When It Feels Like My Child With Autism and I Have Arrived in a ‘New Land’


I follow a lot of blogs and have noticed they all differ on how they decide to show the world what their lives are like with autism. We all want to spread awareness for autism — I know that for a fact. We want inclusion for our children, we want needed services for our children and we want the same rights for your children and our children.

Still, my child with autism is very young, and I feel like we’ve just arrived in a “new land.”

Parents with older kids or adult children on the spectrum have definitely paved the way for “newbie” parents like myself. I wouldn’t know half of what I know if it weren’t for them. And what I didn’t learn from them, I learned from people with autism themselves.

I can still remember the emotions I felt after getting my child’s diagnosis. I also know what it’s like to want answers from professionals and not get them and to be sent on my way to this new land.

I just want to learn as much as I can, so I can set my child up to one day live alone in this land.

When I got here, I wanted to be accepted and taken in right away. But just like a new kid at school, not everyone accepts you. I get that. It’s OK, but I sure as hell will teach my child that if she wants acceptance in this land, she has to accept all others here, too.

In this land, there are differences of quirks, stims and, most of all, there are differences in opinions. Isn’t that what makes life in this land great?

Our life with autism might not be like your life with autism, but it’s not uncommon to find someone in our community who we can relate to. Whether your child is younger, older, a girl, a boy, or whether you’re a parent, a self-advocate or advocating for a loved one, we all live here!

In this land, your house may be bigger, and you may have more friends at your parties. And if that’s the case, good for you. You’ve done well for yourself.

I’m just sitting here unpacking our stuff, settling in and getting adjusted to our new life in our new land.

Others may also join us and move in here, too, and I’ll make sure to say “hi” and “welcome” as they come on in.

Follow this journey on Melissa’s Facebook page.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

The author's daughter standing outside during sunset

5 Ways We're Helping Our Child on the Autism Spectrum Prepare for Preschool

My daughter Laila recently turned 3 years old and has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum all in the same month. There are many changes happening to our household and her life following the diagnosis. The biggest one is that she will be starting a special education preschool program in the fall. Laila has stayed home with [...]
Modern art heads.

5 Ways to Transform Autism Advocacy Through the Art of Storytelling

One day, a kindergarten teacher was walking around her class, checking in on her students to see how they were progressing on their art assignment. Pleased with what she was seeing, she continued to move about the room, slowly pacing by each child’s desk, periodically pausing and offering words of praise and affirmation to her [...]
digital rendering of an eye

Living in Both the 'Autism World' and the 'Neurotypical World'

Every day I have to function in two different realities. There is my everyday reality. It is a world full of deadlines, schedules, and demands. It is loud and confusing. There are so many rules, and very few of them actually make any sense. Then there is my native reality. It is the place where [...]
Ashley's daughter, Olive.

What the Doctor Didn't See When He Diagnosed My Daughter With Autism 2 Months Ago

If you had told me two months ago I would be writing today about how my daughter has autism, I would say that couldn’t be true. I didn’t see it two months ago. I still didn’t see it in April when her developmental pediatrician pointed out the signs as he wrote in his book and watched [...]