You are Not Alone: A Mother’s Reflection on Autism and Social Events

I see you…don’t think I don’t.  You’re the one who can’t sit down at BBQ’s, parks or at kiddie parties. I see you pacing back and forth, keeping your eyes on your little one making sure they are okay, making sure they don’t get into trouble, trying to keep them from getting in the way because you think others will not get it. I see you and know you because I was and am you too. That mom with the child that happens to have Autism. You feel like you can’t sit down and relax like the rest of the parents are because if you look away for a moment your little boy might bolt and wander away. You think the other kids and families may not get him and may be mean to him, so you keep pacing back and forth all along keeping your eyes on him. You look around and wonder why don’t these other parents get up and look after their kids too?  But that doesn’t seem
to happen, it’s only you.

   It’s so hard at times, and you think no one gets it but believe me they do. You will see her or him and know right away, there goes another parent who can’t sit still and then you turn to look and recognize the journey that they are on too. You connect to that familiar look of worry and tiredness. You want to reach out and tell them it’s all going to be okay, keep up the good work; because not too long ago that was you chasing your little boy too, but now as the years have gone by I am actually sitting (not quite like the rest of the parent as my eyes are always on my kids and my ears are always listening for his scream). It is getting better though.  I can relax and eat my meal without fear that he will run away. I am reaping the benefits of all the Early Intervention and CPSE years, which included 36 hours a week of intense therapy. We worked and continue to work hard as a family to support both of our children (one with Autism) to live their best and fullest lives. So, as I sit here thinking I was once you not so long ago. I want you to know that I stand with you in spirit. I fight with you to bring awareness for our children and families. I walk with you and want to make sure you know you are not alone. We will all do this together.

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Margarita Philippou

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