This list isn't meant to inspire fear but in the interest of keeping things real for you guys, I thought I would organize my thoughts into a list. These are the things that are keeping me up at night.
You might have your own list. Feel free to share.
1. What if she doesn't know how much we adore her?
2. People don't always see her the way we do.
3. What if I did something wrong when I was pregnant?
4. What if I am doing it all wrong, now?
5. I can't stop comparing.
6. Sometimes, I don't understand what she wants, means, says, needs.
7. When will her sister realize that she is the only one that will be there for Kate's whole life?
8. Paying out of pocket to supplement what therapies are available is breaking us and we wouldn't have it any other way.
9. No one knows what the future will hold for our children. Will she drive? Will she live independently?
10. Children with autism are at a higher risk of being sexually abused.
11. There is a shit-load of fighting within the autism community.
12. 1 % of the world's population has autism.
13. Explaining autism to someone who doesn't have autism in their life is like explaining parenting to someone before they give birth. They think they know...
14. Autism sometimes looks like permissive parenting and bad behavior.
15. People can be mean. These kids gets bullied everyday. The most common and most easily hidden form of bullying is exclusion. She will be excluded.
16. Services blow. Just because they are better than they were DOES NOT mean they are at an acceptable level. Adults on the spectrum receive less support than anyone.
17. She trusts everyone. And, I mean everyone. Nice lady pushing a small child in a stroller; Kate wants to be friends. TSA agent shaking us down at the airport; Kate wants to be friends. Super creepy, murdery, stabby guy reading Swank in the back of the book store ; Kate wants to be friends. This pathological trust of everyone seems ideal but it's the number one scariest part of this ride.
I'll counter this with a list of things I love about Autism soon. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the good stuff.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)