To the Mom Worried Her Child With Autism Isn't Meeting Milestones
In the beginning, they ask, “Is your baby rolling? Crawling? Babbling?” Then the questions become, “Is he walking? Eating well? Potty-trained? And what if, at those moments when he’s “supposed to be,” he just isn’t?
Your worries take over as a mommy. You wonder, did I somehow fail?
These feelings are real. It feels like you spend forever waiting and wondering, staying awake late into the night with a strong prayer: “Please just let him catch up.”
If you’re like me and have broken the search engine for answers with tears of worry in your eyes, know this: It’s OK. We need to stand strong and support our children, even if they aren’t necessarily fitting into those set milestones.
If you’re going through it now, I’m here to say: The beginning is most definitely the toughest. Be the Mommy, Daddy, Best Friend, Advocate, Teacher and Hero for your child — but understand that above all, he will teach you more about yourself than you will have learned in all of your years on this earth.
Where do you go from here? You choose positivity — it’s what floats hope. And when they ask those questions, smile, Mama — breathe and do what you need to next. Walk away, laugh and nod, go home and scream into your pillow, and then hug your boy. Promise you’ll stand by him, protect his individuality and celebrate him. He’s wonderful, beautiful, kind, gentle and smart. Anyone too ignorant to see that falls short of those qualities themselves.
Don’t try to make him what you thought he would’ve been. Embrace him, for he is much more than you ever hoped for.
Don’t be afraid to say with pride, “He has autism.”
If he wants to spin, spin with him. If he wants to dance, dance with him. Scream, hug him tightly. Laugh with him, and be thankful he’s different. After all, who would want to be the same?
Your child will hopefully go through life empowering others to step out of their small generalist boxes and become something special.
As Dr. Seuss said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
One Proud Mama