Changing the Narrative of Autism

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“Autism. Where hearts melt and hearts break on a daily basis, sometimes at the same time. Autism is hard, love is easy. My child is worth every moment.”

-Fiona Goldsworthy

 

What do you do when your child is “the one?”

The one who sticks out like a sore thumb.

The one who marches to the beat of their own drum.

The one who is that square peg trying to fit in a life filled with round holes.

The one who can be aggressive.

The one who can easily cause a scene.

The one requires quite a bit more patience.

The one who can be difficult to handle.

The one who cannot speak.

The one who cannot process information the same as everyone else.

The one who flaps their arms, talks to themselves, jumps and down, or rocks back and forth.

These all sound so challenging don’t they? Yet this is life for so many. This is day in and day out. This is a glimpse of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I say glimpse because it is just that. When you think of Autism, think of it like a big umbrella with all these smaller umbrellas underneath such as Sensory Processing, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Speech, Language Processing, and the list goes. Under each of these then you have even more things to choose from. Sensory seeker or sensory avoider? Non-verbal? Echolalic? Not to mention many of those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a comorbid diagnosis whether that’s ADHD, OCD, Epilepsy, Anxiety, or Depression. It’s not a static diagnosis. It constantly fluctuates.

So, as a mother of a child who is Autistic, what do you do?

I know therapies and medications and all of that. But what do YOU do? You have a child thinking they will be the one who is always compliant, easy to handle, and well mannered. And then reality hits. How do you combat the insecure feelings that arise when things just aren’t going how you envisioned.

What do you do?

You love your baby. You keep going. You keep working hard. You keep fighting for them. And most importantly, you change the narrative.

What do you do when your child is “the one?”

The one who sees the world with a unique set of eyes.

The one who just wants to be understood.

The one who helps you and others see beyond themselves.

The one who humbles you.

The one who has an incredibly unique way to communicate.

The one loves hard.

The one who has opened your mind, eyes, and heart to never judge another child again. Or mother.

The one who has taught you empathy.

The one who God designed just as they are.

The one who has a truly beautiful purpose in this life.

The hard is still there. Every day the hard is there. But if I continue to change the narrative in my mind, how much more beautiful I’ll be able to see this hand we’ve been dealt. Not through the lens of all that is negative with a diagnosis such as this, but through the lens of a love so vast it’s incomprehensible. I will see my child through that lens. I will love them through the hard. My child, and your child, is THE ONE who was hand-picked by God. Created in His image. Dearly, dearly loved.

Do you have a child with Autism? How do you change the narrative?

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Kelly moved from Indiana to Columbia six years ago for her husband’s job. He works for the Fireflies...let’s glow! They have one son, Callan, who is almost five, and one furbaby, Eddie, who is six. Their son Cal was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder a little over a year ago. For the past couple of years, their life has been consumed with all things therapy related. Columbia and the surrounding area (Kelly lives in Chapin) has truly been a wonderful place to call home. They’ve met the most amazing people, have attended a wonderful church, and have found a deep love for this special place for reasons she never would have guessed!

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