There’s that point early in the journey as an autism parent where you have to decide how open you’re going to be about your family’s struggles and joys. It’s that whole internal dialogue that makes the choice of whether to get an autism awareness bumper sticker a full-on crisis. I think autism mom’s have an easier time with this which I can only imagine has something to do with Instagram. But the point is this, dad: this is your story now too. Your life is different and, frankly, you just have to own it. If you need to sit with that for a while, I get it. At some point, soon, you’re going to have to start telling your story. And if my years as an educator have taught me anything it’s that the point at which you come to grips with and tell your own story is the point at which the magic starts to happen. It’s not about you.
I get that as men you are really just about a generation or so into owning your own feelings and stuff. I get that you are still figuring out that you are allowed to go to therapy and have identity crises. So there’s a reason you are slow on figuring yourselves out. But as an autism dad, you’ve got to figure it out quick. I’m not saying you need to suppress it; not at all. I’m saying you need to be better and faster at processing your own hangups so you can get out of your kid’s way. Let me break it down for you this way: Your kid is not an opportunity for you to sort out your emotional junk on the fly. Our autistic kids need us emotionally healthy so we can teach them about their own emotional lives. Instead of mapping our own failures and ambitions, anxieties and dreams onto them, we need to find ways to tap into their talents and passions to guide them into a full and rich life of their own choosing. Move out of the way.
Give more away than you think you have.
People think that love, energy, compassion, grace, patience and whatever else we needed more of in this world were scarce commodities, things we needed to ration out to make sure we had enough of to make it to the end. love is an endless resource when you endlessly give it away. It makes not one lick of sense that every time You empty out what You thought was your last little bit of hope to make something happen for Your child even more comes swooping in. It’s a miracle.
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