Yes, I write humorous romances and, for the most part, I keep my blog posts on the lighter side as well. However, as I write this post, my heart is heavy. You see, even though we don’t have an official diagnosis yet, odds are strong that my two year-old grandson suffers from autism spectrum disorder.
As a parent, I’ve always wanted the best for my kids. I want them to be happy, healthy, productive members are society. This hasn’t changed just because they are now grown and no longer live under my roof. Parenting an autistic child can be difficult and stress a family mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.
I look at my beautiful, intelligent, happy grandson and my heart aches for everything that lies ahead for both him and his parents. Is autism spectrum disorder the end of the world? Of course not! Is it a walk in the park? Of course not. What exactly it will be for my son, daughter-in-law and grandson remains to be seen.
When faced with unexpected life changes, my initial reaction is to withdraw into myself and mourn. During this phase, I shed many tears. This is where I am now. This phase generally lasts a few days. When it ends, I will dry my eyes, shake myself off and dig in to deal with whatever lies ahead. I know that soon, I will be researching autism – everything from diagnosis to treatments and everything in between. I’m a firm believer that once something has a name – even if the name is scary – it can be dealt with.
I also choose to look on the bright side. I’ve always had a fascination with sign language and I’m now learning simple signs to teach my grandson. After all, there is more than one way to communicate! Who knows? Maybe this is why this interest is a part of me – so that I would be ready to help this special child that my family has been blessed with.
To those of you that are already on this journey, my heart goes out to you. You are not alone. One of the most important things that any of us dealing with difficult situations can do is to help each other. A burden shared is easier for everyone to carry.
How do you deal with the difficult phases of life? Has autism spectrum disorder touched your family? If so, do you have any resources to recommend?