First Things First

bb08c8029fdfd4162a3e94c22b784616The decision to start a blog came to me because I’ve reached a point where I can honestly say being a parent—especially the parent of both a typical kid and one on the autism spectrum—is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I want to make sure I document this fact—because I have a suspicion the ages my sons are at (4 and 6 respectively) are very sweet and there will be days (maybe years) in the future that will be harder. I want to remember this time and hopefully draw from it. I never dreamed it was possible and I hope other parents will be encouraged if they are not here yet.

How we got here (the diagnosis, the first months, the therapies, the support groups, etc.) is another blog post for the future.

But right now, I can see the payoff for the hundreds of hours of therapy, the endless parenting, all the unsolicited advice, the slow progress, the meltdowns (all of ours), the judgements, the hours of research, the effort of making schedules and visual cues, etc.

We are better people for having “special needs” in our lives (my husband and I as well as our sons). We’ve gained grace—even if we are a little quirky (did I mention the schedules and visual cues everywhere?). I’m much more attuned to other people who are not living a “normal” life and I really am inspired by their stories. I’m at peace with our differences. We are stronger, more focused parents (so many hours of therapy!!!!!). I’ve sought out new friends with families like ours and been blessed by their wisdom and insight and am proud to be a part of the special needs community. And I’ve discovered that many of my non-special needs friends are amazing, supportive and eager to be part of our life. Through our church’s strong special needs ministry, I’ve reflected on the Biblical significance of our family’s journey and started learning how to abundantly live life (John 10:10).

I still have goals to reach—it’s a work in progress. But, today, things are really good.

How about you? Are you on this special needs journey? Have you found peace or does it feel like chaos is your norm?

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