Might League Moms


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

10 promises I will make to my child with autism.

1. I will always fight for you.

I may not always be the most confident person, but when it comes to you, my child, I will take on anyone I have to, no matter how much more educated or knowledgeable they think they are, or how powerful they might be. I will fight for you and your needs. Always.

2. I will always believe in you.

I believe that you can achieve so many things. They may not seem much to others but to us, they are things worth celebrating. I believe in your ability to learn if you are taught the correct way. I believe you will shine in your own way and in your own time.

3. I will always be your safe place.

When things get too much and you feel anxious and alone, I will always be your safe place. Somewhere familiar and comforting to you. Whether you want a hug from me or whether you just want to be in the same room. When you need somewhere that is safe and secure, that place is me.

4. I will always love you for who you are.

 How could I do anything else? You have never changed, you have always been you, just the way you are and I will always love you for you. Anyone else would be a total stranger to me. I love you for you, always have and always will.

5. When I am told you will never do something, I will take that as a challenge.

Unless they are issuing crystal balls with qualifications now, then no one can tell me what you can't do. It will never stop us trying together and we will prove them wrong in many things.

6. I will always embrace your autism, and never be ashamed of it.

I want YOU to be proud of who you are and to be as happy as you can be in your own skin. That means you have to embrace who you are and I have to teach you by example. Autism is a part of who you are and we need to embrace it and accept it. Fighting it is no good to you, we have to work with it.

7. I will show you the patience you need.

I promise I will always be patient with you, even in those times I get frustrated for you. I will help you try and communicate your needs, I will listen to you with my heart. I will always give you the time you need to say or do what it is you want to say or do.

8. I will let go of any guilt I may feel.

No one knows for sure what causes autism, but I will not feel guilty. To my knowledge, I did not cause your autism and even if it transpires that something I did contributed to it, then what good would it do you if I torture myself about it? You need me to focus and if I am busy blaming myself, then it is me I am focusing on and not you. Guilt would only hold me back from being everything you need me to be.

9. I will always go with my instinct.

When it comes to you, no one knows you better than I do. I will never be told what is best for you by anyone. I will listen to what others have to say but I will always be guided by the fact that I know you best.
 A mother's instinct should never be ignored and I promise I will never ignore it.

10. I promise I will always be filled with pride and amazement for you.

Every mother has pride in her children. But with you, knowing how hard you have to fight just to get through one day unscathed, that pride is somehow even stronger. I marvel at the way you navigate through life in what must seem like a foreign place to you.
You are amazing and I promise you always will be and I promise to try and make you understand how amazing you are. Someday.

All my love

Your Mama

Monday, 19 August 2013

A response to 'Pissed off Mother' in Newcastle, Ontario.

Dear 'Pissed off Mother.'

Firstly, my apologies for not addressing you by name, but seeing as you did not have the courage to sign the nasty letter that you sent to one of your neighbours recently, I have no choice.

There is a woman in your street, a Grandmother, who looks after her autistic grandson sometimes. A Grandmother doing what millions of Grandmothers around the world do. Looking after her grandchild. I am sure you will do the same for your grandchildren one day.
However, this Grandmother had her heart broken by words. Words that YOU wrote to her.

Her grandson has autism. He didn't choose to have it, nor did his family choose for him to have it, it just happens. To 1 in 88 people. Autism happens. You have no idea what it is like having autism in the family.
It is sleep deprivation, it is fear for the future, it is having to put up with judgements on your parenting skills and seeing stares, head shakes and hearing comments like 'Why can't you control your child' or 'You should just keep him locked up at home.' But, it is also sheer amazement at how our loved one with autism navigates through this world which is so strange and crazy to them. It is the celebration of the achievements, things that we were told our loved ones would never do. It is watching them beat the odds and fulfilling potentials. It is love, patience and wonder.

You wished that child dead. A child. You wished a child dead. What kind of place must your mind be? What hope do your own children have with a mother who would wish another child to be 'euthanised' simply because they have special needs?? That takes a special kind of evil. But to actually write that to a member of that child's family? What kind of person could ever do that?

I feel sorry for the family who you hurt so badly with your cruel, heartless words, but I feel more sorry for you. That child did not choose to have autism, but YOU chose to be unbelievably callous and write that letter. I feel such pity for you. Imagine having  to live with that kind of evil in you. I am so sorry, really I am. Your heart must be such a black and dark place.

No, that child did not choose to have autism, but I bet, given the choice of that or being the kind of person you are, most of us would choose autism. I cannot imagine anything worse than having a soul so devoid of compassion that you would wish a child be euthanised simply because they have special needs.

I also feel sorry for your children. What kind of morals are you instilling into them?? Are they going to grow up lacking any compassion and empathy for anyone who isn't, as you put it 'normal??'

If you are the poster girl for 'normal' then I'll pass, thanks. But I think you will find that most 'normal' people are appalled by your actions. It is you that is the scourge of our world, not people with autism, or any special needs or disabilities.
You say that we families with special needs children want special treatment. Actually, all we want is to be able to get on with our lives without us or our loved ones being judged or frowned upon or laughed at or mocked. Is that REALLY too much to ask?  You let us get on with our lives and we will do the same for you. Sounds like a good way forward, doesn't it?

I sincerely hope your life is never touched by autism or any special needs. I say that because I would hate for any child with those needs to have to put up with you in their life. It is hard enough for them without having a family member who has your sickening attitude.

I fear that the end result of this will be that it will be YOU who has to move out of your neighbourhood. From the news reports I have read, you are not the only 'pissed off' person there, but it is YOU they are pissed off at. I guess you never really thought this through, did you?

Karma, they tell me, can be a real bitch. I hope for your sake that she is lenient on you. It is punishment enough for you to have to go through life with such a nasty, cruel heart.

I wish you no ill, but I wish you enlightenment. Educate yourself about autism. Go and meet some people with autism. See how wonderful and inspiring they are. God knows you could do with some inspiration right now.


Laura Henretty - A mother of a child with autism, who has every right to be pissed off at you and who is not afraid to sign her name.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Lessons being an autism parent have taught me - a lighthearted look at autism parenting.

When you look on the internet, on Facebook especially, there are no shortage of inspirational memes and poems about autism. They tell us how it has made us as parents better people, or how we are blessed to have someone with autism in our lives. You know the ones I mean. Now, I love these inspirational postings, heck, I have even made memes along those lines myself, BUT, sometimes, it does the soul much good to take a step back and look at the lighter side of autism parenting. The side we live every day. The side we can all  identify with but sometimes feel guilty at smiling about. Well, I don't feel guilty and neither should you. This is our life, and if we want to have a laugh about it at times, well, that's our right.
I made a meme the other day, in a tongue in cheek, lighthearted way, and it went down a storm. People were reading it and nodding their heads and smiling, knowing that  the person who made it, just 'got it.' They live the same life. They know it's not all rainbows and butterflies. And they wouldn't change it. But they can laugh about it.

So, I decided to write this post in the same vein about some of the lessons being an autism parent has taught me. Not the ones where I am a better person, or less judgemental, they are a given. These are the REAL everyday lessons. I hope you smile and nod your head when you read some of them.

Lessons being an Autism parent has taught me.

1. Sleep is for wimps.

2. Never buy anything for the house without first considering how much it would hurt were it to be thrown at my head.

3. Disney films are incredibly well made. So much so, that they don't get boring, even on the 6 trillionth watch in any given week.

4. I am perfectly capable of running at Olympic sprint speed should the need arise. It is amazing how fast you can run when you need to catch up with your child.

5. I do actually have eyes in the back of my head.

6. Poo is even messier than I realised. A little goes a long way...

7. Be careful what you say around your child if they are a 'scripter.' Grandma really doesn't appreciate being told by her 4 year old grandson that she is a pain in the ass.

8. Clean furniture is vastly overrated.

9. All those years when I was able to pee in private, I wish I had appreciated them more.

10. People who make seemingly 'crass' comments like 'Oh, but he might grow out of it' actually mean well and don't deserve the slap you are giving  them in your head. Sometimes, people with no connection to autism just don't know what to say.

11. Random strangers don't like to be sprayed with apple and blackcurrant  flavoured water when they are innocently meandering around Tesco doing their grocery shopping.

12. 'Old MacDonald had a farm' is an incredibly annoying song.

13. Mr Potato Head glasses cannot be bought on their own. They only come with the whole Mr Potato Head set.

14. Having to buy 4 Mr Potato Heads just to get 4 pairs of spare glasses is expensive.

15. Venetian blinds look better when they are all bent in the middle.

16. Fingerprints on the windows only really show up in the sunlight.

17. Always check the knobs on the oven/washing machine/dishwasher/tumble dryer before you switch them on. They aren't always at the setting you left them at.

18. Pizza does burn quickly when in the oven at 240. Even though you put it in at 170.

19. Just because someone asks for grapes, doesn't mean they want grapes.

20. Asking Caidan to do something 'quietly' will result in him running around screaming the word 'quietly' at the top of his voice.

21. I still have so many more lessons to learn. And I am looking forward to learning them.

Please feel free to add any of your own 'lessons' learned in the comments.

Thank you for reading!