Find other parents in your area. There is both strength and solace in numbers. Share information! Be open to new ideas. I've been parenting my son for 9 years, 7 knowing he was 'different', 6 with the label autistic.
I've learned to be realistic; progress is slow. I've learned to fight like a rabid pitbull for him and to trust my gut. I've learned to laugh at whatever I can, because tears don't help. He is stronger than I thought, and he can handle change better than I thought. I'm working on not underestimating him but it's tough since he can't talk to tell me what he wants, needs, likes, hates, can do, can't do and so on.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Just be specific in what help. Most of all learn to rejoice in the good times and try to forget the bad moments. And on the worst days remember - "This too shall pass".
By Jeanne Kacprowicz from Marilla, NY
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