So this weekend I saw an advertisement for a “supporting parents of children with autism” class, and I was intrigued! I am a parent of a child with autism – I’d love to know more. So I booked in, and I’m waiting to do it. In the meantime – I wanted to hear from other parents of children with autism.
I wanted to know what I could offer. How could I help? What are their stories?
So I approached a Facebook group for parents of children with autism and asked the question; what can I, as a fellow parent, and counsellor, do for you?
I spent my Sunday night reading amazing stories. Stories of resilience – of strength and endurance, long days, hard nights, and an incredible adherence to schedules and needs. Stories of loss – of family separation, and having to remove people from lives because they’re not supportive or understanding. Stories of creativity – people finding ways to support their children, or communicate with their children, that professionals missed. Each one was a touching, individual experience.
It was awe-inspiring, hearing about the lives of parents in my community. The saying goes – “If you’ve met one child with autism, then you’ve met one child with autism”. I think we could expand that further – the families of children with autism are just as strong, diverse and resilient as we hope our kids will one day be.
I’m still reading – and I’m still thinking – but what I know so far is that there are people here so full of care, and empathy, working day and night, that just need some help to stay strong for their kids.
It was an honour to hear their stories, and I’ve spent all day trying to come up with plans to provide them the support they need.
I just had to get this off my chest and gush for a moment about this spark of inspiration I’ve felt all day, after talking with these wonderful parents.