The Dreams You Dream When You’re An Autism Parent
This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs about raising her 7-year old son, Norrin, over at AutismWonderland.
On the day my son, Norrin, was diagnosed with autism, all of my hopes and dreams for him seemed to evaporate. I couldn’t see beyond the diagnosis. It’s been five years since I heard the words, “your child has autism” and we’ve both come such a long way.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. It’s an emotional day for many reasons – not only for African Americans but for all people of color. As the mother to a special needs child, I am especially grateful for the Civil Rights Movement. Without it, the Americans with Disabilities Act may not exist.
There was a time when there were no schools for kids with special needs. They were either hidden away at home or sent away. An adult with a disability had no prospects for employment. (Remember in Downtown Abbey? No one believed John Bates should/could be a valet simply because he had a limp and walked with a cane.) If you used a wheelchair, there were no ramps leading to buildings or side walk cut outs. Living with a disability or special need – you were pretty much on your own.
There was a time when special needs parents had no encouragement to dream.
Luckily, we live in a country where our kids can go to school and learn. There are services and therapists and accommodations for kids with special needs.
As an autism mom I learned to dream new dreams for Norrin. I believe that he has the potential of any other kid and that it is unlimited.
And I have dreams for change. While there has been significant improvement, there is still a long way to go. These are the dreams of an autism parent:
I have a dream that one day all kids with autism will have access to an appropriate education, resources and services regardless of zip code (and without their parents hiring an attorney to get it).
I have a dream that every child has a safe and happy future.
I have a dream that my child has at least one friend who gets him.
I have a dream that my child will grow up to be as independent as he possibly can.
I have a dream that my child will grow up to be a contributing member of society.
I have a dream that special needs kids will no longer be the victims of bullying.
I have a dream that people will try to understand autism rather than judge it.
What are your dreams?Add a Comment
Tags: autism, Autism Hopes, Autism inspiration, Disability, health, Lisa Quinones Fontanez, raising kids with special needs, special needs parenting | Categories: Autism, Children With Special Needs, Disability, Must Read, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, To The Max