Wednesday, August 18, 2010

flattery will get you everywhere.

My mom paid me the ultimate compliment yesterday. She told me that I seem to be in a better place when it comes to Max’s ups and downs. And I guess I am.

I used to hang my happiness on what was going on with Max. If he was experiencing progress I could be happy. If he was regressing I would be devastated. If his progress seemed to flat line I was anxious and unable to settle down until I figured out a way to move him into progress mode again. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a little guy, and a no-win situation all around.

I think something changed, (or shifted?) in my thinking when I took my solo road trip in May. I no longer feel like I am the only one who can help Max. I am starting to accept that he is who he is. We have provided, and continue to provide him with all of the tools he needs (through therapy and social interactions) to progress. Are we a big part of how successful he will be? You bet! Is letting his progress dictate how we are going to feel on any given day going to help him? Probably not.

This is not to say that I am embracing Autism and accepting it. I know that some mamas do, and that’s cool. I’m not there and I probably never will be. I still believe we can and will kick Autism’s ass. I see a bright future for Max where he is able to effectively communicate with the outside world, be successful in school, and experience true joy and happiness, whatever that looks like for him.

Relaxing a bit has helped me find a place where I can enjoy Max, instead of holding my breath and waiting for him to achieve the next milestone. Because he will get there, in his own time, and it will be so much more enjoyable when he does.


  1. I can so totally relate to this feeling. I am so glad you decided to put words to yours - because this is where I am and it feels better and more peaceful!

  2. I can relate. At some point my wife and I just accepted our son's autism. We stopped focusing so much on fixing him and started focusing on living a great life with him. That's when things started to get better for us. It's not all gum drops and unicorns. But acceptance helps a whole bunch. That, and a great sense of humor about what life throws at you.

  3. I LOVE that line about gum drops and unicorns. I may have to borrow that...I will of course give you credit.

  4. I realized the other day that I always expect the worst so I live in a constant state of anxiety expecting disaster around every corner. And when disaster does strike, as it inevitably does, I get totally indignant and angry. Expecting it wasn't making it any easier to handle. My new mantra is, "Shit happens - accept it, don't expect it." I think I have more energy to deal with disaster when I'm not actually anticipating it around every corner.

    I think there's probably a lot to be said for the concept of acceptance overall. I don't think it's a throwing your hands up in the air and giving up, but more like a deep breath to help you move through the bad times.

  5. I have to echo the other comments Kat... I too live my life though Alanna's progress. Your line about how your mood is related to Max's progress is like mine - if Alanna is regressing, we are stressed out. She is who she is, like Max, and we are providing the best tools we can... and they will develop at their own pace. I have to remember to savour every milestone met and celebrate it!