#Positive Spin

As an autism parent I have learned the art of living in the “positive spin.” I find myself spinning positivity more often now when it comes to Ashley and her development.  She is maturing.  She is progressing.  That is true and it is positive. What I don’t really talk about is that the maturity and development is slow and as she gets older her delayed development is harder to spin positively.  It’s especially hard when you have friends/family with children who are close in age to your autistic child.  It’s easy to spin when they’re younger, the differences don’t stand out as much then.
Then they grow, and you see the differences, they stand out more and more.  You’ll notice these differences and mourn for what you don’t have.  It’s difficult when I’m having conversations with Ashley’s neuro-typical friends and family members now.  They are talking about their boy crushes and how they handle the struggles of after school activities and academics and I LOVE being a part of these conversations because I love these girls, but I wish I could be having these conversations with my own daughter…and it makes me sad.  (This is when you would say, ” Don’t be sad, you never know, she might get there.” And I politely agree and come back to the “positive spin.”)  But realistically, she may never be there and we all know it.  And then I feel guilty for feeling sad at all because she is my daughter and I LOVE her more than anything, so the positive spin is often where you need to be as an autism mom.
Friends and family try to understand and say the right things and while you appreciate it (this is the tricky part) you also don’t like it because you don’t want them to pity your situation.  She is a terrific kid after all, so don’t pity me.  It’s difficult, I understand…a no-win situation really; too much pity is no good, but not trying to understand what it’s like to be in my shoes isn’t okay either.
Then I  feel guilt because there are people who have kids with terminal illnesses who won’t live to see their 13th birthday and you understand that there are worse heartaches in the world.  I feel so totally blessed to have the beautiful girl that I have and she is making progress… but then you get on social media and see the athletic competitions, drama and musical productions and wish that she could be doing what other girls her age are doing, but she can’t because her behavior and lack of flexibility gets in the way.  So you go back to the positive spin… and tell yourself that it’s just as well.  You aren’t really interested in being that stage mom anyway (even if you secretly wish to be) and there it is.  You try to live in the positive spin, but your house is built in reality.  Some days are just easier to spin than others.

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