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When My Son With Autism and I Found Our Tribe

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Shortly after my son was diagnosed with autism, he started occupational therapy (OT). For as long as I live, I will never forget walking into his first appointment and feeling such relief as I observed the other kids there. As one boy came careening around the wall and then crashed into it, I realized I had found my son’s tribe. There were other kids out there just like him! He wasn’t alone!

Not only did he find his tribe, but I found mine in the other parents in the waiting rooms who were all going through similar experiences. This brought me hope and the information I was searching for.

Finding your tribe is probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your child after receiving a diagnosis that knocks you off your feet. They help you regain your balance, feel accepted and not out of control, (because sometimes you really wonder about how to keep it together). It helps your child deal with the loneliness that comes with discovering you are different — friends who don’t have medical procedures they have to do every day, or jokes that you don’t understand because to you, speech is very literal, or friends who are playing after school when instead you’re at doctors appointments, therapy or just too exhausted to play.

To my tribe, thank you!

To those of you who aren’t in my tribe yet, I can’t wait to meet you and help you in the way so many others have helped us.

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Getty image by Rawpixel

Originally published: March 10, 2018
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