Balance

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving…forward…Albert Einstein. Every decision we make comes with balance or sacrifice. I think we all strive to find a happy balance in our quality of life. I have days as an autism parent feeling overwhelm trying to balance everything. Sometimes even doubting myself or feeling I am at a standstill or worse drowning. Then there are those days I feel like superwoman conquering everything. Maybe every autism or special need parent(s) has days like this too. It’s OK.  Truth, my faith help with inner strength & holding onto a sense of balance in my perspective about life. Perhaps as humans, we all struggle to balance our confidence with our insecurities. I am personally working on balancing social outings with M. I think it’s a balance of fear and overcoming it one experience at a time. For example, it is a balancing act of juggling M’s uniqueness & shopping for groceries. I have to take into consideration time of day and potential surprises not to mentioned M’s disposition at that time. Yes, experiences has taught me without the right balance shopping quickly turns into a full-blown meltdown (fear, anxiety, stress, confusion, sensory overload) by M. There has been times I have left a buggy full of groceries because it was just too much, we needed to leave the store.  Honestly, it’s another story experience about balancing dining out with M. However in our shopping experience, I discovered Caroline grocery shopping cart. It has help M have a much better shopping experience & I am able to shop for at least 30 minutes! The sad news is that these special buggies are only found in select stores such as Wal-Mart, Target & Publix. These stores generally only carry one Caroline grocery shopping cart. So if there is more than one special need parent in the store, it becomes a balance of patience. M is teaching me we all struggle to find our own balance in life but there is beauty & peace in balance.

Simply an autism mom learning

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Impression

It’s not what you do when you walk in the door that matter. It’s what you do when you walk out. That’s when you’ve made a lasting impression…Jim Thome. We have heard the old expression you only get one chance to make a first impression. It could be the way we dress, our unique beauty or the way we carry ourselves with confidence tailoring in humility that makes a huge impression on others long before we open our mouth. True once we speak or act, we have the opportunity to create a unique impression on those around us simply by being ourselves. Positive or negative, we all make an impression establishing who we are or what we represent whether with strangers or people closest to us. We all have the ability to speak wonderful words of encouragement. However in my heart, I believe our action of showing kindness or making a fellow human being feel welcome will leave the deepest and lasting impression. Last week, M had seen a former classmate from his old school. The little boy was happy to see M. He wanted to know why M was not at school anymore. I explained M simply needed to go to another school to better help him be awesome. The little boy thought about what I said and responded by saying “I miss M. He was my friend!” I wanted to cry at the thought this sweet child missed M being in his classroom/school. He asked me if he could hug M. I looked at M who was humming and twirling his hands. I asked M “Hug?” M surprised me by turning sideways for the little boy to hug him. Afterwards, M smiled. There are times people come into our lives that we least expect to make an impression on us, however it is those individuals that sometimes make lasting moments in our lives. Although autism is part of M which does impact his communication and social skills, M still made a lasting impression on another beautiful child/human being. M is teaching me everything we do somebody is watching….so let us reflect our Creator leaving a unique impression.

Simply an autism mom learning

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Laughter

 

The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves & life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better…Wayne Dyer. A life full of love, peace of mind and laughter is a blessing. Perhaps, laughter can be sweet music to our soul. I don’t know all the medical/scientific benefits of laughter. However, I do know from experience laughter makes me happy especially when it’s honest to goodness humor. My whole body is engage. I can laugh so hard that tears fall and my stomach start to hurt. Laughter relieves me of so much tension even when dealing with difficult situations/issues. Honestly, we all have various level of problems but laughter can connect us. True, it can be hard to find some measure of humor in our problems but laughter is a gift to help us cope. Yes, in life someone will make us upset but then they can say or do something to make us laugh melting our heart. Our holding on to anger, resentment or hurt can rob our happiness. On the other hand, forgiveness give us room to allow laughter/joy in our life. Maybe laughter should be a good healthy part of our various relationships. After all, we all need a little bit of a sense of humor about our own flaws. I think when M see me laugh at my own silly wiliness/mistakes, hopefully it helps him be o.k with being himself/human. Yesterday, I misplace my glasses. I was looking everywhere. I even asked M had he seen my glasses. M just laughed. I kept looking all over the house. Finally feeling defeated, I sat down next to M. He reached up and pulled off my glasses on top of my head! I was like really. I hugged and thanked M. I could not help but laugh at my own forgetfulness and M perhaps thinking mom being silly. M laughing is a joyous sound to me…one of the best part of being a mom. M is teaching me everyone needs love and laughter so find a reason in the little things to laugh each day…simple things in life can make us happy!

Simply an autism mom learning

 

Truth

 

The truth is, we all face hardships of some kind, and you never know the struggles a person is going through. Behind every smile, there is a story of a personal struggle-Adrienne C. Moore.  The truth we don’t know what each day will bring, we can only have faith and hope that we make each day count. As a parent of a child with autism, truth is speaking and living each moment dispelling any false pretenses. Autism does not erase typical traits of being a child. In truth, it compounds or add additional layers of issues that make our parenting more changeling. One moment you can be rocking and rolling, but the next you’re standing in the hallway with your five-year old screaming with poop all over them because he/she was suddenly hit with diarrhea (unable to tell you ‘hey my stomach hurt need to go to bathroom’). Truth is M loves to be silly and have fun like every child. What child has not enjoyed jumping up/down in their bed! Yes, it’s true I still hold M accountable for things such as putting his toys away or unacceptable behavior like being disrespectful (sometimes if M does not want to do what I say he may hit his leg/meaning he do not want to do it). Truth is each parent with a child rocking autism knows when their child uniqueness comes into play. Yesterday, I took M to the doctor. M inability to fully communicate and understand led to his action automatically going into flight or fight mode. It’s true he fought me while we’re trying to help him get better. True it took about four of them to hold him for the exam, I really appreciated the nurse talking calmly to M and reassuring him it’s going to be o.k. After the exam, M said “MOM”. He leaned into my arms and allowed me to comfort him. I said “I love you”. Honest to goodness it takes a lot of patience to see pass his actions so as to remain calm during the difficult times. Truly not everyone can relate/connect with our autistic child uniqueness. I do understand this truth because honestly it’s not always easy for me that is why I pray all the time for help. Truth is having courage to ask for help and hoping I am doing right by M. It maybe shocking but truthful, I think our stress doesn’t come from being parents of a different ability child. Perhaps, it come more from our thinking about what is happening or issue at hand. M is teaching me that truth is a point of view…if you see us with our amazing child whether in our struggles or happiness have heart and understanding.

Simply an autism mom learning

Communication

To effectively communicate, we must realized that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others-Tony Robbins. Communication is a skill we learn. It can be digital that give us surface insight or face to face that give us depth insight of another individual. We’re constantly readjusting our communication skills according to each human connection we encounter. Honestly, this take our willingness to work at effective and honest communication. Hence, I am learning the importance to really understand nearly 80% of communication is about listening and observing non-verbal cues. The inspired writings is faithful and true “everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). I found keeping this truth about communication helpful in establishing mutual respect and peace in my various human relationships. Interestingly, our emotions can often complicate our communication with family or friends. This can lead to miscommunication causing us problems. I find comfort in prayer when miscommunication happens within my relationship with a family member or friend. In truth, prayer is the most deepest intimate communication we all have with our Creator. It helps me to remember to look for the good in a person even when it’s hard re-opening loving communication of appreciation and understanding. Autism does affect each individually communication skills differently. M is progressing in his communication skills. He is gaining words along with sign language to communicate basic needs or wants. I think it’s a beautiful thing when a parent can communicate with their child. M and I have a unique communication style. Everyday I ask M how was his day at school. M sometimes just hum, smile or now say ‘patience’. Yes, M does not respond like perhaps a typical child. However, I find happiness/joy in the fact he is communicating with me. As every parent with a child experiencing a different ability that affect their child communication skills, I get excited and proud of my M chipping away at obstacles his autism bring forth. I am so bless and thankful for M having good therapists/teachers to help with his communication skills. M is teaching me to continue to have patience, faith and hope that one day my M would no longer have a barrier that hinder him from fully communicating…a beautiful gift of expressing heartfelt thoughts and emotions!

Simply an autism mom learning