For Christmas and Hanukkah I wish I could tell all parents who have children with autism and special needs that everything is going to be okay. I wish we could come together and I could give you all a big hug.
I feel extremely privileged and honored to have the opportunity to travel and share my story and to write for online sites like Autisable where we can read and hear about others in the autism arena.
We did not have the Internet when my son was born back in 1973. We were all isolated from one another. At least now albeit a bit confusing we have choices and suggestions coming in from everywhere on how to help our special needs children. All that is great, but we must be very careful how we choose and not to run ourselves ragged. We must listen quietly to our inner wisdom and intuition that we all have inside of us.
Below are 16 important lessons I learned while raising my son, Brandon.
- It’s not your fault.
- This is a process.
- Live in the moment.
- Don’t allow fear to run your life.
- Be positive as often as you can.
- Give your child praise.
- Be ready to learn and change.
- Open new doors and walk through them.
- Being different can be beautiful.
- Share your feelings.
- Take care of yourself first.
- Reach out for assistance, help and support.
- Choose your battles wisely.
- Trust yourself.
- Hold onto HOPE.
- Acceptance is the answer.
This has not been an easy road nor a road I would have chosen, but that is not how life works. It is not what we are given, it is how we handle it.
After thirty-eight years, I have to admit that having Brandon for a son is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Although he is still unable to say I love you and he shows little emotion and appreciation he has given me the greatest opportunity to grow, change and the gift to be of service. He has made my life on the planet a great mission to help others in the autism arena.
Thanks to Brandon I truly love what I do and when the holidays come around it allows me to reflect on the past thirty-eight years with gratitude.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I found to be so true.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life…that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.