What Autism Taught Me

I usually start my autism success stories with, I never would have thought…..

This past weekend isn’t any different after attending Reach the Beach Cheerleading Competition in Ocean City, Maryland.

Sydney has never really been involved in an extra curricular activity. If we tried activities in the past she would go once and it would be too overwhelming and we never went back.

Cheerabilities was different. Was it the peer coaches, the other athletes, the coaches or the parents? I honestly can’t pinpoint it but God knows my heart.

Each Sunday Syd looked forward to cheer practice and proudly tells people that she’s a cheerleader and names her friends on her team.

For an autism mom, this is a victory and when I think about it I am overcome with emotion. From day one of practice to yesterday’s performance the girls really improved and gave it their all. Earning second place in their first ever Nationals Competition is amazing.

I noticed many things about my family this weekend. We definitely stepped out of our comfort zone to attend the competition, in the past I would have given a thousand reasons on why we couldn’t attend. Next, Harrison was amazing as always, supporting his sister and the team.

Harrison and Sydney were so appreciative of our mini vacation. I felt bad because I didn’t do anything “fun” with them, but they had the time of their lives.

I saw Sydney sharing her Starbursts with a friend, she came out on stage waving and smiling, she went off with her coaches without any hesitation, and she performed with all her heart.

She kept saying that this was amazing and awesome the entire weekend. That made our little adventure worth it. It was such a blessing to see the crowd support the other Cheerabilities teams too.

Sydney has autism and it’s not a death sentence it’s a love story. Does she still carry a little blue smurf in her pocket? Does she still love Disney Princesses? Well, I carry Holy Water around with me, so go figure.

Our family made friends this weekend, and we made memories that we will hold in our hearts forever.



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