I just sat down long enough to let it sink in. Autism. I’ve heard that word a million times, but hearing it from Layla’s pediatrician knocked the breath out of me. There are so many emotions I’ve felt in the last few weeks that I can’t even begin to describe them. I’ve gone all the way from feeling like a bad parent, to relief that there’s an answer, to wondering if she will ever enjoy things like a normal kid, and even feeling stupid that I didn’t know sooner. Today I’m grateful we have a starting point. We have direction on how to help our precious little girl. My beautiful baby girl’s brain just works different than ours.
There are so many things I have to learn. I feel so overwhelmed and want to learn everything I can like yesterday.
I’ve been reading the blog “a diary of a mom” written by a mother of an autistic child. Her words have inspired me. The link below is one that she wrote about the label itself. It really changed my perspective on it. When we first started the diagnostic process I was so fearful for people to find out. I thought people would judge her. I’m sure there are people out there who will, but being open about it has brought more understanding and has helped us find out that we aren’t alone.
I don’t want my daughter to ever think that I am ashamed of her. I couldn’t be prouder of her. She is different and has a very special way of viewing the world. She is facing challenges, but anything awesome usually comes with challenges. I think she’s got a whole lot of awesome coming.
I posted this photo this summer when she was in swimming lessons. I was mortified that out of 12 kids she was the only one that wouldn’t listen to the teachers and actually participate in the class. Looking at the picture again I see a really happy kid that’s probably wondering why the heck all the other kids are sitting on the side of a perfectly good pool. No, she’s not really doing what she’s supposed to, but today I’m ok with it. We will get there. In the meantime I think it’s ok to get off the wall and splash a little bit. She isn’t worried about what we think. She was just enjoying the moment.