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5 lessons from a mom who has friends who’s kids have autism

April 17, 2012

Oh this mistakes I’ve made..{5 lessons from a mom who has friends who’s kids have autism}
by Gena
Earth Monkey Moms 

April is Autism Awareness Month

I knew nothing about autism 7 years ago.  I’m not sure I ever heard the word, and I certainly didn’t know anyone personally that was touched by it.  I will never forget when Sawyer, Lindsay’s little man was in the process of being diagnosed.  It didn’t make any sense then, and honestly it took many years for me to even begin to understand it…

and it still holds a lot of mystery even thoughI now know many women who’s children have autism…
Through this process I can pretty much guarantee
that I made every mistake in the book…

I said the wrong things, did the wrong things and did not understand the depth of my my sweet friend was going through….I have learned a lot (but don’t expect too much, I’m still gonna mess up) and I want to share a few of those little lessons with the other ladies out there who have friends with kids with autism (maybe I’ll save you looking like an idiot a couple of times???)

These are just a few of the mistakes that its easy to make…

1~Out staying a welcome…

it’s probably a little too easy to hang at a good friends house for too long and then miss certain cues that it is time for you to take your monkeys and leave.  If you notice any hair being pulled out, red faces, or steam coming out of the mothers ears, it’s time to go.

For real though; ask her how long she would like you to stay (before you arrive) and drag your kids out in that amount of time if you have to.  A child with autism will commonly be on a schedule and it is important that you respect that.

2~Offering discipline advice…

do I really need to expand on this one???  Just encourage her to keep doing her best.  I mean, this is annoying even when you have a “typical” child and someone is trying to “help”…just don’t do it.

3~Giving books on how to “cure” her child…

sooooo, I’m kinda wishing that I did not know this one based on experience, but yep, I did it.  She has probably read, or at least heard of them all so I’d suggest doing no more than asking her if she has heard of it.  But really, don’t get all hyped up and go buy it for her. (Im such a looser!)

4~Canceling play dates…

most likely, she has prepped her child with a schedule for the day, and the events that are going to take place.  If you and your children are a part of that day, don’t cancel or drastically change your time.  Of course things will come up…like puking or broken bones, but don’t assume that it is no big deal for her child if you don’t come.  It’s a real blow to a child with autism when plans change like that.  Also, if she has to change because its not turning out to be a good day for her child, let it go.  Don’t make her feel guilty or put pressure on her to reschedule.  She will when things aren’t so rough.

5~And last but not least…

making gluten filled christmas ornaments… SOOOO…here is what I know. If a child can’t have gluten, it means they can’t touch it either.  And so if you make dough with wheat flour, and said child puts their hands and finger prints into it, know that they will react just like they ate it.

Not that I did this or anything!!! 😉

I am personally lucky that the mothers of children with autism that I have in my life are very understanding and patient with all my politically incorrectness, the things I forget, and the things I am still learning.  Lets all love on these mamas that have a tough job and get little credit for the extra work they put in.   I love and respect you all!

PS…feel free to add anything to my list…and as always, please share us with your friends 😉

Just in case you are new around here…I am Gena…I am a self titled “professional mess picker upper”. Becoming the mother of the two, mommy titled “mess makers” was not an easy road. I’ve been thru the struggle of infertility, and ended up with the two most amazing children thru the miracle of adoption.

I love my God, my husband, and my children (not always in that order) and if I have to watch one more person fill up 15 plastic bags in the grocery store, I may just go ape all over them! If you like to learn, but don’t take life very seriously, we will get along just fine…I will never be stagnant, mentally or physically…so, Ready, Set, Go!!!

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Discuss this article

Jen Lewis April 17, 2012

These words speak from the view of the mom which is EXACTLY what we need to hear. What may be perfectly acceptable to us may be vastly different and recieved differently for an autism family. We need to step in their shoes and realize that these moms may be going through pain, problems and issues beyond our short term understanding. So please take Gena’s advice, dwell on it. It will really help.

H. Ward April 17, 2012

I would say some of these tips are true enough to apply to all moms. Keep it real.

Just Me April 17, 2012

I never like it when people hand me instructional books — whether for discipline or even self-help. If you believe in the book why not talk it over instae dof just dropping by a slab of material and expect me to just go out and spend 5 hours reading it. Like yeah that is goign to happen. Treat me like a person and not a project.

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