It never seems to end. Just when I think we can blend in with the rest of the world. There is always someone to remind us of autism. Recently, I went through two rough experiences with Sydney. Where I needed to advocate with grace.
I think we shocked the world when we showed up for the informational meeting for Peter Pan Jr. It was a celebration for us to just go out on a school night. Sydney also has a chorus concert in two weeks in the evening. I am mad at myself for letting others instill doubt in me about Sydney being able to participate.
I’m so tired of hearing. “I don’t know if this is the right thing for her.” “I don’t know how we can make this work.” Well guess what. Every day of my life is I don’t know.
I don’t know if she will have a seizure today. I don’t know if she will need a sensory break. I don’t know if she had a friend interact with her at school. I don’t know if she was bullied or made fun of. I don’t know if my ex husband will show up on my front door. I don’t know.
Will I let her audition next week? She knows the songs. She doesn’t want to be Peter Pan or Wendy. Should she perform in the evening concert? She performed on stage before in fifth grade, front and center. I don’t want her given a part in the play because of pity. Do I just count my blessings for all of the wonderful progress that she has achieved in one year? Is this worth fighting?
Wednesday evening our family was recognized at the University of Delaware. A group of seniors were studying inclusion and how it has impacted Sydney. Watching their slide show presentation and listening to our family interview was a powerful moment. I was staring at the screen thinking who is that woman speaking? She appears so calm, yet energized. It wasn’t until I was asked to speak. That I felt a lump in my throat.
As I stood before a room of students and educators. They began to ask me questions and I was in my element. I was using this opportunity to share my platform for autism awareness and inclusion. It was in that moment that I felt a tug in my spirit. One that I just can’t explain. God gave me the words to speak. And now I ask God to guide me and give me wisdom. Tell me which battles to fight and which ones I should walk away from.
It never ends.