I need you. I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I need you. Who am I talking about? You! I am talking to you reading this. More than likely, you’re a loved one of a child with autism, maybe a fellow autism parent or autism family member. I couldn’t go through this journey without you.
There are days that I just want to sit down and cry. Cry for my child because he can’t communicate with me. On some days I just want to cry because I see how my children struggle with social situations, struggle with sleep, and all the other challenges that autism brings. I feel beat up and lonely, and then I see you and I feel so much better!
What would we do without social media?
I believe that I have met almost all of my fellow autism parents on social media. The conversations that we have are amazing! The blogs, Facebook pages, autism websites—they’re the peanut butter to my jelly! I need you! You bring so much to my life and I wouldn’t be able to walk this journey without you.
There is nothing better in this world than talking to you and listening to your story. The stories you share about your child bring tears of sorrow and joy to me. You and your child are so dear to my heart, just like my own boys.
The struggles you go through daily are real, like mine.
It’s all real. Yet, the joys over the smallest of things are totally understood by you and that’s something that I need. I need to know that you jump for joy over pee in a potty too! I need to know that you know what it feels like to finally hear your name spoken by your nonverbal child. I need to know that you have many sleepless nights too. I need to know that I’m not alone.
As I walk my journey daily, I need you. I need your friendship; I need to read your stories. I need to know that you’re there too. We have to stick together. What would we do without one another? I can’t begin to imagine.
On days that I’m sinking in my pool, I need to know that you’re there to pick me up! We’re a special group of parents that have the most special bond that anyone could ever have. We’re all strangers, but the feeling that we have for each other is real. The respect, the loyalty, the beautiful children that we are raising—it’s all for real. Very few bonds can be stronger than ours.
So yes, I need you! I need to know that I’m not the only warrior mom out there. I’m here to let you know that you are doing an amazing job in our small, difficult, autism world. Keep your head up and I’ll do the same. Do the best that you can to hang in there daily. I know it’s difficult. I know the daily struggles. I understand. I’m here for you and please don’t ever forget that. May we all find peace in knowing that this beautiful world of social media can connect us with one another. Keep up the good fight, fellow autism parents. We’re very lucky to be walking this unique journey together.
Angela and her family reside in Terre Haute, Indiana, where they moved to get more help for her son with severe autism. She was born and raised in a small town in southern Illinois where her love for animals and helping others blossomed.
She enjoys sharing the honest and real side of autism through her writing. Her writing may not apply to every family with a child with autism, but it is sure to apply to the families raising children on the severe end of the spectrum.