Pssst… in case you’re feeling defeated lately by this whole motherhood gig and parenting a special needs child…. can I just tell you that you’re an incredible mom?
Because I get it.
Leading and training therapists isn’t for the faint of heart.
And don’t get me started on how you rocked that last IEP meeting— with grace, confidence (even if you were shaking inside), and sharing with the team what you’ve covered in prayer.
On top of running your home like a #momboss, serving your families and your community by spreading #autismawareness the way you—- thank you.
Today (and every day), I’m thankful for YOU.
You’re the difference your child needs— our little wins add up to bigger wins. I don’t ever take for granted the blood, sweat, and tears past #autismwarriors sacrificed in order for us to get to where we are today. 💯
The road ahead is challenging, but I believe that we’re stronger together.
Our stories, our lives, and how we choose to share our unique perspective on being an #autismmom leads to a greater understanding of a wide #autismspectrum.
So, thank YOU.
Thank you for sharing when it’s hard.
Thank you for encouraging newly diagnosed families, and encouraging other mamas on this journey.
Thank you for sharing the good and messy parts of being an autism mom.
Your child matters. You matter. Their voice matters and so does yours.
If you’re hesitating to step into the room, I get it.
It’s so easy to feel like a fraud. Whether you are sitting in an IEP meeting, meeting with an Autism professional, or training a volunteer for the very first time.
Remember this, and speak liberating truths. Affirm yourself. You’re created for this.
God has entrusted you with YOUR child.
They (the experts) may “know” autism, but there is no one else who knows your child better than you do.
Right before a meeting I usually say a prayer, and ask for guidance and discernment in making the best decision for Jacob. I pray for the team, asking for us to work together in a collaborative effort to help Jacob meet his goals. I pray for Jacob’s receptiveness of the identified goals.
Stepping into an IEP meeting with the belief that we are a united force, working alongside each other to transform these goals into reality.
Then I speak liberating truths over myself, “I’m created for this. I’m entrusted with Jacob to care for him, and raise him up to be all that he is created to be.”
I remind myself that I will speak where he cannot, and listen intently with the purpose of understanding their perspective. We have a good team, and his teachers love him and want what’s best for him. It’s simply a process of clarifying what “best” means and how to set goals and create systems in place to make it happen.
Going into a meeting this way has helped me immensely in my ability to lead our team and work through difficult discussions. Going into it covered in prayer, covered in affirmations helps provide the confidence I often lack. I encourage you to pray beforehand, and if you don’t pray, meditate. And affirm yourself.
Be humble, be kind, be gracious.
Speak about what you know. No one can tell you your experiences and feelings are invalid. They are a cornerstone of how you care for your child.
If you are attending an IEP meeting, you should’ve been provided a copy of your child’s proposed IEP prior to the meeting (this is common practice in our school district– if this has not been provided to you, request one immediately!).
Be prepared, and stay focus on the speaker. IEP goals can be tricky and written in such a manner that you believe you’re deciphering codes as opposed to goals. If you don’t understand the overall goal, ask the speaker to elaborate further.
If the thought of advocacy has left you feeling like a wounded soldier, I get it.
You’re probably exhausted from always fighting for fundamental rights for your child. Advocating for your child’s right to a free and public education. Drafting up a plan to keep your child safe in school.
Perhaps you’re all too familiar with the principal’s office. Forcing yourself to hold back tears as your child comes home crying (yet again) because they’re easy prey for bullies. All while you’re working diligently to have your child’s needs met in school, and in the community.
You speak because your child cannot.
You are the reason our children, and our children’s children stand a chance of a kinder, loving, and compassionate world.
Thank you for chugging down your fifth cup of coffee (or tea) this morning, and working behind the scenes to improve the quality of life for your child and all of our children.
The battle is not yet won, and there’s a long road ahead of you.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I see you and I’m marching with you.
Always rootin’ for you,
Related: How to Rock Your Next IEP