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I shared a video on Instagram that brought moms together in grief.
My daughter’s words caught me off guard. It also broke my heart. And it made me angry.
She knows that things have changed. Is this what our life was going to be? I just don’t understand. We went through the stages. And we’re doing the best that we can.
I’m at a point in my journey where I accept it. I can say it out loud with confidence, “My child has autism.” When you try to tell me she doesn’t, I’m going to correct you. She has it and there is nothing we can do to change that. It’s not going to go away. We learned that with her brother. But what I realize now is that only parents go through these stages and reach that point of acceptance.
What about your friends? How would they come to accept your child’s diagnoses?
Some good. Some bad. Some gone.
I tried to imagine myself as a parent with a typical child never touched by this world. Even some that I know. How would I react if my friend’s kid had it?
Suppose you made a few groups of mom-friends in your new neighborhood. The new neighborhood you moved to because young children lived there. Children the same age.
Suppose one of those moms had the wild child. The one that fussed and cried a lot.
The one that ran away at the playground.
They all made jokes about it. Those crazy toddlers. Toddlers are rough. It’ll get better.
But then it didn’t get better. It actually got worse for that mom.
Her child struggled and her career fell apart.
You feel bad for that mom but you don’t understand.
Why didn’t she just get a sitter?
That child still plays nicely with your child. Most of the time anyway.
Why should your kid have a friend who screams and sometimes hits them?
That mom really needs to control her child so she doesn’t ruin birthdays and barbecues.
Maybe just don’t invite that kid.
It’s like that guy who got attacked by a shark in that Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach (2000).” His pain and suffering was ruining everyone’s paradise. It made everyone sad. So they removed him and isolated him in a tent far away and left him to die.
Is that what some of our friends think should happen to our children? They should be isolated and forgotten about?
Thank God those parents are the minority. We’ve only encountered a few. There are other parents out there. The good ones.
The ones who check in. Grab drinks. Send jokes.
Those friends who still know they can confide in us.
The parents who still invite us.
The ones who try to understand.
Who teach their children to be nice.
The people who are genuinely good people.
The parents that remind me every single day that there is still hope. There is still compassion. Still a chance that my daughter won’t always come home asking me, “Why does nobody want to play with me?”