Learning that your child has any kind of disability is difficult. It takes time to absorb the information that you receive from your specialists and to move forward the best that you can. I have tried to educate myself about autism by attending seminars and reading any information that becomes available. It can become so overwhelming that you need to step back and reevaluate your life, as well as your child’s life. At one point I was so obsessed with trying every “cure” and therapy that I left my own life behind. I was sure that something would be the key to bringing Jenna out of her autism.
I had many disappointments along the way but I learned a lot about myself and my daughter. When I came to the realization that I loved her just the way she was, things seemed to fall into place. She was this wonderful human being with so much to offer the world. Why would I want to change that? It felt as though the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders and we have all been able to move forward in a positive direction. Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t perfect, nobody has a perfect life, but we can all find joy in the people we love.
If I could give any advice to parents with disabled children it would be to try and find balance in your life, as well as your family. Jenna needed to have reasonable expectations for her life. When she was able to accomplish one goal then we would set another. I must admit that they always seem like “baby steps”, but it all adds up eventually. When you take one day at a time the overwhelming task of caring for, and educating, a child with autism can be very rewarding.