But for our family, there are no vacations and trips as we juggle to pay full-time babysitters and take separate weeks off from work just to get by.
I dusted myself off and got back up to fight for my kid. To give her the life she deserves. The life I have to fight for her to have because being sad about it isn’t the answer for me.
Being a mom seemed so social and I never worried about being isolated.
But then we were.
I left last year’s conference feeling confident that my child would be okay. That she would flourish there.
But Kindergarten conferences went differently.
But since Kindergarten started, I realized that maybe I approached this wrong. It isn’t going so well and it feels like we are starting all over again as I watch two years of progress fade away into darkness.
I helped kids make little ghosts with glue and cotton balls and they all followed directions and listened, even Ally. Several kids wanted me to know that Ally isn’t nice to them or her teacher and asked me why doesn’t she like anyone?
“Why is so mean?” a little girl wanted to know.
If you are a working parent to typical children, please try to understand what this is like before you complain about our kids or judge us. Imagine that your child’s after school program was shut down as of tomorrow and your school district won’t bus them anywhere else other than your home. Imagine you have one day to figure this out and no family to help you. What do you do? How do you feel?
That is what it feels like to be an autism working mom. Like a revolving door that just keeps swinging and you can’t keep up.
I’m not sure what you are going to hear about my child but I am sure you will hear something.
I hope they remember to tell you about the good stuff.
Like how she made your child laugh when they were crying.
Or how she colored a portrait just for them.
But they might only remember to tell you that she cried or screamed today.
That she did something out of the ordinary.
I share our journey because our experiences with discrimination are not okay. I do it to document that children with Autism have been forgotten along the way in the advances of civil rights.
Most families spend the year counting down the days until summer vacation. Days where they can sleep in, go on family excursions, and endure that time of year that fosters togetherness and fun.
But most of us with kiddos on the spectrum do the opposite, we count down the days until summer is over because our lives are turned upside down and inside out.