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Getting Started in a Special Need

Joined: 1/22/2011
Posts: 9
Once a “newbie” autism mom asked online what we who had gone before would recommend as she started her journery. These thoughts came to my mind. Whether your child has autism, a physical disability, or an emotional disability, I think these recommendations will help you. Simply adapt them to your situation.

Looking back to my first days in the autism world, which is really not that long ago, I would say:

1) You don't have to have it all figured out at once. You'll get discouraged and weary. Try to make it bite sized pieces for yourself.

2) Utilize the connections you make online. I have never physically met some of the people who have helped me the most. These people will get you through it--they have been there, and they understand!

3) I've realized that I should not proverbially put all my eggs into one basket. I have learned that typically a mixture of treatments and therapies is best.

4) Don't be afraid to take mommy (caregiver) time outs. Try to get times when you can get out of the house by yourself or with a girlfriend, without children. Go for a cup of coffee, sit on a bench at the park and read your favorite book, window shop at the mall. These times will give you strength to return to the endurance autism requires.

5) Take everything with a grain of salt. In the beginning you are overwhelmed and want to do what everyone says. Then someone else will lambast that method, and you think you're wrong. Listen to suggestions, evaluate them, give them a try, learn where good advice comes from, and become confident in yourself.

6) It's ok to be a beginner. We're all beginners at something. Someday you'll be able to help someone else when they are where you are now.

7) Make time for you and your husband. Autism has the potential to hurt marriages, but it doesn't have to. Let your husband have a chance to tell you what he thinks about it all, if he will. Sometimes you will be really surprised. Encourage him to go out with his guy friends, too.

8) Finally, you will make it. I promise.
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