Overcoming Life’s Circumstances and Autism Stigmas

Your circumstances are not meant to define you. This means that you shouldn’t allow them to. Circumstances, like people, change. They are meant to change. They are meant to be fought against so they don’t define you; so you define them. If you want to let them stay, is it because you’re not strong enough to change them or because you are already defeated and give up? I am not a victim. I am not someone who allows these things to define my life, but I concede that they have made me into a strong and unbeatable force to be reckoned with. As I should be. I don’t see my past as a definition; I see it as just something that I defeated to be a stronger person. And while these things didn’t define me, they gave me a backbone to stand tall with. Even when it hurts, I will still stand tall and nothing can change that.

There was an expectation that I would hear the words “your son might have Autism” that I would shut down and close my mind. There is such a stigma around that one simple word, that I was unaware even existed. I studied about it in school when I was heading towards my education degree, so maybe that skewed my thought process on the matter. Maybe I’m just a mom, which makes me willing to do anything to improve my son’s life. Maybe I’m just more rational than I give myself credit for. Or maybe I had to be the rock of the family while everyone gave their opinions about what comes next. The diagnosis doesn’t scare me: the cost of everything after does. My husband is guilty of over worrying and obsessing. While I would sit back and let the rain hit me if it will, my husband comes armed with a coat and an umbrella to control the outcome. I think this comes from the fact that I learned that sometimes you can’t control the outcome, you can just take it full force or you can hide in fear. I have always hated playing hide and seek anyways.

Likewise if it turns out my son is Autistic, then that’s the way it is. At least we know, we will be armed with the resources to help him in the best possible way. I’m warned by some people about how that label will follow him and define him and make people think less of my son. It’s their loss if they are going to be so closed-minded, because my boy is a silly and amazingly smart child. I understand Autism doesn’t mean my son is dumb. On the contrary, there are many brilliant Autistic kids out there. It’s a communication disorder, not a lack of intelligence. I understand that because I’m educated, and it’s about time other people educate themselves too.

I’m a mother that is on a quest to figure out what is going to help my son communicate with me. I’m frustrated when he cries and points while trying to tell me something that I don’t understand. I want to give him what he needs, and whatever I can do to make that possible is going to be done. My son might end up with a label but I will be damned if you think that gives you the right to judge him or ask me what I did wrong. I did everything right, and some people are just born with different problems. If they don’t harm people, what makes you sit on that high horse? If this happens, it’s not because I vaccinated my child. It’s not because I didn’t have an epidural. It’s not because I drank a coffee or Coke here or there while I was pregnant. It’s because he is supposed to be this way. I love him no matter what, and if you don’t that’s on you.

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