It's often said that parenting is the hardest job in the world. It probably is, especially when it comes to raising a child with special needs. And while all kinds of support are welcome, there is something uniquely powerful, almost magical about the support of others who are experiencing the same situation you are going through or have dealt with it in the past.
Back in April, since it was Autism month, we decided to reach out to a number of parents out there who are facing the challenges of raising a child with autism. The experience was an amazing one for us and a life-changing one for our new volunteers.
Lisa is a mom to a 12-year old boy on the autism spectrum whom they call the Captain.
Soon after the Captain was diagnosed with autism, Lisa quit her full-time job which required a fair amount of travel. She decided to work from home to provide him with all the structure and support.
Professionals offered them very little post-diagnosis guidance. So she had to learn on her own how to best support and guide her son.
She hopes now that the experiences, tools and lessons she learned can be of help to others.
Chelsea simply sounds like the warm person everyone wants to be friends with.
"My life is uniquely tied to autism and children with disabilities." Her oldest son has autism, and she happens to work with kids with all sorts of disabilities.
Chelsea dreams that what she does, things she writes online will provide support, encouragement, and awareness of autism. "I hope people understand that it's not only people with autism who need our support but their families too."
She feels that a child's diagnosis of autism should not necessitate devastating thoughts, nor does it negate a child's potential.
Chelsea said she experiences day-to-day achievements and struggles as a family in which a child happens to carry a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She wants to spread this message:
"We are a family, that's the first and foremost, and the most important thing to remember. We have our ups and downs like all other families. No matter what happens, though, we never lose sight of love and hope in this journey".
We posted these stories not just for support but as a stark reminder that you are not alone. There are many others like us.
We need to be grateful to these children for their teachings and the EXTRAORDINARY GIFT that many of us don't even think about.
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