Fast forward five years. I now have LOTS of family around, that help out in every way possible. I still have the same well-paying job with flexible hours and understanding bosses, but now I have the bonus of working from home also. Both of my kids were diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder this year, but that is not stopping us. We also bought a house this year, and my daughter started taking therapeautic horse riding lessons and is in her third year of dance lessons. My kids are still both, essentially, healthy. I. am. spoiled. And I know it.
I love writing, and I write every chance I get in some form or fashion. (Be thankful you only see a portion of it.) I was recently featured on the Autism Speaks blog. I love writing about our journey with Autism. But sometimes I feel guilty. My kids were both diagnosed with "mild" Autism Spectrum Disorder. Meaning, we don't have to live with a lot of the things other families raising children with ASD have to live with. So when my story gets told and theirs doesn't, I feel a tad guilty. And not because I don't think our story should be heard too. But because a lot of other parents and families don't ever get a chance to write their story. For a lot of them, Autism consumes every second of every day of their lives. They're so exhausted by the end of the day that they don't have energy to do anything else. I know families like this, I've seen families like this, I have even had days like this. And I don't know how they feel when they read our story or see our pictures, but I hope that they know that I know what they go through. I know my kids' and my experience with Autism is probably not a tenth as stressful and overwhelming as theirs. We are lucky we don't have many medical expenses due to Autism. We are lucky we are able to attend events and other activities that are so overwhelming for others. Believe me, there are some events we avoid as well. But for the most part, we are lucky. I hope when they read our story, they don't think I am asking for sympathy from anyone, especially them. I hope they know that the reason we attend these events and the reason I write is not only on behalf of my kids, but on behalf of their's too.
2014 Cleveland Walk Now for Autism Speaks