Celebrating Mother’s Day as an Autism Mom

BY: - 6 May '14 | Parenting

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Facing Autism on BMWK

As a mother of an only child who is on the autism spectrum, I have always had a pity party for myself on Mother’s Day. Instead of appreciating what was right in front of me, I focused on the day that my son Angel would make a big fuss over me on this special occasion.

I also focused on the day I would get Mother’s Day drawings and art work from him. I was a first-time mom, so this was a big deal to me. Looking back, I think my expectations were normal. Especially for a parent with only traditional Mother’s Day celebrations as a frame of reference.

As we noticed Angel’s delays with speech, fine motor skills and his overall development, I began to realize that parenting him would be a different experience. I also realized that my expectations would have to be different. Not lowered but different.

When Angel was diagnosed with autism at age four, I tried my best to learn what his diagnosis meant for him and how I would need to parent him. Over time, I have attained a greater appreciation for nonverbal communication. Angel expresses his love for me in so many ways and it is done primarily through his actions.

He shows me love when he showers me with hugs and kisses. He shows me love when he acts like a baby to get me to do stuff for him. He shows me love when he dances around after I have been out all day and he acts like I just returned from a long trip. He shows me love when he cuddles up next to me. Yes, I know he loves me more than words can ever say.

So for this Mother’s Day, I am making a conscious decision to celebrate it with him in our own unconventional way. This is all a part of autism acceptance. I will hug him and kiss him. I will continue to be there for him because this is what a mother does. I will also make sure to get some “me time” because in order to be the best mom for him, I have to take time for myself.

I will not dwell on what could have been but I will focus on what is. It took me some time to evolve to this point but here I am. I know that celebrating Mother’s Day is about expressing love for your mother and the truth is my son does this every day.

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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3 WordPress comments on “Celebrating Mother’s Day as an Autism Mom

  1. Pingback: Celebrating Mother's Day as an Autism Mom | BlackandMarriedWithKids.com | My CMS

  2. Chad

    Being a parent of a child with special needs is one of the toughest yet rewarding jobs that a loving mom can have. I have grown a higher appreciation for these special needs moms since the moms are the centerpiece of the family. Mother’s Day has a new meaning for me since our child makes us parents.

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Give Yourself Credit…You’re Raising a Good Kid!

BY: - 7 May '14 | Parenting

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TNMHappyFamilyOutside_feature

Seeing a child in public who is blatantly disrespectful makes me cringe. There is the exception of the temper tantrum or yelling from a child with true mental/behavioral challenges, so I am not quick to judge. It could have easily been me in that mother’s shoes. With that in mind, there are few things that give me greater joy than someone complimenting my children. I’m not talking about their looks, or their clothes – but rather how well-behaved or smart they are. I’m proud to say that in the past, I’ve received free desert at restaurants, endless praises and pleasantries from total strangers because of my kids’ behavior in public. This is not to brag or boast, but to share my epiphany. I spend so much time trying to make sure that my kids are good that I forget how great they already are!

I’m sure you can relate. You correct their grammar without thought. You groom and prep before they embark upon something new, whether its a test or a tryout. You are always making sure that your kids, who are an extension of you, are poised, thoughtful and polite with their interactions with others. At one point, this had become an exhausting job for me, but the rewards made it all worth it!

I recently came to the realization that I don’t have to work so hard to groom my kids into these “pseudo-perfect” little people. They are already amazing. I found myself completely pre-occupied thus FATIGUED by just doing what I think every parent does. However, I don’t want to overshadow the time we share with corrections and annoying reminders. No, I’m not completely giving up on purposefully parenting my children, I just needed to fall back a little and give myself and them some credit.

So, the next time you find yourself repeating things over and over again to your kids about what or what NOT to do, we need to remember that our kids are who they are because we invest the time and effort towards making sure that they are growing up to be responsible young citizens and that they behave appropriately in social settings. We’ve taught them well…they’re listening…so we should allow them to be such.

BMWK – Do you feel like you’re raising a good kid?

About the author

Sheree Adams wrote 117 articles on this blog.

Sheree is a wife and WAHM of three who passionately blogs about marriage, family, health tips and more as Smart & Sassy Mom. Sheree is committed to helping blended families and keeping marriages strong, healthy, fun and SPICY!

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