The Many Things This Autism Mom Is Thankful For…

  • An entire day without a tantrum, a meltdown, or Mom’s nervous breakdown.
  • When my kids pick up a new word.
  • When their new word is NOT a swear word.
  • When the kids use their new word appropriately…even if it is just added to a rehearsed sentence starter like “I want___, please.”
  • Having understanding and supportive family and friends
  • Any outing, even if just to the grocery store, that did not end in tears, bloodshed, potty accident, people asking us to leave, and a screaming car ride home (could be referring to Mom or kids).  You know you are clearly picturing this right now.
  • My picky eater trying a new food.
  • My non-sleepers sleeping and allowing me to sleep through the night.
  • Finding a food that the entire family will eat and fits into everyone’s special diets, instead a different meal for everyone.
  • Refrigerator art work. <3
  • When my child truly gets a new concept.
  • Homework without a fight.
  • Crying during a cartoon with my child tearing up next to me showing me that they understood the emotion being conveyed. (HUGE!)
  • My 9 year old going potty on the potty.  Then hoping that he one day he goes poop on the potty.
  • Sign language, PECS, struggling words, and other means of communication that my child uses to interact.
  • The amount of effort my child puts into every day in attempt to fit in, to function, and to be heard.
  • Catching and redirecting before my child resorts to physical aggression.
  • Good notes home from teachers that are just as excited for your child’s growth and success as you are.
  • Being able to get the mail and NOT finding another write-up notice for behaviors on the bus.
  • Speech pathologists that “get it.”
  • Awesome Occupational Therapists and their sensory diets.
  • NOT getting that dreaded phone call that my child gave his teacher a concussion or broke the bus driver’s nose with his head butting.  (Both really happened when my son was only 6.)
  • Making it to the end of the school day without having to pick them up early from school.
  • Not arriving at school to see 6 security guards and teachers surrounding my child to keep them and those around them safe.  (Again, really happened… and happened more than once.)
  • Friends that listen and tell you that you are a great Mom, no matter how much you feel a like you are failing.
  • Family photos… even if they require Photoshopping a child into the photo that could not sit well with the group.
  • Understanding that the word “clean” is a relative term.
  • Belly laughs and giggles.
  • Making friends with all of the people that understand my kids the most…their Special Education teachers, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Speech Pathologists, School Psychologists, special need bus drivers, Behaviorists, etc.
  • A dinner out like a normal family WITHOUT the whispers, pointing, judging, and staring of others… or just acting like you don’t notice it all going on.
  • Being able to pretend I do not overhear other parents use words like “syndromey,” “problem,” “retarded,” or “that child” when discussing my child.  (Sadly, I have heard them all.)
  • People that recognize that an Autism tantrum does not equal a child being bad.
  • A friend for my child.
  • A friend for my child that adapts play so that my child can participate and feel part of the group.
  • Listening to my kids read.
  • Remembering that behavior IS communication when you have no words.
  • My child’s “team” working together to run a super productive IEP meeting where every member is happy with the outcome.
  • Being invited to friends and family members’ homes even when they know the path of destruction we leave behind.
  • Learning to appreciate and applaud EVERY single accomplishment as if it is the hugest milestone.
  • Love that fruit snacks and high 5’s still work as rewards.
  • Remembering that a stubborn child is a child that will never give up.
  • When my child makes me repeat him just as I have had him repeat me…even if what he wants me to repeat is not even a word.
  • My child working hard to get Mom to understand their world.
  • When my child smiles.
  • Getting to hear “I love you” from my kids…even if I had to prompt it with a sign.
  • When my child truly is proud of him/herself for something they accomplished.
  • Knowing at the end of my day that even if we don’t look like a “normal” family, that I worked my hardest, my kids tried the best, and we survived the day.
  • Getting to be a regular Mom and enjoying precious time with my kids.