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The Simple Question That Helped Me Advance in the Journey With My Sons With Autism

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There are so many different parts to a journey with autism. Sometimes you may think you’ve got things under control, and then it can fall apart. Sometimes you just manage to get settled and then suddenly you’re starting all over again with another child. Sometimes you think you have a strong fierce warrior momma exterior, and then you realize inside you can feel everything. Every. Single. Thing.

I wish what I’ve learned I can teach to my children so they don’t have to learn for themselves. That’s not the way this works though, is it? No matter how badly we want to protect them from pain, we can’t do everything. We can’t prevent everything.

We can’t stop peers from telling him to stop following them. We can’t help the other understand that things won’t always happen in his specific order. Most of all, we can’t help but see ourselves in them.

Parts of this road have been bumpy and jagged. I’ve felt lonely, confused, torn apart.

But just stop for one minute and think, can you let go of that?

two boys holding up rocks in driveway of house
Casey’s sons.

Can you let go of the parts that really don’t matter? For example, does it matter what other people think of you and how you manage your life and your family? Honestly, do they actually have any idea? That woman at the grocery store has no idea that you’ve been awake since 2 a.m. Again. Basically for four years straight now. The family member who thinks you’re a “tad” bit overbearing has never seen your child in the midst of a sensory meltdown, to the point of self-harm. No wonder you can scan the room for potential threats or triggers as well as a Navy Seal.

But for real, all of that? I’ve been there (frequently). I hate that I feel things so strongly sometimes. But what I have realized is that holding on to all the things I can’t change was stopping me from advancing. Literally holding me back. I need to be the best version of me so I can help them become the best versions of themselves.

I choose to let go of the fear, the anger, the pain. Of course they may come to visit, but they will not rule me. This isn’t an easy path, but so what if the road is uneven? It is a lot easier to navigate without holding onto the extra baggage.

boy with train set and jurassic world sign
One of Casey’s sons.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Share with us the moment, if you’ve had it, where you knew everything was going to be OK. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: March 24, 2016
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