Raising a child on the autism spectrum is a never ending roller coaster ride, so today I want to celebrate the highs. Today, I want to celebrate the reasons why my son makes me feel grateful.
Progress: When parents of children on the autism spectrum talk to one another, the word “progress” comes up a lot. We ask questions like: “How is he doing?” “Is he making progress?” We celebrate with one another when our children achieve a milestone. Some examples include being happy when they try a new food or screaming with joy when they use a word in context. When it comes to my son Angel, I appreciate the progress he has made. He has made strides in some areas. He still struggles in some areas. Yet, we will never give up on him. We will always raise the bar. Progress for Angel is a journey and I am grateful for how far he has come.
Unconditional Love: I am grateful to have a true understanding of what it means to love someone unconditionally. The love that I have for Angel knows no boundaries. This is why I refuse to classify his autism diagnosis as a life sentence. I refuse to see it as something that has banished me to lifetime of suffering. When I look at my son, I do not see a child who is a problem. I see a child who is teaching me to look at the world in a different way. I see a child who is teaching me the true meaning of empathy. I see a child who is teaching me to love with everything I have.
Network: I don’t know where I would be without my network. They keep me sane. They keep me going. They inspire me to carry on. Parenting Angel has brought a wonderful network of autism parents into my life. I have also been blessed to meet some wonderful providers who truly care about helping him grow and learn. My network would not be complete without my family and friends. Their support lifts me up on days when I just want to crawl into bed and forget the world around me. Angel’s diagnosis has changed the way I relate to people. I like to think that it has changed me for the better. It is a blessing to know that I do not walk this path alone and for this and more, I will always be grateful.
BMWK: What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?