“Sydney doesn’t have that kind of autism like my nephew.” What kind of autism is this?” “Well, we’re originally from Detroit, Michigan and ain’t no party like a Detroit party because a Detroit party don’t stop.”
Yes, someone actually made that comment to me and yes that’s how I responded because advocating and spreading awareness is always needed, along with a little humor before I lose my shit!
When Sydney was first diagnosed we never left the house without wearing a puzzle piece shirt, light it up blue, or Special Olympics shirts. I figured if we were wearing our autism gear that would cut out the middle man, and I wouldn’t have to explain a meltdown, sensory overload or even autism. Sometimes it worked but often times not.
I decided to tell Sydney she has autism. I think she already knew because everything in our lives revolves around autism. The events we went to, the people we associated with were all our autism family. I didn’t feel comfortable making friends with people with typical children. At first, I isolated our family because of my fears, insecurities and depression.
When I talked to Sydney about her autism she smiled and she mentioned the Autism Walk. She mentioned Sydney’s Super Squad, our walk team and our village that support us each year. Now that she is in high school she knows it’s harder for her, but she doesn’t give up. I don’t think she’s trying to “fit in”. I think she wants people to acknowledge her, and treat her like a teenager.
This shirt she’s wearing is perfect. She kept repeating this mantra and I agree with her 100%. Anything is possible for Sydney if we believe and have faith. I watched her brushing her hair in the mirror and heard her proudly say “Look at this Autism!” She had the biggest smile on her face. She posed in the mirror like Naomi Campbell in a photo shoot and then we had a dance party.
I thought to myself look at this autism. My once nonverbal daughter is now 14 years old. She’s proven people wrong about what she can accomplish. She also has so much to share with others if given a chance.
I’m grateful for the little things, if you know Syd the fact that’s she wearing a T-shirt and leggings is a miracle, because she always has a dress on.
Sydney’s on a cheerabilities squad and I still can’t blog about what this has meant for her because I can’t stop crying while typing.
I asked Syd what she wants people to know about her. It took some promoting for her to answer. When she did it was great to see what she loves about herself.
Sydney is here to tell the world look at this autism! I’m no different from anyone else. I’m important, I’m valuable, I’m successful and smart. I’m beautiful, I love working with flowers, clay and art. Cheerleading is fun, and I have a boyfriend(that’s a blog by itself).
Sydney has a voice and a story to tell and I can’t wait for her to share it with the world.
An Autism Mom Coach