BY AMANDA DELUCA
The love language for a special needs parent to feel seen, accepted, and understood is as simple as a head nod, and a “me too” on a zoom call or a quick chat on the phone. Or maybe even in the grocery store where your child is having a hard time.
If you’ve ever been that person for another special needs mom, you’ve changed their life, you’ve made them feel seen, and they thank you for it.
Thank you for sharing your story of walking through the hard, so that mothers like me can learn what may lie ahead.
Thank you for acknowledging my hard, and reminding me it’s healthy to grieve but we can’t stay there.
Thank you for encouraging me to use my voice to advocate for my son and for so many others who share his daily struggles.
Thank you for telling me “I’m not ashamed of Autism, and you shouldn’t be either”.
Thank you for teaching me that love needs no words, and that communication isn’t just speech. For teaching me to be gentle with myself, and my husband.
Thank you for your bravery when speaking about aggression and self-injurious behavior so that the stigma can be shattered and we can work on continuing to normalize it, by publicly speaking about it.
Thank you for calling me when your child just received their diagnosis and confiding in me during one of your most difficult days.
Thank you for inviting my son to the birthday party, even if it’s too hard for us to come.
Thank you for encouraging me to tell my story, to share my hard, and to let the world into our journey.
Thank you for never judging if we light it up blue, say autism awareness or acceptance, say has autism or is autistic because there are no clearly defined rules of what we should be saying and when.
Thank you for saying “I understand” when I talk about meltdowns, sleepless nights, medication trouble, and food aversion.
Thank you for acknowledging my hard, and trying to help me figure out the solution.
Thank you for providing me with powerful mantras like “find the joy”, “dreams don’t die, they change”, and “on we go”.
Thank you for simply saying “me too” when I felt like I was the only one.
Thank you for always lifting me up out of the dark hole of the internet, and holding my hand until I’m ready to try again tomorrow.
The love you have for your children gives me hope, your bravery to share your story gives me confidence, and your honesty about this journey gives me the strength to carry on.
Thank you for all of your love, A fellow Autism Mom
Thank you to Amanda DeLuca for sharing this piece with us. It originally appeared on her blog https://jacksonsjourneyjacksonsvoice.com/
Amanda lives in Ohio with her husband, is a mom of 2 to Monroe, and Jackson. Her son is on the autism spectrum and is what inspired her to begin her journey through advocacy. In her free time she enjoys teaching at her dance studio, co-hosting the Momming Autism podcast, and writing for her page Jackson’s Journey, Jackson’s Voice.