Success is an interesting concept
We all have different views and different experiences that alter they way we measure it .
My idea of success before autism entered our lives was very different than it is now
Me and my boyfriend , now husband were in love, we had two children a curious , adorable three year old boy and our beautiful baby girl .
We were beginning our lives , he was working and I was in school on the path to becoming a Kindergarten teacher . We were saving and looking to purchase a home for our little family .
I remember thinking how lucky I was . A son and a daughter ,a beautiful life and an amazing partner to share it with . We were motivated and working hard trying to build a life for ourselves and our children .
We had so many plans
So many ideas of “success “
We would buy a big house
Have a big family
Our kids would do it all
Soccer , hockey , dance , plays , cheerleading ~All of it
They would be friends and hang out with each other and their friends would all be hanging at our house . Our son would chase all the boys away . We would have the house all the kids hung out at .
They would have every opportunity and every experience . They would grow up go to college and find careers and have families of their own . I would obviously be babysitting the grandchildren
Autism showed up and most of those plans went out the window . For all of us because it effects every single one of us
Even though my son is nuerotypical he does not get through this unscathed and without loss .
It impacted my daughter the most . The plans for her were turned upside down and inside out . She was diagnosed with Autism and it changed everything. Every dream, every plan , every success
She has autism , sensory processing , anxiety , apraxia and Is non verbal .
She still is my beautiful little girl . I love her with every fiber of my being . Her smile and laughter warm my heart .
In the beginning I was waiting for her to catch up , to talk , to be able to live a typical life . It took time to adjust
I needed to alter my expectations as my reality changed
I now measure success differently, not as a whole but in pieces .
It’s all the steps that come along the way that matter
Success is my daughter dancing on a stage
It is her saying I love you , mama or cookie
It is her making a smooth transition
Or adjusting to something new with ease
It her giving a hug and her squeezing back
It is her laughing and smiling with her siblings
Her being able to wear a mask , dress herself , and find her shoes when asked
To some these are very basic things
Things that are not given a second thought
To us they are everything
When you have a child whose voice you may never hear , who may not understand others , is not expected to engage or function in society
When they have to work twice as hard as anyone else for everything they do
THIS IS SUCCESS !
Yes our dreams and ideas have changed but I couldn’t be prouder of my daughter and how far she has come .
She is a true inspiration
She is a fighter , she has fought for every skill , every word , every connection she has ever made .
She is loved and cherished
She has a pure heart , loves and laughs and is happy
That is what success is
It is only something that can be truly measured from the inside