6 Things I'm Thankful for as I Parent My Son With Autism

I have a lot to be thankful for as an autism mom.

1. I have a child who loves hugs.

Well, actually, I have two children who love hugs, but my autistic son is a hugger and a kisser. I’m grateful for his affection and his hugs are as strong as my love for him.

2. He works hard.

My son works really hard to do well in school and show me he can handle daycare. I don’t doubt there are days when this is really hard for him because he gets overstimulated easily, but he wants to be successful. In my opinion, he already is, but I know he works hard to show the world what I already know about him.

3. He shows he’s thankful for the little things.

It doesn’t take much to make him feel thankful. I envy how easily he finds pleasure in the little things and would love to be more like him in this regard.

4. My children play well together… most of the time.

Right now, they’re playing with a box. A box! And they’re sharing toys and having a good time together. The television is off and I’m sitting back watching them play while I drink my Diet Coke.

5. He’s got a fantastic memory.

Sometimes this can be unnerving, but most of the time it’s impressive and awesome. Ask him what any car is driving down the road, and he can tell you just by looking at it. He knows how to give directions to get to places we’ve been and I’m horrible at directions, so he doesn’t get that from me. And he knows his math facts and can do most of his math in his head. It’s just plain amazing.

6. He knows how to show love.

It goes beyond the hugs and kisses. He tells me he loves me often and even tells me I’m pretty and that I’m the best mom ever. He loves deep. He does not lack empathy or feelings; he shows me daily that he feels things more than most people. I love how much he loves his family and those he considers friends.

I love my son to the moon and back. And that’s not an exaggeration. In a world where children are steadily losing the ability to show the many things my son shows easily, I consider myself “lucky” and I’m thankful for him. I’m thankful for both of my children. They are my world and I’d do anything for them.

A version of this post first appeared on embracingthespectrum.com.

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