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Don't Judge a Child: Confessions of an Autism Mom

I think when other parents hear the word autism they automatically feel sorry for you. I think I used to be that parent honestly until it happened to me.

I get it but don't judge.

It is a different lifestyle. It is an extra level of care and patience. It is a new way of thinking and processing. So, to those parents who don't understand, let me help you know. We don't want you to feel sorry for us. What we want is to help us celebrate the differences, and show your child that different isn't weird, strange, or unfriendly. Help us spread the word that our children deserve just as much as yours. That's what we want. Understanding, acceptance, appreciation, just not pity.

Let's Start from the Beginning

I used to stare at the differences. I used to gasp at the tantrums, outbursts, and lack of "manners". I used to tell myself, "My child will not be like that". My child will eat healthy, we will be super organic, clean, and wholesome. We will call everyone "Mr." and "Ms." and we will always use our please and thank yous. That's always the hope, isn't it? and if you have that I congratulate you. I really do and I am extremely happy for you. However, it's not the reality that all of us face.

Some of us moms are faced with obstacles we never imagined. Some are life-threatening and some are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Some moms are given life-altering yet incredible children. We all win the lottery, don't we? However, we all have to adapt to parenting a little differently than we ever imagined.

What Happens In Our Home

My son is nonverbal so I just beg and pray for "mama" whereas please and thank you would be an exceptional gift. My son also eats a few select foods thanks to a sensory processing disorder that defines his taste, texture adherence, and food choices (#fruitaterian). So, those "dream children" I thought of in my mind don't exist and that's okay because my son is so much better than that. Tantrums are minimal at my house but aren't nonexistent. Autism has defined me more than him because he is just who God intended him to be. There are times during the day that I look around and grieve but then there are those times of happiness and appreciation and acceptance because I birthed a miracle. All children are miracles.

What I See In the Public

When I look on social media or even in my own classroom and hear autism used as a negative outlook or even a "buzz word" I am completely mortified and do not tolerate that. Yes, I have a personal attachment to the word but even with other disabilities out there, we should never use that particular term disrespectfully. It sickens me that our civilization does that. I will never forget when one of my students called another student an "autistic turtle". I just have no tolerance for that which led me to teach a whole lesson on respectfulness to all people. I understand that children learn from what they see, and hear, and I feel it is my responsibility to teach children and adults about the effect words can have on a person.

So, this is my message to you, BE THE CHANGE. Change the way we see people. Change the way we respond to people. Change your outlook. Change your mindset. Change your reason. Be better. Learn, teach, and spread the word of love, joy, and acceptance. Don't judge but especially don't judge a child.

Thank you,



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