I know my timing is bad as it’s August and not May… but I keep reading something from parents again and again, and I want to get things straight between me (the kid) and you (the parent).
Parents, mostly moms I find, express their worries that they caused their child’s autism and that someday their child will blame them or say the parent didn’t do enough for them.
Get this out of your heads!
My mom has said that she feels like she should have done more, searched more, engaged me more… so yes, my mom feels this way too. Mom is quiet and reserved. She’s not a mama-warrior in the typical sense of the word. She’s laid back and go-with-the-flow. She’s also the best Mom God could ever have given me, and I want to tell you what I think of her, and what, I believe, many kids think of their moms.
Mom always puts me before herself. I swear she wore the same pair of jeans for I don’t know how many years (ten, maybe?) so that we could have all our clothes and shoes and things for school. She still wears clothes from when my 29-year-old sister was in eighth grade! But I got a new desk chair a couple of weeks ago, because mine was hurting my back. Mom always puts us first.
Money aside, she gives us something even better- her time. Every Saturday is Momday, all day long. Sometimes Sunday too, and don’t forget Thursday nights. Oh, and if I need to go to a social group or something, she brings me. And don’t forget all those doctor’s appointments.
You might think I get tired of seeing her, but far from it! I get excited every single time I get to see her. As I saw her out the door last week, I said, “I’m happy to see you tomorrow!” I never, ever, not once get tired of my mom and her company. She never gets on my nerves… I mean, it’s a little embarrassing when she dances in the grocery store… but as far as grating on me, never.
As I said, Mom’s not a mama-warrior like many of you moms think of the word, but she is in her own way. She’s a mama-warrior when she spends hours on the phone sorting out my government aid, insurance, and doctor’s appointments… when she researchers what might be going on with me medically at work… when she brings me all the way to the Food Co-op on a Saturday so that I can get the supplements I need. Mom may not be publically fighting for the autistic community, but she is a mama-warrior because she sets an example for all the mamas coming after her of how to be a mom to a kid with ASD.
And Mom knows how to engage me and never, ever snaps or yells when I say, “I have a cat” for the tenth time that day. She always says something like, “What’s your cat doing?” or “Did you give your cat her medicine?” or “Did your cat eat her dinner?” Never “enough of the cats” or anything like that, even if she is tired of them.
I know Mom spoils me, but she also knows how to teach me to be more independent. She insisted that I move out on my own (one of the best things that ever happened to me!). She made sure I got staff so that I didn’t have to depend on her so much. She encourages me to go to and takes me to social groups so that I have people other than her to hang out with.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Next time you fear that your child will blame you for his autism… well, I can’t speak for every child, but I really don’t think he will. I can say that the thought never crossed my mind. What has crossed my mind is everything my mom has done for me.