I have no idea what I am doing.
When I first started reading about other families and their experiences with autism, I came across a lot of parents who seemed like experts. I read countless articles and blogs written by experienced mothers and fathers in a constant fight for their children. They had tried everything, with varying results, and all of them had the same advice: work hard and never give up.
I kept searching for different perspectives, because these stories overwhelmed me. I could never do it. I couldn’t even wrap my mind around half of what they were saying and doing. These stories are meant to be encouraging and inspirational. And they can be. But when the world of autism is all brand new to you, they can also make you feel defeated. They can make you feel as if you have already wasted too much time.
Sometimes I felt as if I were ruining my daughter’s chances in life out of my own selfishness and laziness. So I would try harder- and fail. Now I was ruining her life out of plain incompetence, as well. And still there were more and more parents saying that their children were succeeding because they never stopped working with them and trying all the options. I always seemed to be falling short of other parents. I did feel like giving up. Except, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would even do THAT.
Then I figured something out. I wasn’t failing at being a parent; I was failing at being someone I’m not. I was falling short of what someone else needed for success. Continue reading