How Autism Changed Me

Autism & Change

When I pictured having a family, I knew I only wanted a happy and healthy child. I envisioned my child to be conversational (being the factor that I seem to talk a lot) and a social butterfly! I pictured my child running and playing sports, while we cheered him or her on from the sidelines. What I didn’t see or what I wasn’t prepared for was a child with Autism and the challenges. Let me explain how Autism changed me.

The Diagnosis

An Autism diagnosis comes with many questions. The main questions stem from the fear of the unknown and WHY? Why does my child have Autism, what did I do wrong, how can we help him/her? As a very type A person who is very analytical, the lack of answers and the future scared me to death. I would sit and cry, and I can honestly say my fear is what drove me to be the best advocate I could be for my son.

The New Normal

How does Autism change someone? Autism changed my drive in life to make a commitment to always fight for my son’s needs. Before my son, I was very unaware of Autism and the many different ways that a person can be affected. Autism has made me much more cognizant of others and behaviors. I never knew how something like a banana could make someone want to vomit due to sensory processing disorder. I never knew that speech apraxia existed and made speech almost impossible. I also never knew how much patience and strength I had, until I was faced with something that I couldn’t fix.

I See Your True Colors

You probably have heard the Cyndi Lauper song “True Colors.” Well when I hear this song, I cry like a baby. It really does encompass how I feel regarding the love I have for my son.  Autism has changed me, because I now celebrate even the smallest victories. We don’t take anything for granted and I have learned that I should NEVER underestimate my son. He always seems to surprise me.

Love Is All You Need

Only a special needs parent can understand that milestones may not be met when they are supposed to, that our children are so smart and special in their own way and they deserve the same considerations as neurotypical kids. It is indeed hard to always carry the weight of all the challenges we face when parenting a child with Autism. However, Autism has changed the way I see the world through my son’s eyes and how love definitely needs no words.

For more information on Autism please view Autism Speaks

For Autism Parenting Wisdom, please view 10 Confessions of A Special Needs Mom

Amanda graduated from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania with her Bachelors of Science in Business Management. She is an honored member of Sigma Beta Delta. Amanda is a relatively new Floridian who moved here from Pennsylvania in 2017. While she definitely misses the seasons, she is getting acclimated to all the beach time Florida has to offer. Amanda has been with her loving husband Oscar for 16 years and in 2017 they welcomed their first baby boy (now almost 3). He truly is the joy of their lives and was diagnosed with Autism in 2019. In her limited spare time, Amanda enjoys making people laugh, cooking and spending quality time with her family and friends. When she isn’t chasing after her toddler or cleaning 500 dishes, Amanda works for The Walt Disney Company and she helps makes dreams come true by hiring top talent!