Thursday, February 16, 2012

Helpful Hint by a Mother Who Knows How It Is

My goal for myself is to provide information to people involved in the special education community. My tip of the week idea may turn into tip of the day as I have 11 years of information to share!

I have been thinking about this for a very long time and where to start - so I chose to start at the beginning - and the first feeling I had when my son was diagnosed with autism. FEAR. Fear was the first emotion that I experienced, dealt with for years and have finally overcome. Fear of the unknown...

    the unknown of what autism is
    unknown of future
    unknown of medical testing, psychological testing, etc...
    unknown of efficacy of treatment and therapy
    unknown of psychologists, therapists, doctors, etc...
    unknown of what to do and what to do next
    unknown of child's rights
    unknown of laws


    fear of my decisions
    fear of doctors advice
    fear of following my gut
    fear of not following professional advice
    fear of schools, teachers, administrators,advocates
    fear of financial effects on family
    fear of my decisions

So now that I have experienced every one of these fears and unknowns, I can tell you that it wasn't easy - I guess that was why I was a size 2. Decision making and facing fear and the unknown does get easier and easier. You begin to trust yourself and to follow your gut.... Your gut is your best guide - you know your child the best. Maybe you don't have a PhD or an MD or an MS but you are either a mother or a father or a relative or teacher. Fear is a motivator and if you don't face fear and stare it down, you will go nowhere. FEAR is only a feeling - one that can be overcome like sadness, like being upset. These feelings often pass with time - and so will FEAR.

Don't be Afraid of FEAR - it is just another test in life - testing your courage - and even if you don't find the answer right away, you gain courage, education, self-esteem, contacts, and a reason to keep going. Don't let FEAR take away your rights and opportunities and that is exactly what it will do if you don't face it and act upon it. You may stumble, but that is human nature - get up and try again!

Winston Churchill once said "NEVER, never, never give up!"

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