Welcome to the Family

Autism Family welcome

I began my blog about 7 years ago. At first it served as a personal journal for me. It was a wonderful way to vent and think out things quietly with no judgement. The more I wrote, the more I began to think about how I could use it as a way to shine a brighter light on autism. Maybe I could use it as my way to better explain to others what being a mom to a child with autism is like. It would be a way of sharing our life with the people I love and allow me to do so without seeing pity in their eyes or even worse, disbelief.

You see, they thought they knew. They thought they understood what I was going through. What WE were going through. In the beginning I thought they did, too. My family and friends were there by my side and dried my tears after Taylor was diagnosed. They were there as we began the early intervention. They saw the pic sym cards and the speech therapy days marked on the calendar. They knew Taylor wasn’t talking like he should and that he had a hard time engaging with his peers. They knew he had his quirks and funny little habits. They also knew he was adorable, charming and loving..but that is really ALL they knew.

There was so much more that they didn’t know. So much they didn’t see. They didn’t see me as I stumbled and fell daily, trying to figure out what to do for my son. They didn’t see me all those times I sat in the floor next to my bed and cried, asking “why him, Lord?!” They didn’t see his frustration as he tried to tell me what he wanted. They didn’t see the horrible melt downs. They didn’t see the ugly days. They didn’t know.

Taylor was such a precious, sweet baby boy. He had a special way of melting your heart within minutes of meeting him. Believe it or not, his ability to charm everyone actually hindered us to a degree with his diagnosis because no one but my husband believed me when I suggested something was off. Not even Taylor’s pediatrician.

Taylor was well behaved because he liked to play all by himself and would sit quietly while everyone else did their thing around him. “He’s so quiet! He is such a good baby!” they would say. They didn’t even notice that for a nearly two year old, he had little vocabulary and wasn’t even saying “Mommy” yet.

My husband and I learned very early on that restaurants and loud events were a no go for us because it would over-stimulate Taylor. No one saw the meltdowns that taught us that very important lesson. Friends and family just thought we were young parents who were afraid to take their baby out with them. Some thought we were just not interested in being social. They just didn’t know. These are a just a few of the reasons that my friends and family really didn’t get it. Of course, it’s not their fault. We didn’t share these things with them either because at the time, the last thing we wanted to hear from others was how we were parenting wrong. We didn’t want to be told again and again how we weren’t being stern enough with him or that we weren’t disciplining him like we should.

Of course, we heard it enough anyways.

I began to feel more and more isolated. My husband and I were the first and only people we knew to have a child with autism. We were our own source and we didn’t know anything about autism either when we got that diagnosis. How could we expect anyone else to know anything about it? I had no one to ask advice from. No one had any answers on basic daily trials. As a new parent already trying to figure out the basics, this made for some very lonely days.

I know what it feels like to have so many questions and no one to answer them. For this reason, I decided a couple of years ago that I would make my blog public to anyone who would like to read it. I want to use this platform as a way to teach and inform those who want to learn more. I want to give you an opportunity to step inside the life of a family living with autism. Be a fly on the wall, as they say. Whether you are a parent or relative of someone with autism or just someone who wants to know more, all are welcome!

If your child has recently been diagnosed with Autism, as devastating as it is to receive that news, there are many of us out here that have been where you are right now. Just like every child with Autism is different, so is every parent. I am just one parent out of millions. My son is higher functioning, so if our situation doesn’t feel familiar with yours, I encourage you to keep looking because I promise you, there is someone else out there going through the same thing as you. Autism is not a death sentence. This diagnosis doesn’t mean your lives will not be fun and full of laughter.

You will find only reality here. No sugar coating. I promise to keep it real for you. I promise to tell you about those crappy, awful days, not just the happy, inspiring ones. My hope for you my reader, is that you will leave here feeling like you are part of the family and feel a little stronger and ready to tackle the next task at hand.

I never want a parent to feel alone like my husband and I did in those early years, feeling lost and unsure of what the next step would be. I encourage you to reach out. Ask the questions. Brag about that milestone. Vent on those bad days.

This is a safe place here.

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the family.

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to the Family

  1. MyLittleBird123 says:

    There is such a need for this blog. My grandson was diagnosed as a high functioning Asperger many years ago. There is so little real help out there even from those people who are supposed to know how to help. He is now a young man and floundering. Keep writing please.

    On Sun, Mar 10, 2019, 11:46 AM Autism: Growing Up Taylor wrote:

    > Dawn South posted: ” I began my blog about 7 years ago. At first it served > as a personal journal for me. It was a wonderful way to vent and think out > things quietly with no judgement. The more I wrote, the more I began to > think about how I could use it as a way to shine” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dawn South says:

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your encouraging words. I think there are so many parents out there that need to hear more about the accomplishments and hopeful futures like your grandson.

      Like

  2. Jacob South says:

    There are many nights I stay awake worrying about Lucas. He’s 19 months old now and doesn’t walk or say anything more than “Dada.” We just got referred to the early intervention program. There is clearly something different with Lucas but I don’t know what that means yet. He’s been behind on all his milestones but he was also almost 8 weeks early. He eventually gets there but he is definitely behind for his age. They keep telling us “He will catch up.” It scares me to no end what that could mean but I’m glad I have family and friends with a lot of experience that I can turn to if needed. There are days when I think he’s perfectly normal, and other days when I’m not so sure. He’s super smart, and super sweet, and very quirky. Hoping that early intervention will help him get walking and talking and that he lives a normal life with just a few quirks. Any advice, prayers, and resources are welcomed.

    On another note, We ate dinner with Taylor last night and he and Lucas became friends. He played Mickey Mouse on his phone for Lucas to watch. He is such a polite young man, and he definitely enjoyed hanging out with Lucas.
    Thank you for writing this, I felt like you wrote it to me.

    Like

    • Dawn South says:

      I am so glad you are getting him in the early intervention program! He may just be a little behind on his milestones. Taylor’s best friend since babies didn’t walk until she was almost 16 months old. She just graduated from Auburn and already has a job lined up for next year in Special Education. Brendan was also in the the early intervention program because his speech was delayed. I know it is hard to not worry, but you are way ahead of the game with Lucas by being proactive while he is still little. So many parents wait until they are in elementary school.
      I just want you to know that Mike and I are here for you guys and you have all our support.
      Taylor told me about Lucas. He absolutely LOVES babies! He is so good with them!

      Like

  3. autismwithgrace says:

    I started my blog to spread awareness too. My daughter is 9 and diagnosed at 3. Our life sounds so similar. I love your blog. We all need to be out there making those who dont understand, well understand.

    Like

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