Autism Unboxed; Navigating Myths and Discovering Truths

As parents raising children on the autism spectrum, we're no strangers to the stereotypes and misconceptions that surround autism.
 
Unfortunately, these stereotypes often support the stigmas, misunderstandings, and even get in the way of our children's access to the support and opportunities they need and deserve.
 
 
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Navigating Motherhood with Unshakeable Faith

 
In the rollercoaster ride of motherhood, there are moments when we're confronted with the whispers of gossip, the sting of unkind words spoken behind our backs, and we may encounter situations that test our resilience.

It's a scenario many of us have faced, myself included.
 
 
 
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Once Upon a Time in a World that Often Felt Like Uncharted Territory

Once upon a time in a world that often felt like uncharted territory, there lived a group of mothers facing a unique and sometimes overwhelming journey.

These women were united by a common thread – raising autistic children. The weight of their parenting journey is undeniably heavier than those families untouched by autism.
 
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Navigating the Medication Merry-Go-Round

As parents of children on the autism spectrum, we often find ourselves on a relentless merry-go-round of medication decisions, each turn bringing a mix of hope, uncertainty, and challenges.

It is a familiar ride that many parents in similar situations can relate to.
 
 
 
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Learning Never Ends; Beyond My Expectations

 
As we step into the new year, I find myself reflecting on the biggest lesson I learned in 2023. It's a lesson that reaffirms the power of hope, resilience, and the unexpected experiences that await us on this unique autism parenting journey.

For the first time, my son Jordan traveled to Florida . . .
 
 
 
 
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Closet Chronicles; Sorting Through Autism

My son Jordan is 27 and autistic and this is his closet: an organized closet with empty hangers neatly in their place.

Now, rewind the clock a bit, and you'd find a stark contrast – there was a time when his room resembled a tornado aftermath, with clothes and shoes scattered like confetti. . .
 
 
 
 
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It's been almost 8 years since that day he chose us.

I didn't expect it.

It wasn't supposed to happen that way, not so soon anyway. But life has a way of throwing curve balls sometimes.

I am very familiar with them. ☺️
I sure am glad I embraced the uncertainty and took a chance.
 
 
 
 
 
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Siblings. One is autistic, one isn't.

When you are the parent to a child on the spectrum and other children that are not, it creates conflict in your mind. 

Our autistic children usually have much higher needs than our other children leaving us feeling like we are falling short of parenting the other children. 
 
 
 
 
 
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From Darkness to Light

 
As I sit here by the warm glow of the fire, I find myself reflecting on this life, living alongside autism again.

This isn’t something new for me, I’ve done it many times through the years.

But tonight is different, I am calm and at peace and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment.
 
 
 
 
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Who Am I Without Him?

 
As I sit here, tears streaming down my face, I find myself pondering a question that, until now, hadn't crossed my mind with such intensity.  
 
Who am I without him?
The "him" in question is my son, Jordan. 
Jordan is 27 and he is autistic. 
 
This was the first time that he wasn’t within the walls of our home, leaving me to wrestle with the quiet emptiness that settled in.
 
 
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Anxiety, Adventure and Airplanes; Countdown to Takeoff

 
In less than two weeks, my son Jordan who is 27 and on the autism spectrum and his sister Maddie, who is 25 will embark on an airport adventure where they will be traveling together, just the two of them to visit their dad in Florida.

For families like ours, living alongside autism, each step of the way is filled with unexpected turns and profound moments, but perhaps, none more remarkable than ....
 
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The Unseen Struggle: Navigating the Fear of Judgment

 

I want to talk about the unseen struggle that we face as parents raising children on the spectrum and that is navigating the fear of judgment. It's a tough one to hurdle and it takes time and experience along the way.

Yes, he is 27. He loves his Sammy the Sloth! The stuffed sloth, gnome, and countless books that aren't designed for a young man his age that inhabits his bedroom often raise questions, but for ...

 
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A Trip to the Dentist

To most families, this looks like no big deal.
 
For many families like ours, THIS is a HUGE deal.
 
This is my son Jordan. He is 26 and autistic. This is something we never imagined would be a reality. Being awake and cooperative in a dental chair, WHAT?
 
Alongside Jordan's autism, there is an anxiety component which has always been one of his biggest struggles. It's the fear of the unknown and not being able to predict what will happen that is anxiety-provoking....
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I Cried Today In My Car

I cried today in my car on the way to the airport. I’m not sad. I am REALLY happy. 
 
I am so grateful 🙏
 
I talked to God. I thanked him over and over again along my 2-hour ride.
 
Never in a million years did I think the day would come when I could leave Jordan for 9 days.
 
Yet there I was headed to ATL airport SOLO....
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Family Dinner at a Restaurant

Nothing out of the ordinary to most families, but we aren’t most families.
 
We are a family whose lives were changed by an autism diagnosis over 20 years ago.
 
Now, it’s 4 a.m. and I sit with tears flooding down my face, reflecting on the awesomeness of it all. ❤
This is autism in our family.
 
We are 26 years into this journey and what I can tell you is that ....
 
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It's Not Your Fault

You didn't cause your child's autism.
 
You didn't do anything wrong.
 
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental condition and it is not something that can be attributed to anything you did or decisions you made...
 
 
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The Year was 2001.  D-Day

That was the year of what we call in the AUTISM world D-Day.  Diagnosis day.
The day that life as you dreamed it would be coming to a screeching halt. The story you had in your mind about what being a mom would be is taking a hard left turn and the road ahead will be really bumpy at times.
 
One that you’re not prepared for.  AUTISM... 
 
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Navigating the Calm After the Storm

Let's talk about those moments when everything seems to spiral out of control - the meltdowns, the chaos, and the whirlwind of emotions that come crashing down on both our children and ourselves.

As parents of autistic children, we understand that these moments can be overwhelming, but they also hold invaluable lessons.

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Embracing Midday Dreams 

I catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye as I pass by and I find myself captivated by the sight of him asleep.
 
In the middle of the day, an afternoon nap, so very different from the sleepless nights of our past, it reminds me of the incredible journey we've taken together.
 
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I Learned Invaluable Lessons

I've spent a lot of time recently reflecting on our journey living alongside autism. The road has been far from easy, but through the challenges, I learned some invaluable lessons.

This is my son Jordan. He is 27 and on the autism spectrum. I am his guardian and full-time caregiver.

 

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Parenting an Autistic Child When They're Big

Parenting an autistic child when they’re big.  It’s different and yet so many similarities 
This is my son Jordan. He is 27 and autistic.
 
It’s such a fine line of allowing independence yet he is still oblivious to many of the social norms and expectations of being in public places. 
 
 
 
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