This Autism Parenting Journey Isn’t for the Faint of Heart

This autism parenting journey isn't for the faint of heart.

(WARNING: If vomit makes you nauseous, you might skip this blog post)

"How can he not make it to the bathroom", I ask myself as I gather a handful of towels, a wet washcloth for his face, and the Clorox wipes. It's a rhetorical question, I have several of them I ask myself regularly, although this one, has been a while.

Tuesday, April 2nd, Autism Awareness Day. Yep, I'm aware, thank you, and it didn't disappoint in reminding me. I'm a morning person, 5 am morning person. It's known as "me time" in our house. Just me, coffee, my journal, and the treadmill. Between me and you, it's my FAVORITE time of day.

So anyways, it was 5 am Tuesday morning, yes, Autism Awareness Day, I walked into the kitchen, and just as I raised the coffee pot to pour a cup, I heard him. I might have said a quick prayer he was talking in his sleep, but then I heard it again. It's what I call the "sick moan". I know it well because it's what I do when I'm sick.

 I acknowledge I'm not dreaming, walk over, open his door and there he sits, straight up in his bed which is exactly where he sat and projectile vomited EVERYWHERE and as I assess the amount of vomit, I know it was absolutely more than once, yet there he sits right smack in the middle of it all.

The him I'm talking about is my son Jordan. Jordan is 27 and autistic. Jordan has above-average intelligence, he has an expressive language disorder, he has a memory like no one I've ever known, and he knows FACTS about ALL things NASA, and yet, he can't make it to the bathroom to throw up.

I never pictured this life. Being a FOREVER parent. Parenting a child into adulthood. To be honest, there was a time when I wondered what I did to deserve it. That was a recurring question I asked during a time when I was at my lowest of lows.

I am forever grateful I found my way out of that dark place. It's a turning point when you finally know and more than just know, but when you truly believe that you can do it, that you were meant to do it, and above all, you will do it.

There is so much doubt in the beginning of an autism diagnosis. So much uncertainty about what lies ahead, but I am here to tell you, that you will find your way and navigate every challenge, just like I am.

You will find your way through the ups and downs of a parenting journey you weren't prepared for. I don't do vomit, yet, there I was, doing what I promise you wasn't in my best laid-out plan for parenthood. Cleaning up vomit and taking care of my very sick son. He is 27 in chronological age, yet isn't in so many other ways.

 He is the reason I do what I do. I wasn't mad. I wasn't feeling sorry for myself. I wasn't asking why me, I wasn't wishing my life was different, I simply asked, "Why can't he make it to the bathroom"?

I used to be mad. I used to feel sorry for myself and wish my life was different. I don't do that anymore.

Asking better questions gives you better answers. Because of him, I am stronger than I ever imagined and continue to prove, that we can handle whatever comes our way. Even ALL this laundry as we disinfect our house from "sickness".

Because of him, I spend my days teaching and coaching moms like me. Because of him, we are blessed with an INCREDIBLE Community, and I have that VILLAGE I always wanted full of amazing women I get to walk alongside on their journey. They are there for me as much as I am there for them.  Find your people, I promise, it's worth it.

Shannon shares her lived experiences in hopes of creating a more inclusive world for our children and adults on the spectrum. 

Our mission is to equip families with resources, training, coaching, and community support. We believe if you are willing to expose yourself, your child, and your family to the world with kindness and honesty that compassion and understanding will follow.

She presents to organizations and businesses in person and virtually.

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