It has been three years, we live together, and now we have a child of our own. Our brood has grown to four ranging from teen to teether. Despite my idealistic presumptions, it has been anything but easy to blend. Here are five lessons the process of blending a family with special needs has taught me, and we are all better because of it.
Griffin, 4, has autism and a deep curiosity to explore places where he shouldn't be -- all of our cabinets, no matter how high, the top of the refrigerator, the inside of a stranger's unlocked car, the tub of the dryer. You could say he's part spelunker or mountain goat. In autism lingo, he's an "eloper."
When someone becomes ill, loses a loved one or a child, is suffering personal crisis, or has a child with a condition that is assumed to lower a child's "quality of life," many of us tend to say the wrong thing. I've done it. We all do. So, here are seven things you should never tell the parent of a child with Autism. Let's talk about it!
All of the things we want for our child have a real chance of manifesting when we accept their behaviors rather than fear them. It's like the wall of tension we created gets toppled, and we actually create a bridge for our child to connect with us. And when that bridge is built, they are not only reachable, but they reach out to us.
You don't know me, but I've been thinking about you ever since I read about your family's experience on that United flight. I wish I had been sitting in the aisle across from you when you tried to explain to the crew about Juliette -- about how she needed to eat something hot because when she's hungry, she gets distressed.