Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 4: Acceptance is Trust

Love is about trust.

With acceptance comes trust.

And trust brings love. 

Love is accepting a person for who they truly are- not your idealized version of the person who you would like them to be.

Trust is hard.

It is hard to know who or what to trust.

The autism community is a community deeply divided.

Sadly, there are many who are seeking to capitalize on a parent’s confusion, desperation, and grief.

And then, there is the conflicting advice from so-called experts.

There are dozens of different therapies, many promising a “cure” for your child.

There’s the gluten and casein free diet.

There are thousands of websites, forms, and “support groups” filled with people professing to have the answers.

It is easy to lose trust.

Because experts can be wrong.

And therapies and diets that work for some children may not work for your child.

Other therapies are downright dangerous.

And too many so-called support groups focus on negativity and become battle grounds for hot-button issues.

So, in the midst of so much chaos and confusion, who do I trust?

For a long time, I placed the burden of trust on myself.

Soon enough, this burden became too much to bear.

I do not have all the answers.

I cannot fully understand what it means to be an autistic person living in this world.

And the stakes are very high.

I am making decisions that impact another person's life.

Like all parents, I worry about the future.

I worry how he will do as he progresses through school.  He is a smart kid but a different kind of learner.  The traditional classroom is not geared towards his needs. 

I worry that as he gets older, his differences will become more pronounced. 

I worry that his friends will notice these differences and judge him for it.  After all, we live in a society that values conformity over uniqueness.  I worry about bullies.  I worry that he won't know how to stand up for himself- to speak up when he needs help.  I worry about what could happen when the grown ups aren't watching.

I worry about his future after school.  I worry about what the world will be like when he becomes an adult.  Will he find a good job?  Will he start a family?  Will he be successful and independent?  Will the world be any closer to understanding and accepting those who are different?

After countless days and nights of worrying, I remembered that this is not my burden to bear alone.

I trust that others who are ahead of me on this journey are paving the road for my son and others like him.

I trust my husband to be my sounding board and partner when making the decisions, both little and big.

I trust Ben to know himself well enough to advocate for his needs.  I’m teaching him to be that advocate now so that when the time is right, he can do this on his own.

Ultimately, I trust in God to guide our family on this journey.  When I give the burden of my worries to Him and trust His plan, I am always filled with a deep sense of peace.

 Trust alone is not enough.

But trust is important.

Because it’s not about me and what I think is best.

It's not about finding a cure or changing him into a person who he is not.

It's about helping him to be the best version of Ben that he can be.

I have to give up control.

I have to give up my worries.

I have to trust.

Trust in us.

Trust in him.

Trust in Him.

And together we will find our way.

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