Autism, motherhood, and expectations
Becoming a mom challenged everything I thought I knew about motherhood, but there’s one thing I’ve always known. I knew I would love my son always and unconditionally. I knew I would always fight for him. I knew I would do my best to be a mom he can be proud of.
And I also knew that I’d be the first to feel guilty and disappointed in myself when I inevitably fell short of these expectations. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes… but there’s one constant that never changes, I love Charlie and always will.
When I was pregnant with Charlie, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what motherhood would be like—from school pickups to soccer practices and having long conversations with my son. I imagined it all. Maybe I was young and naive, or maybe I’ve always been an optimist at heart. I don’t know, but it never crossed my mind that my son would be born severely disabled. Even though I hadn’t prepared for this possibility, it doesn’t change how I feel about Charlie and never did.
ABA therapy to help him progress
I want Charlie to progress not because he’s failed to meet my expectations, but because I want him to be happy. I promise you, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing tears roll down your child’s face when he’s in pain and can’t show you where, trying to communicate and not having a way to do so.
This is why Charlie goes to therapy. Not because I want him to be normal. No. Because I want him to be safe, independent, and to learn to communicate his needs. I want to fade away dangerous behaviors like swallowing rocks and running in the street and to give him a better shot at life. At the end of the day, if Charlie never tells me he loves me, if he never learns self-care and has to live with me until I’m a grumpy old lady, I will still love him just as much. Just as much.
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