What I Worry About as a Mom of a Daughter on the Autism Spectrum

Will I…

Will I find the right strategies to support her neurodiversity in a neurotypical world? Or will I instead teach her to mask who she really is and pretend to be someone she is not?

Will I be a good advocate? Will I be competent enough, smart enough, savvy enough to navigate systems to make sure she receives the services she needs?

Will I be patient enough? Will I be a rock for her to lean on when days are hard?

Will I be able to guide her through the confusing realm that is female friendships? These adolescent relationships can be difficult to negotiate… will I be able to support her and encourage her to keep trying?

Will I learn what she truly wants and needs? Will I push her to succeed while helping her learn and accept her own limits?

Will I be able to protect her but still empower her to become a strong, confident woman?

Will they…

Will they respect her needs? Or will her struggles be brushed off because she’s “just a little autistic”?

Will they accept her and value who she is? Will they appreciate how hard she is trying?

Will they adapt and meet her where she is? Or will they refuse to budge and freeze her out if she can’t meet their standards?

Will she…

Will she feel happy and comfortable to be who she is? Or will she harbor her real self and present a facade to the world?

Will she make true, meaningful friendships? Or will she feel alienated from her peers?

Will she feel accepted by her family? Or will she view herself as the “black sheep”?

Will she find love?

Will she know? Will she know that I love and treasure everything about her, even when I am at my worst?

Here is my list. It’s not exhaustive but it is exhausting. I wrote it down so I can let it go. These worries will always be there, but I won’t let them be all there is. I will laugh. I will play. I will cry. I will yell. I will pray. I will do it right and I will get it wrong. But I won’t let the worry keep me from trying and trying and trying again. Because she’s worth it.

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