When you have a child with autism, it is easy to get caught up in the extra work, the meltdowns or the fights with the school district. Raising a child with special needs means you are exhausted and frustrated more often than not. But, there are many positives to raising a child with autism and at this time of year – Thanksgiving – when we reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives, it seems a good time to post a list of things to be grateful when raising a child with autism.
- I am thankful for gaining a new perspective on success. Where I once thought success had to be “big” I now am appreciative of every small victory my child makes. Taking a step, saying a word, tying his shoes, every step he makes is celebrated.
- I am thankful for the enormous amount of research being done on autism so we can better understand how to treat it and how to best help our children learn.
- I am thankful for the support of my family and friends, for those who have kept an open mind, read, researched and learned about autism in order to better understand and relate to my child.
- I am thankful for the advances in our educational system. While we still have a long way to go, we have come a long way and every day we are learning more about educating children with autism to help them lead successful and happy lives.
- I am thankful for teachers who care, not because it is their job but because they genuinely care about the children in their classrooms and put an enormous amount of effort into not only teaching our children academics but about social skills and learning to get along in this world.
- I am thankful to have a child that doesn’t care about trends, this year’s fashions or whether others think he is cool.
- I am thankful for a child who follows his own heart and the “beat of his own drum.” I am thankful for his ability to see the world through his own eyes without changing for someone else’s benefit.
- I am thankful for the unbridled enthusiasm my child shows for those things that interest him. Whether those things are “appropriate” for his age doesn’t matter to him. The joy he feels when able to spend time doing what he wants to do is amazing to watch.
- I am thankful that my child has shown me not to take anything for granted but to be thankful for the little things.
- I am thankful for the affection my child shows me. I know that one of the myths about autism is that children with autism don’t show emotion or don’t show affection, I know that isn’t true. I am grateful for the times my child says “I love you” or reaches out to give me a hug.
- I am thankful for the unique perspective – the logical, black and white perspective – that my child shares with me. It is amazing to see the world through his eyes.
- I am thankful because learning to understand my child has made me more tolerant of difference in all people.
- I am thankful because raising my son and getting to know him has made me a better person.
Published On: November 18, 2013