Parenting and Autism

January 2, 2017

selfie circa 2013 :) 

L was officially diagnosed with ASD December 2013, right before I started Nursing school and in the midst of my dad having some serious health issues. I had suspected it and had been spending the previous 18 months trying to get him diagnosed and get the services he needs. I felt like I was constantly battling to get him and help and make sure he didn't fall behind.

I was devastated the first time I realized L might be on the Autism spectrum. I was 100% sure it was caused by something I did or didn't do and was so scared that he would never live a "normal" life. It literally sounds crazy now, but remembering those early days, it is exactly how I felt. I became a Mom at 21 and I know so much more now 7 years later than I did then.

I wanted to give some anectodal advice and some things that were true for me in our Autism journey thus far:

1) get support. Hopefully you have family or a strong support system who can help you emotionally and physically during this time.

2) Educate yourself. Read books on Autism. Research some of your child's symptoms. Think about changing their diet. Think about changing your interaction with your child. There are so many things that we feel helpless over, but upon observing and really tuning into what your kid is telling you, you can learn so much.

3) Cry it out. Let me say it again: CRY.IT.OUT. There were more than a few days where I felt helpless and defeated. On those days I had a good soul cry and then carried on my Bougie Mama duties like a bad ass lol. IT happens, you need to let it happen.

4) Love your child! You son or daughter is NOT Autism (or whatever his/her condition may be) Your son or daughter has a neurgological disorder that will affect him/her for the rest of their lives, BUT they should NOT be defined soley by their disease. L has Autism, but I don't let it define all he is or who he will become.

5) Take care of yourself! In order for you as a mom or dad to be on your A game, you HAVE to take care of yourself. This is particularly hard for special needs parents to do, but it is OH SO necessary. At one point in my life (a point I am actively working on), I was working out and in the gym 4-5 days a week and felt the best I ever have. I was vibrant, happy and was better equipped to tackle the mental and physical stressors of my day!

I'm still new on my journey as a parent and as an Autism Mom, but I hope this post reached you in a positive way and helped a little bit on your own journey! :)

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe
Copyright © Bougie Beauty Babe
Design by Fearne