38 Signs You Might Be an Autism Parent


Raising a child on the spectrum comes with its own set of rules, its own set of challenges and its own reasons to celebrate. So the Mighty asked its readers on Facebook to fill in the blank: You might be an autism parent if ___. Their answers made us laugh, cry and nod our heads in agreement. Take a look at a few of our favorites below, and add your own to the comment section at the bottom.

You might be an autism parent if…

 

1. “You just tucked your child into her closet instead of a bed because that’s where she’s most comfortable sleeping.” Kate Systma

2. “Every conversation seems to always include some video game character reference. Always.” What Will This Day Bring?

3. “Caffeine is a necessity.”Elaine Southern

A quote from Elaine Southern that says, "Caffeine is a necessity."

4. “The majority of your adult conversations are with your kid’s therapists!”Stumbling Across the Spectrum

5. “You know the name of every engine from the island of Sodor, and you can tell them apart from across the room.”Michelle Alkon

6. “You bring every kind of snack imaginable with you to any outing because your child is nonverbal, so you don’t know what he’s going to want to eat.”Hilah Swidler Marca

7. “[Insert movie name] is on repeat for the 637,345th time that day…”Jamie Rankin

A quote from Jamie Rankin that says, "[Insert movie name] is on repeat for the 637,345th time that day..."

8. “Your house looks like a classroom with all the visual schedules and learning posters everywhere.”Jen Lynch

9. “Your kid tells you ‘happy birthday’ on Mother’s Day. Close enough.”Leidy Jesse Garcia

10. “You call the entire family to celebrate your child eating a new food, like it was a national holiday… because let’s face the truth: it kind of is!”Tabitha Hodges

11. “Every new word seems like a tiny miracle.”Whittany Keating

Quote from Whittany Keating that says, "Every new word seems like a tiny miracle."

12. “Your son can’t rest until he knows what kind of car your new friend drives and has seen and touched the key. And he will remember three years from now what kind of car it is.”Jennifer Hollis Behlmann

13. “You have enough copies of parental rights from IEP meetings to wallpaper your house.”Marisa Ulrich

14. “You wear your autism mom shirt so when you go in public and have to bring him in the bathroom with you, you don’t have to explain it 20 times…”Anita Soto Russell

15. “You live on high alert constantly.” Penelope Hamilton

Quote from Penelope Hamilton that says, "You live on high alert constantly."

16. “You wipe out a shelf of macaroni and cheese because the kiddo will only eat the shapes kind (not the regular) and you’re afraid they’ll stop making that kind.”Mary A. Wilson

17. “You’ve emailed Nabisco when they stopped making one of the five things your child eats and offered them an arm, a leg or an organ to please for the love of God start making said snack again.”The AWEnesty of Autism

18. “You feel like a war survivor after a trip to the grocery store.”Bre Sapp

Quote from Bre Sapp that says, "You feel like a war survivor after a trip to the grocery store."

19. “Your daughter’s toothbrush is always in the same spot and facing the same direction on the bathroom sink.”Alisha Roach

20. “You must take the same exact route to school every day because if you turn on a different street, it will get ugly.”Kathy Macias Araiza

21. “Small accomplishments are huge accomplishments, like your teenager learning how to walk home from school all by himself!”Lauren Jordan

Quote from Lauren Jordan that says, "Small accomplishments are huge accomplishments."

22. “You have a hanging therapy swing and trampoline in your living room.”Melissa Cote

23. “You have a sign with a picture of clothes taped to the patio door to help your nonverbal son remember to wear clothes outside while playing…”Dawn Dierking

A sign that says "Wear Shorts Outside" and as a picture of a pair of black shorts with a yellow stripe and pairs of black, red and blue underwear

24. “Waking up at 6 a.m. is considered sleeping in.” –Priti Patel

25. “You buy your almost 11-year-old daughter a teen magazine and a bra and a baby doll stroller and ‘Backyardigans’ DVD in the same outing.”April Charisse

26. “You have to eat at [insert restaurant name] every Tuesday and make sure there is a [insert restaurant name] where you vacation.” — Jodi VarKonda Weldon

27. “All ‘usual and customary’ child rearing rules and guidelines are subject to suspension and revision on an hourly basis, as needed to adapt to the ever-changing functional ability of your child.”Cyndi Graves

A quote from Cyndi Graves that says, "All 'usual and customary' child rearing rules and guidelines and subject to suspension and revision on an hourly basis, as needed to adapt to the ever-changing functional ability of your child."

28. “You go to the library Monday, grocery store Tuesday, YMCA Wednesday, recycling Thursday and eat pizza Friday. Every week.” Tyann Sheldon Rouw

29. “The big huge gate that cost $2,300 was not to keep people out but your child in!”Anna Donald

30. “You have a broken iPad, three broken iPhones, one broken TV…”Rebecca Guyot

31. “You turn every activity into therapy.”Sarah Dickson

32. “You give your principal pep talks on interacting with your kid.”Jacqueline Patterson

A quote from Jacqueline Patterson that says, "You give your principal pep talks on interacting with your kid."

33. “You celebrated when the teacher reported that your son said ‘damn,’ and it was in context, too.”Karla Needham Bryan

34. “You stay awake every night worrying about the future and who will watch over your child when you’re gone.”Raelene Beruschi

35. “You have emergency stashes of Oreos cookies that must be in groups of four because having four Oreos in his hand is only way your getting your kid to school these days, and you don’t really care what anyone thinks about it.”Tracy Waugh Antoine

36. “You secretly celebrated when your child told a lie.” — Luna Mireles

Quote from Luna Mireles that says, "You secretly celebrated when your child told a lie."

37. “You can read a look in the eye, a posture, a tilt of the head, a facial expression or a vocalization and know exactly what frame of mind your child is in. Those brief, infrequent moments when you actually connect eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul are never forgotten but remembered for a lifetime.”Shelly Boeve

38. “You know how much your child loves you without them being able to tell you. You celebrate what others wouldn’t have noticed. Their sibling is the most accepting, non-judgmental person you know. Life is completely different to what you expected, challenging and often difficult, yet still amazing.”Gemma Bryan

A quote from Gemma Bryan that says, "You know how much your child loves you without them being able to tell you. You celebrate what others wouldn't have noticed. Their sibling is the most accepting, non-judgmental person you know. Life is completely different to what you expected, challenging and often difficult, yet still amazing."

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