When you stand outside my window and look in what do you see? Do you see a family sitting down to dinner with their two and a half-year old still in a high chair? Do you see a family sitting at the table for dinner and their son has headphones on and his iPad next to him? When you look through our windows what do you see? The view from the outside isn’t all that different from what any other family. We sit at the table and eat our meals together, we help our kids with whatever task they are working on at the moment. We sit down to watch movies at night for a family fun night. When you look at our family from the outside you will never see the struggles we manage.
From the inside however our world may seem out of control. We have a two and a half-year old that has to sit in her high chair during meals, a five-year old that doesn’t wear clothes. You will see a mom that makes more than one dinner because the chicken felt funny in her child’s mouth today but the chicken nuggets we have to have for lunch were perfectly okay. You may see a five-year old little boy who talks up a storm, but can tell you why he is angry so he growls at you. Or he hisses when he is upset and frustrated with the things in environment. You may hear a two and a half-year old screaming and throwing herself on the ground when she can’t figure something out, because she can’t ask for help.
If you step into our world, you may think we cater to our kids and they are spoiled. You may think that they are behaving poorly or throwing a tantrum to get their way. You may feel that I should discipline my son when he is hitting, punching, kicking, or biting me. You may even wonder why the younger two of my kids will screech and scream at random times or get so close to your face that you are uncomfortable beyond measure.
When you step inside my house, you may see a mom who covers hears when the noises are too loud or the white noise and feedback from speakers feel like nails on a chalkboard. You may find a mom who is tapping her fingers while she searches for the words to explain something she is feeling. Or a mom who no matter how much she loves her three kids, just can’t take that hug right now. It isn’t a cold-hearted mom, it is a mom who is doing her best to handle the sensory input around her.
If you step into our home, you will experience how our family is faced with the struggles of autism, bipolar disorder, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. Our home, while it seems crazy, is quite normal for us. Our autism is different from other family’s Autism. It is ours and theirs is theirs. We all understand the struggles that this journey brings and we can take comfort in one another’s journeys, but each is different.
When you step inside our home, please remember the family you watched from the window is still the family inside that home. We are perfect in our unique and quirky ways.
Welcome to inside our home!