Sometimes I sit with the phrase “how to tell if you’re a Mom of Autistic kids” in my head.
Some things are obvious
– like the list of doctors and school specialists that are not only in her planner, but also in her phone.
-like the weird and rude comments she hears behind her back about how she should do a better job teaching her kids better behavior; or that the child “should just grow up.”
-like her constant reminder all thru’ the store (when there is no other option but to bring them with) to keep hands in the pockets, and always, always paying attention to where they are at all moments.
-like the hug therapy, and the biofeedback sessions, and the constant questions thru a movie of “what is he/she thinking now, Mom?”
Some things took me by surprise
-like a 14 year old suddenly feeling completely overwhelmed by the steps involved in a shower, and asking, near tears, “pleeeeease” if you’ll help her wash her hair, “then I’ll do the rest.”
-like the total and complete lack of sleep in anything more than 2 to 4 hour chunks- for decades.
-like how many years it takes for family and friends to wonder if the mom is right, and start to ask honest questions.
-like the loneliness.
-like discovering that it takes a strong woman indeed to survive loving these incredible, special people; but I’m glad to have had the chance (usually).