Sunday, January 19, 2014

I've changed my mind

I've been writing this blog for 2 years now. 
Happy Blogaversary to me!!  

One of the things I wanted to do when I started blogging was to keep a record of my journey as a parent to Autsitic children. I think it's fair to say that goal has been achieved. I was reading over some old posts the other day, and it became very clear to me that I am in a different place now than I was when I started blogging. And I have changed my mind about some things.

1. I changed my mind about the name of the blog, and renamed it about a year ago. 

2. I changed my mind about what I call my kids. 

I no longer say my kids have ASD or have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. 

These days I say my kids are Autistic.

This is because I believe Autism is a neurological difference that exists completely within the wide range of what is normal for human beings. I do not believe Autism is a "disorder" or something "wrong" with a person

3. I changed my mind about how I feel about my kids being Autistic. 

I no longer see Autism as a loss. I am no longer sad that my children are Autistic. I no longer wish they could integrate seamlessly in to society. 

I value their differences. 
I love that they are exactly who they are. 
I would not change anything about them. 

I no longer buy into the mainstream message that if your kids are not "normal" their lives and yours are "difficult", "tragic" and "heartbreaking".  

In fact, I try to let people know how happy we are! 

Life is truly a great adventure- not without tough moments- but a wonderful amazing adventure none the less, and there is beauty in every day. 

Life is a great adventure!

4. I used to think it was important for my kids to learn to blend in with society. 

This confession makes me cringe a little. 

Now I spend my energy attempting to empower them to be themselves and trying to help people understand why it is so important we accept everyone as they are, including making accommodations for minority groups. 

5.  I changed my mind about how I feel towards parents of "normal" children. 

I once wrote a post in which I said I feel jealous of them. This confession makes me cringe a LOT. 

This is no longer true. Back then I was busy feeling sorry for myself and focussing on what was hard about my life. 

Parenting is hard. Full stop. Parenting Autsitic children is no more or less hard. It's just parenting. 

You advocate for all your kids. 
You agonise over all your kids. 
You feel joy over all your kids too. 

These days I make an effort to think about all the things I have to be thankful for. Doing that has changed my mindset. For the better. And my children have benefitted from my new perspective. I know my life is no worse than any other parents life is, and my kids know it too. 


A lot of the reason I have changed my mind on these is things is because I just didn't know some stuff early on in my journey. I didn't realise the implications of some of my attitudes. 

We all in life are given opportunities to learn and I am grateful to have recognised a great opportunity when it was offered to me. Thanks to some awesome people I have met online since I began blogging, I have learned a lot. 

I have been fortunate enough to have some wonderful Autistic adults invest time in helping me understand what life is like for them, and that gives me an insight into my kids I cannot get anywhere else: not from other non-Autistic parents or from professionals who work with Autistic kids. I am so grateful to them for the time they have spent with me. 

Can I encourage you all to seek out input from Autistic people too? You won't be sorry! You might change your mind on some things too, and change is a good thing when it means we are growing and learning and become better able to support our kids. 


  1. Just a note of thanks for your honesty and willingness to learn and listen, as demonstrated in this post; such qualities are admirable, and way too rare.

  2. Beautiful post! And I think if more people would look back at all they have achieved with their children, their families, all the milestones that have been hit. Our kids are pretty awesome. And really what is normal, I will take what I got any day and ride the adventure of what makes them unique.
    Thanks for a nice post and good for you!

  3. Great post. Great journey. It is ok and even important that we are able to change our minds :)

  4. Beautiful post ... I am unsure as to what label my kids have lol ... (even though I work as a special needs EA in a school) albeit the support groups, that I always wished I had had. Yet many say, its a challenging job for me as a single parent , i guess so, yet it is all i know and yes it has its challenges for sure, yet levels of appreciation I call it are huge, I am sure that when all is well and we are all on a HIGH that has got to be the best feeling ever, and I wonder if anyone else gets close to that. We all sure know the meaning of LOVE and thats the most important thing in our house, LOVE has many levels, not just the HIGHS, though they are the ones that make us glow and radiate. I so appreciated your posting <3

  5. So many parents ignore us, when we have a unique (and in some specific ways, better) grip on what it's like to be autistic, simply because we are autistic and most of them are not. I always tip my proverbial hat to those parents who have learned to understand that we are not the enemy. We are a resource and sometimes a lifeline for autistic kids who will grow up to be autistic adults. We do our best.

  6. Mmmm. We're on a similar journey, Chelle! Re number 5, I still get a pang now and then when I see "normal" kids doing "normal" things (especially in groups), but on reflection I feel that way because my kids are overlooked and unaccepted, not because I wish my kids were different.

    Love you, Cath xx


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