According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is almost impossible to NOT know someone (or be that someone) who has a child affected by autism. It’s why Autism awareness is so important.
Supporting Autism Families at Beaches Resorts
Last October, I was in Turks and Caicos for the Beaches Social Media on the Sand Conference. I got to sit in on a session where we learned more about all they are doing to create a safe environment for kids and families with autism.
Check out this post by my friend LaToyia of the Motivated Mom on how Beaches is going above and beyond for autism families.
I met an amazing friend and woman, Dr. Ali Griffith years ago. She’s actually written several great posts around parenting a child on the spectrum (you can read them here, here and here or search “autism” on the blog). In fact, Dr. Ali wrote a post when Julia first appeared on Sesame Street, and shared why she was excited about it. You can read it here.
FYI: Sesame Place is the first theme park in the world to be designated as a Certified Autism Center! That is huge!
The post below was written by Dr. Ali in hopes of inspiring and motivating other parents to see differently in the blessing of their child.
Parenting a Child With Autism
Everyone has different challenges in their life and in many cases it’s hard to see theirs when we are so busy creating the list of our own. Reflecting on who you are and what is important to you will help you in figuring out how to focus more on chasing your own dream.
As au-mazing moms, when we chase our BIG dreams, we model for our children with Autism that they also can try to do the same. If you find that you are limiting yourself or your child with Autism, because of what others have told you or false beliefs, then it’s time to SHIFT out of it. You are the Author of your Autobiography.
My child with Autism is my primary responsibility. Parenting a child with Autism does require a lot of time, focus and patience. However, I created and applied effective tools and strategies for parenting my au-mazing gift, Zachary. These tools placed the importance of placing self-care as equally important as child-care.
What our mind says and how to fix it
“I am so tired from taking care of my child with autism that I can’t go for the things in life I really want.”
I get it. There are definitely countless sleepless nights and tireless days associated with being an Autism mom. However, being tired can be counteracted with you starting with small micro moves. For example: enrolling in school and starting with 1 or 2 classes at a time.
Shift your thoughts from only seeing the power in major moves and completion by a designated time and release some of the pressure that we place on ourselves as “mom”.
“I can’t be present for my child with Autism and be present for myself at the same time!”
Yes, YOU CAN!!! Start shifting your thoughts, words, and actions from a place of negative and jump into positive energy power. There is power in what we say as parents that we can do. If we think we can’t and say we can’t, then we WON’T. If we say we can and start taking action, how well we do will start to align with our desires. Being present for both yourself and child requires you to release the need for that time to be perfect. Do a shared activity that you both enjoy and share times with laughter and silence together (without devices and gadgets on).
The bottom line when it comes to parenting a child with autism
No matter what: as a parent of a child with Autism, we will encounter days and nights that can be very challenging. Through it all, try to maintain who you are as an individual, mom, and wife and then create symphony where they can shift from solo performances to a blended and beautiful harmony, together. I want you to reflect on what you are doing. Ask yourself; am I living in accordance to where I want to be? And if not. What am I doing to make it happen?
I wish we didn’t have to have “Autism Awareness Month”. But so glad we do so that we can find the support and community to build the villages we need.