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H.O.P.E: Helping Others from People’s Experiences

I have pondered on this piece a countless times, It’s good to finally put it in writing.๐Ÿ˜

Back in 2016 when my son received his autism diagnosis at the age of 2, as painful as that experience was for me and my immediate family, as a Nigerian mom my primary concern was “what would people think”๐Ÿ™ˆ. 
My immediate instinct was to keep the information within the family. The fear of the label “autistic child”, the stigma and shame attached to the disorder plagued me for a while. I went from denial to playing the victim, I let the fear of the unknown rule my decisions.

In hindsight, I should have handled it differently. Denial, self-pity and playing the victim will not get your child the resources that they need to thrive in their condition (believe me, I tried all three๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚). My fear of Autism stemmed from ignorance. The portrayal of autistic children in movies was the only insight I had prior to my son’s diagnosis. Since then, I have found comfort in learning from others in the same journey. 

Most importantly, I’m glad God’s grace found me, I have found the peace that let me know that I have overcome my troubles. According to John 16:33, “in this world we will have troubles, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. Autism impairs the ability to socialize and communicate, big troubles but not bigger than the name of Jesus, so I know that God has overcome them. My son’s identity is in God’s promise that he has hope and a future(Jeremiah 29:11).

Autism is a “challenge and not an identity”. I will liken it to a physical impairment, a blind person can’t see but that’s not all there is to them. It’s just their vision that is impaired but with proper care and the right resources, there is an endless list of opportunities that await any child facing such impairment in life.  

To my fellow Super Autism Moms, while we wait on the promise of the lord, remain proactive. Find out all the resources available in your area to support your child’s needs. And for others, don’t trivialize what you don’t know, show love and please accommodate. 

Always ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’• on my mind,
Tejuola

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