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33 Signs You’re an Autism Parent

The other day I had a conversation with another autism mom. Notice I had a conversation. A real life conversation! (If you’re an autism parent, you understand the beauty of that sentence.) You know what was nice about the chat? We both got it. We understood what craziness the other one mentioned, and it was ok.

These are some signs you, too, might be an autism parent:

  • You rarely get to have a complete conversation with anyone.
  • You have a challenge finding child care.
  • You can understand someone else’s non-verbal child.
  • Your child walks into walls.
  • You can’t have nice things in your home.
  • You turn on the child lock in the back seat door so your child can’t escape the car.
  • Your child has four or five of the same shirt.
  • You can’t understand someone else’s non-verbal child, but you try.
  • Your child falls apart when a drop of water gets on his clothing.
  • You’ve carried your screaming child away from a public place and hoped no one called the police.
  • Your 3 year-old watches history cartoons instead of Sesame Street.
  • Your child speaks in the language of favorite movies, tv shows, and commercials to express himself.
  • You don’t go all-out for holidays because it’s too much for your child.
  • Your child cannot tell you what he’s thinking.
  • You can’t sing “Happy Birthday” to your child.
  • Your child’s cake doesn’t have frosting on it.
  • Your child plays alone next to a group of children.
  • You don’t remember your former self.
  • Your child floods the bathroom because he doesn’t realize he should do something about the water rising in the tub during his shower.
  • Your child buries himself in ten blankets or under couch cushions.
  • You drive yourself and your family/friends crazy with research.
  • Your child yells at someone else for humming quietly yet makes lots of sound effects.
  • You feel like you’re missing something.
  • You don’t know how to help your child.
  • Before going somewhere, you think through as many possible scenarios as possible and try to plan for each possibility, packing everything you’ll need and more.
  • You can’t hug your child.
  • You hope the neighbors don’t call CPS because of your child’s screams during a meltdown.
  • You use your bag of tricks to help another spectrum child calm down.
  • You’re less judgmental of screaming children. You know there may be a reason besides a tantrum.
  • Your child sleeps in a under-the-bed storage box (not under the bed, of course).
  • You feel badly around other autism parents because your child was never non verbal.
  • You’re thankful for other non-autism parents who get your child.
  • You keep going, doing the best for your child and loving her.

Autism parent, what would you add to my list? Leave a comment!

You might also like my post “27 Secrets Special Needs Parents Don’t Tell You“.

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Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman wants to live in a world where dark chocolate dispensers reside on every corner.

As a homeschooling special needs mom, she’s been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine, Wit and Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids: Mostly True Stories of Life on the Spectrum, and various blogs.

If she survives the onslaught of testosterone in her home, she may take a moment to blog, read a book, try a new recipe, or loom knit a gift.

You can find Jenny’s book The Power of One: Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “33 Signs You’re an Autism Parent

  1. You find immense pleasure in the smallest of milestones your child makes. Milestones that most parents of neurotically children wouldn’t even acknowledge it notice.

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