Remember my presentation debut? That happened in April 2012. One month after that, I presented again; this time for the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC). So many people were inspired by my story—some even cried, and of course everyone laughed when I told jokes. However, my mom got some interesting feedback afterwards. Some of the parents with special-needs kids ended up feeling overwhelmed and even a bit discouraged by my story—which is not at all our intention—and my mom quickly realized why.
Hearing about all those years of therapy—and hearing that my mom did most of it on her own—made them question their own process. BUT—my presentation covers fifteen years-worth of growth and progress. When that’s compressed into the short span of 30 minutes, it can seem overwhelming. That’s understandable. Plus, my mom has a passion for teaching and solving problems; her mind and personality were right for becoming my primary therapist. Lucky for me. Not everyone’s parents can do that. Besides that, my mom has this certain belief about us having “chosen” one another for this lifetime of growth and learning.
Some other things that have really helped with my situation—for dealing with autism—is that I don’t have any siblings and so mom can focus all her energy on me and not get distracted. Also, it’s important to note that my mom has always had the support she’s needed to stay at home with me; not everyone can manage that. Of course, being a “stay-at-home-mom” also means that she chose to give up most of her career aspirations. At the same time though, this choice has allowed her to refrain from paying other people to do therapy with me for years on end because she’s been the one doing the therapy work. Besides, my mom says I’ve made her grow into a better person, and she’s satisfied with her choice even though it’s been hard to give up having a career and the extra income. Amongst other things, my mom is thrifty and frugal, and knows how to make the most of what she has—she’s an extremely hardworking person.
“A well-tended garden will flourish.” –Malva