One Message I Want Every Family in Our Autism Community to Remember

When I was doing one of my first internships at Autism Speaks in 2010, I answered over 1,000 emails from parents/caregivers on how to help one of their loved ones on the autism spectrum. During that time, I gave advice on early intervention, therapies, schools, transitional programs, IEP meetings, social skills, visual schedules and much more.

Each time one of those questions came up, though, one of the constants I always reminded them about was this:

You are your child’s greatest advocate. When the time comes, be educated, research, and trust your gut because you know your child best.”

As time has gone along and I’ve traveled the country speaking about my journey on the autism spectrum, I adopted a new saying I share with those who reach out to me on Facebook looking for advice. In addition to the above, now I also say…

“Autism doesn’t come with an instruction guide. It comes with a family who will never give up.”

Autism is not one-size-fits-all, so for everyone out there reading this, just remember to never give up. We learn more and more about autism every single day. I’ve overcome many of my challenges from when I was younger, and one of the reasons I advocate today is to help others do the same.


A version of this post originally appeared on

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

close up of mother holding daughters hand

My Promise to Fellow Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum

I gave birth to my son just before I turned 25 years old. By that time, nearly every person in my small circle of friends and larger circle of co-workers/Facebook friends I haven’t spoken to face-to-face since high school had already started families of their own. So when my son was diagnosed with autism at [...]
Lovely child sitting at table looking at camera and smiles

How to Explain an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis to a Child

When I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum at 15 years old, I initially shrugged it off. It didn’t really mean anything because I hadn’t changed at all. I didn’t even really know what autism was. But then, people around me began to change. They changed the way they treated me. Instead of [...]

What My Emotions Look Like as Someone on the Autism Spectrum

“Maror,” drawn by Hilary’s daughter, Aitza. People with autism are said to have difficultly recognizing and interpreting emotions in themselves and others. I say, likewise people without autism may have difficulty recognizing and interpreting the emotions of autistic people. I feel all sorts of emotions, though I may not display them or process them in the manner [...]
Chuck E. Cheese´s location

Chuck E. Cheese's Hosts Sensory Sensitive Sundays for Those on the Autism Spectrum

Children on the autism spectrum now have more places to play thanks to a new initiative hosted by Chuck E. Cheese’s and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). As part of their partnership, Chuck E. Cheese’s will host “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” at its Attleboro, Massachusetts, location, with events scheduled for the first Sunday of each month. [...]