Once Upon an Autism, Not Your Regular Fairy Tale

To Be A Parent

Posted on: January 9, 2011

When we hold that bright, beautiful, newborn in our arms… There is no greater joy, it’s a joy that we all share. The birth of a child is something that most parents are overwhelmingly elated over. We go through the ups and downs of diaper changes, diaper rash, immunizations, spit up, and a multitude of other things that any parent goes through.

But then comes the devastation. You realize something is wrong… Your child is not normal. Nicky was advanced when he was a baby. He held his head up faster. He rolled over faster. But then something happened after he choked on a Wheat Thin. (Which was probably just a marker for a texture issue). He began to go backwards, his slight chatter grew to become more garbled, more gibberish like. He quit advancing, and he wouldn’t acknowledge me.

I went through a long spell of blaming myself, trying to figure out what I had done. But I got over it.

Most parents don’t understand what we go through, unless they are dealing with special needs themselves and autism is unique. I remember what it was like when Nicky first was smiling, it was almost as if it were difficult for him. But it melted my heart.

I live in the constant fear of him regressing, I was warned it could happen and it has happened. It’s what snaps me awake, reminding me that I have to handle my child with care. He can progress, but he can regress, and he has regressed, and he’s progressed. It’s a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, emotional roller coaster, but I wouldn’t trade my son for the “perfect” child.

I want people to understand and be less ignorant and more tolerant. Because it isn’t easy. We hurt when our children hurt. The pain we feel when our children are bullied, overlooked, and misunderstood is extensive. Having something wonderful we’ve planned go wrong, because our child gets sensory overload, hurts.

But there is another side.

“I love you, Mom.” Four words could never mean so much as those do. I believe they mean a world and a day when you have a normal child. Of course they do. But when you deal with the detachment that can come along with autism, when you can get that connection with your child, you celebrate. My son loves me. He doesn’t care if I’m having a bad hair day. He doesn’t care how much I give him or don’t give him. He loves me and accepts me unconditionally. He hugs me, he kisses me, he still loves when I sing him silly little songs. I can’t beat that, nor would I want to. I have a special connection with my son that a lot of parents miss out on. Even when he’s spitting mad at me, I know I have his love. I don’t have to try and win him over. He doesn’t care about my political leaning, he doesn’t care even if I am on the computer as long as I answer him when he talks. I love him and he loves me. To be loved by my child is probably my greatest human achievement. Even if I published a great work of fiction and made millions, that would not even come close to the love of my child. There’s a lot a person can accomplish in life, but to obtain unconditional love is something that needs to be treasured. I see so many parents who almost resent their children for their disabilities, as if it was the child’s fault (especially in this area), and it breaks my heart. They want what-might-have-been rather than loving the child for who they are.

My child has Autism. My child isn’t Autism. He’s Nicky. He’s funny, sweet, and helpful. He isn’t his disability any more than I am mine. I would never want me to be defined by what I might-have-been, I want to be defined by who I am. I want to be liked because I am kind, because I am funny, because I have the ability to make another person smile. My child deserves the same. I love him for who he is. I wouldn’t change him.

God didn’t curse me with a child who developed Autism. God blessed me with a beautiful boy and thought I was up for a challenge.

As an added statement, I want to say that I discovered a whole new community on Twitter and now, I’ve been able to discuss Autism with other parents who are likeminded, who love their children as much as I love Nicky. Thank you, Tweet friends.

The Young Hero of Autism

The Young Hero Of Autism

26 Responses to "To Be A Parent"

what a beautiful heartfelt post and so well written. I loved it I could feel all the emotion in it. We love our kids as unconditional as they love us and I wouldn’t change them for the world xxx

Thank you so much. I poured my heart in it. I think our particular community feels that way on the whole.

Well done! Nicky is blessed to have you for his mom.

Thank you. I feel blessed to have him.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Victoria Fear, Tracy C., Jenny Herman, Tracy C., Tracy C. and others. Tracy C. said: Please read and RT: I do it for many of you! 🙂 https://tracydragonfire.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/to-be-a-parent/ […]

Aww, Tracy….that was so beautifully written, straight from your heart. You and Nicky are blessed to have each other.

Big hugs to you for being up to that challenge you were given.
Even if you feel you’re not at times……You are 🙂


Big hugs back. I think I am a very blessed and lucky person. 🙂

Tracy this is truly beautiful. It really opens ones eyes to what it is like to be a parent of an autistic child. I hope that you press to get this piece published.

Peace and Love,

Thank you, Linda, I never thought about getting it published. I will definitely look into it.

“My child has Autism. My child isn’t Autism.” Nice line!

Thank you, I think we all, as parents, feel the same way. Especially when dealing with those who don’t understand.

That’s all so true Tracy! Am so glad I read it 🙂 People think that all children with autism cannot show feelings, loyalty etc but they can and do it better than most! 🙂

Thank you for pointing that out, many don’t realize it. Many autism kids FEEL more than others do.

Great post Tracy! I’m so glad we connected on twitter….I find it so hope-inspiring to have found all my twitter mom friends. 🙂

I’m still waiting for the day that LM can say “I Love You” – but for now, we have our own special code: when he puts his head down gently on me for just a second and says “ah-ney” (honey), I know he means “Mommy, I love you.”

Every child is special, and I can only hope that one day the world will understand autism the way that we do. 🙂

“God didn’t curse me with a child who developed Autism. God blessed me with a beautiful boy and thought I was up for a challenge.”

loved that Tracy.

Thank you, that’s how I truly feel. My son is a blessing from God.

We love our kids with a fierceness. We treasure each step with pride. We truly understand the grace of connection. One of my favorite tweeps … love this.

Our a kids need a solid yes or a sold no. They can’t handle it when a parent waivers. Even then, a child obtains the control.

For me, acceptance is the key. Once I found it with my boy, my life became a whole lot better.

Balance and acceptance That’s what makes you a good, Big daddy.

Awesome Tracy!!

Tracy- this is so close to my heart. I know our children are such gifts from God and we are so fortunate to have them with all their challenges in our lives. I’m with you in the belief that God knows we are up for the challenge and that is why he blessed us with our boys!! Nicky is an adorable young man!!

I feel very blessed.

Tracy you have opened a world up that I knew very little about. I’ve been reading books on Autism. These are touching & inspiring stories of the struggles & joys in life.

Your work is cut out for you but unconditional love is there too.

Enjoyed reading/following your page.Please keep it coming. Cheers!

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