Belle with shorts on her head

Hope exists, and I need you to know that

We tossed the idea around for well over a year before we finally decided to jump in, and join the blogging world. We had a vision of sharing our story, and a strong desire to help others who may be beginning a similar journey, and give them hope.

As Belle’s dad mentioned in the previous post (Where is all of the autism support?), it is clear that there simply is not enough information available to parents with children on (or potentially on) the autism spectrum. There is also no mention of how we, as parents, might be feeling.

Not only did we feel like the information we were given was inadequate, but we also felt very alone on this road to who-knows-where. Things that we felt like we needed were nowhere to be found. We needed to feel less alone, and less overwhelmed–to hear from others who just get it. We needed to know that we weren’t terrible parents for being angry with our situation. And the one thing we needed more than anything else was hope.

Here are some things that I wish I would have heard from someone who gets it:

  • If you are on the beginning of your journey with autism, things will get better.
  • Your life may no longer be what you expected it to be. Embrace the change.
  • It may be hard to talk about autism in the beginning, but this gets easier with time.
  • You will be presented with many opportunities to teach others about autism. Take advantage of those opportunities.
  • Your child is still your child. Autism is just a part of them.
  • There will be plenty of days when you feel like you have failed. Forget them. You are doing the best you can. Do not doubt yourself!

Read these to yourself as often as you need to because they’re true.

I need you to know that hope does exist. It’s extremely important to me that parents of children with autism know these things. It’s hard–some days more than others. But we have a responsibility to our children, and a responsibility to our community.

Expect your life to be different. Our life has been. As a family, we are doing many things that I never expected. For example: this blog. I am a terrible writer. I like to think that I’m better at the whole talking-to-people thing, but here I am writing a blog post instead.

It’s still a great life, though, and yours will be, too. A great life that you get to share with a tiny human who depends on you and loves you unconditionally.

For the days that you feel you can’t go on: you can, you must, and please know that things will get better.

Yes, our lives have changed, but I like to think that they have changed for the better.

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