

Typical parents may be upset for their child over them losing a hockey or baseball game, they may be upset over their kid not making the football team.

None of that matters to me. Sorry. I get upset over the things we can all do, that my son with Autism and Apraxia can’t do. 

The things you would never think of because it comes so naturally to us.

This is why I now view the world differently and take nothing for granted.

If Autism wasn’t a part of our lives I would be just like the typical parents. 

As a special needs parent, you kind of feel like you don’t belong..you’re not like the average parent and sometimes special needs parents don’t accept you either as they think you may not have it hard enough.

I feel that. Our son may not have severe autism but he has autism. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum. Autism is Autism. It is not easy. I am not in a competition to see who‘s child has it harder. I just want to find other moms who get it. A safe place.

I have learned a lot following a particular special needs mother. She call’s it “the secret world of autism”.

Reading her stories are so inspiring. I admire her. 

She seems so kind, accepting, honest, calm, raw and welcoming of all in the special needs world. 

Her page and videos have helped me more than anything these last seven months since my son’s diagnosis.

Shes made me realize I should celebrate the little things our kids do and not worry about the text book milestones. 

Kids with Autism go at their own pace…our kids may be different but they will still thrive. 

Thank you, Kate for being an amazing human. Thank you for not only educating parents but the world too, by using your platform.

I am not sure if my fears will become less frightening as time goes on, but right now I just try my hardest to be the best mother and role model to my beautiful son.

My name is Jacquelyn Binford. I am a wife to a wonderful husband, a birth mother to a gorgeous 17 year old daughter and a mother to my incredible son who is 3. I have a passion to spread awareness and acceptance for autism and apraxia. I have been published by Autism Parenting Magazine, The Mighty and Her View From Home. Check out my blog, My Motherhood Diaries.

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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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