It gets Better... I promise

I am shamelessly linking to this video (Rebecca Drysdale singing about how being gay gets better when you are older) because All Kinds Of Things will Gets Better.

When you first are gifted with your 'quirky' child, all kinds of things are scary as hell.  If you were like me and did not have a diagnosis, you may have struggled to understand why your child was throwing tantrums, refusing to wear clothing, screamed evertime you turned on the furnace, did not talk, flapped their hands, walked on tip toes, made repetitive noises that did not seem to have context, did not relate to you in ways you expected from your toddler, did not play with toys in the ways you expected, refused to eat anything but peanut butter for six long weeks..... the list goes on. 
That Gets Better. .  As time goes by, you will become a mini expert on your child and your child WILL learn some coping strategies. I promise, this terrifying world of the unknown does Gets Better.

All those nights of your child seeming to not need sleep, but yet seeming to not be able to play quietly on their own and let YOU sleep.... This gets better.  While some autistic adults still have skimpy sleep patterns, most report that they DO get some sleep.  Of course, as they age they need less supervision so YOU will get some sleep.  In the meantime? Find respite, childproof your child's room to the umth degree so they can just be awake in there.  Wear ear plugs... This Gets Better.

All that incredible sensory hyper awareness: the fits over clothing seams, flickering lights, loud noises, crowded places, strong smells, people too close, heat, cold, texture of objects, texture of food, covering his/her ears in tears trying to cope with it all.. This gets better.  As parents we learn to accommodate our children and teach others to do so (giving our children ear mufflers, clothes with no seams on the wrist or toes, sunglasses, and advocating that the school switch to non fluorescent bulbs... )  This Gets BETTER!  These children grow up and develop better filters for sounds, lights and sensation.  They learn coping strategies and they desensitize to the constant barrage of lights and sounds in our world.  This Gets Better.

That lack of social connection, that awkwardness, aloofness, inappropriate (funny as heck but embarrassing too) commentary, that seeming inability to read social cues.. this too Gets Better. While our kids may not grow up to be the best diplomats (although they can!) they do learn and grow.  And society is learning to be more tolerant. Programs such as Michelle Garcia Winner's books/worksheets are being developed and even goof-ball mamas like me can use them to teach our kids.  It Gets Better.

The tantrums? The lack of emotion regulation? It Gets Better!  The dietary restrictions? That too Gets Better.The stims and hand flapping? This Gets Better! The echolia? It Gets Better.

Now, I am not saying that Not So Little Man is ever going to be 'not autistic'.  Nor am I telling you that these struggles will disappear entirely..  We are who we are (and quite frankly, I would cry if NSLM changed.  I love him, and I love his every quirk).  However, these traits lesson or the children grow to have better coping skills and strategies.  It will get better.

So on those rough days (nights) when you feel overwhelmed... Remember that you are NOT alone and it WILL Get Better.

Hugs and Laughter


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