The Things To Be Grateful For When You Are An Autism Parent

This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a  mom who blogs over at Autism Wonderland.

Seeing him happy, makes me happy. And I am grateful that I can appreciate the moment. It’s that simple.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. As an autism parent, I am especially grateful for all of our victories – they are what keep me going. And they are often the everyday dull things that so many parents take for granted as their normal. I could easily list them. But I wanted to ask other autism parents —not surprisingly—I could identify with all of them.

These are the kind of things autism parents are grateful for:

I’m thankful that we have educational options in this country because school is not one size fits all. (Amanda, Confessions from a Household Six)

I’m thankful for a loving, affectionate daughter. Not many teens hold their mom’s hand in public without dying of embarrassment. (Jessica, Four Plus An Angel)

I’m thankful that we don’t take any milestone for granted, and that we celebrate every one achieved, big or small. (Mary, Both Hands and a Flashlight)

Support of family members who are willing to help out and drop anything when we need it. (Marj, The Domestic Goddess)

My son just sang along with the radio for the first time.  My family we grew up all singing along to the radio in the car all the time and I’d always imagined doing the same thing with my kids. (Jessica, Don’t Mind The Mess)

I’m grateful for the amazing teachers who take their work home at night to try to make the world a safer, better, easier place for my kids. (Alysia, Try Defying Gravity)

My whole perspective on what matters has changed. It’s not about academic achievements, soccer goals scored, awards won that matters with ANY of our kids. It’s just that they are living up to their own potentials and are happy. Having the kids I do makes me so much more appreciative of my husband. He’s stepped up to this without complaining or wearing out the way I do. (Lexi, Mostly True Stuff)

Morning snuggles, professionals and non who value my child, and trampolines. (Dawn, This Side of Typical)

Jack is doing a great job “sharing space” lately, which means we can cuddle under the same blanket and watch Mythbusters together.(Jennifer, Into the Woods, notes from jennyalice)

I am grateful for parent support groups, melatonin and heavy blankets. (Michelle, She’s Always Write)

I am thankful to be able to laugh even when things can be so, so hard. (Jennifer, Anybody Want a Peanut?)

I’m grateful that Nik was able to identify an emotion tonight. He told me “feel angry, mama no computer” when I asked why he kept hitting the keyboard on my laptop as he was eating dinner. I was on FB. (Beth, Maternal Instincts…flying by the seat of my pants)

I’m grateful for other parents who acknowledge they don’t fully understand my son’s needs, and ask potentially uncomfortable questions. There is no unwelcome question, in my book, only an unwelcome assumption. (Bil, Pancakes Gone Awry)

I’m grateful that Danny couldn’t care less about being cool. He is just who he is. He gets so completely, overwhelmingly excited over fun stuff like our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and decorating the Christmas tree or building forts. He doesn’t care that those things are uncool. (Patty, Pancakes Gone Awry)

I am thankful that my boys not only made me a better mother but a better person. They have taught me to be a patient listener, to give grace before advice, and that some of the most beautiful moments are spent laying next to my boys on the living room floor watching the ceiling fan spin. (Sunday, Adventures in Extreme Parenthood)

You’re next. What are you grateful for?

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  1. by Kathy Crisp

    On November 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I am thankful for my sons’ amazing spirits. They could care less if anyone thinks they are weird for doing their happy dance while singing in church. They tell everyone they know and love Jesus, and they pray for their friends who don’t. I am also very thankful for snuggles! They are 11 and I still get snuggles on Saturday mornings. May even get some Friday this week:)

  2. by nita

    On November 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

    :) may sound pessimistic in nature, but I am thankful that my daughter doesn’t understand WHY family never comes around anymore. or WHY they don’t willingly take her to do things anymore. but, overall, I am thankful that she is mine :) I love her exuberance and they way she doesn’t care if her clothes don’t match and the way she laughs out loud at the seemingly stupid things that in turn make me laugh out loud. and, I am very thankful for my husband who, God love him, has stepped up and lost more than I ever would wish upon anyone…

  3. by Li

    On November 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    This was so beautiful Lisa. So very beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing what they are grateful for.


  4. by Ericka

    On November 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love reading your blog and I get so happy when your little one reaches a milestone. Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa! I’m Thankful for inspirational parents such as yourself. You are doing such an awesome job!

  5. by Divina

    On November 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    What a great post Lisa! Thank you for sharing we do forget about the big things in the daily every day.

  6. by Pamela P.

    On November 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I’m thankful to have joined this community of Latina bloggers that has allowed me to read your beautiful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  7. by Crystal Barker

    On November 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I am thankful my son is so loving! His smile lights up the room and melts my heart every time! We celebrate every milestone, big or small, and are thankful for family and friends who support us!

  8. by Eva Smith

    On November 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I’m thankful that my child is beautiful, intelligent and brings sunshine into my life everyday!