Speaking Through Our Tears

Sometimes in life there isn’t anything that anyone can say to make things better. At times, there isn’t anything that I can say at all. During those times, the tears that roll down my face speak volumes.

Sometimes, tears are the only words that need to be spoken.

My son speaks with tears when he can’t communicate his needs. I watch the tears flow down his precious, rosy checks until they fall completely off his face. And right behind those tears are many more. The tears of anguish, frustration and sorrow flow down that face that I love so much. Within an instant, the tears start to speak from me in answer to his. My tears of empathy, love and hurt glide down my face, too.

No words need to be spoken—just tears—and that is perfectly OK. Sometimes we need a good cry. Sometimes there just aren’t the right words, in any language.

The tears are right there, speaking to me from my son’s eyes when he isn’t included by his peers. His beautiful brown eyes look up at me with the tears welling up and soon they explode out of his eyes. In those moments, he doesn’t need to speak; I know exactly what his tears are telling me. We simply hold each other, crying and expressing our feelings through our tears.

Our tears speak at other times. They are there with us during his meltdowns. They are there when anxiety takes over. The tears pour out during sensory overloads and when he can’t sleep. They are around us, speaking daily, through our struggles with autism. They have become a huge part of our life.

Of course, there are also the tears of loneliness and isolation that come with autism parenting. By all means, the tears of frustration from being judged and from the lack of understanding from others must be added to our list.

Thankfully, we do speak more than just through heartbroken tears. Our spoken words through tears can be very magical and exhilarating at times, too. I often have tears while I am admiring my boy’s small accomplishments. There is nothing better than celebrating our goals with tears of joy. I will never forget the tears the first time I heard my son say my name or the first time he peed in the potty. Some moments just leave us speechless, so the tears speak instead.

There are so many spoken words from the tears that fall in an autism household. Autism parenting, or special needs parenting for that matter, simply comes with its silent moments where tears are the only words that need to be said. There is no shame in admitting it. We all know our children with autism speak that way at times, so by all means, we are allowed to, too!

Throughout the past few years, as I have gone through the most difficult times in my life, I have cried a lot! The saying that big girls don’t cry can be thrown out the window when it comes to special needs parenting because big girls (and boys) can (and do) cry. Sometimes we simply have to relieve the pressure that our eyes feel from a stressful special needs world. Sometimes we just need to speak tears. There are those moments and days when, no matter what words we speak from our mouth, no one would understand, and those are the days that we just speak through our tears.

While you are speaking through your tears, please know that you aren’t the only one. Somewhere in this world, there is another autism parent also speaking through their tears. Somewhere there is another individual with autism speaking through their tears, too. It is a language most of us know.

Angela Conrad

Angela Conrad is a freelance writer, mom to two boys on the autism spectrum, determined autism advocate, and fun-loving person. When she is not doing her advocacy work, she can be found managing her son’s therapy schedules and all the other crazy things that life brings. She enjoys reading, exercising and helping others.

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