It’s Going to Be Okay

My son, Oakley was diagnosed autistic just a couple of months shy of his third birthday.

I didn’t know much about autism then, but it seemed as though all of the stigma around it was negative. Like it was something to grieve about and grieving is what I should’ve been doing. I did for a short time.

Why me? I asked myself. Why my childI questioned.

Today I realize, I was thinking about it all wrong.

I should have been thinking, It’s going to be okay.

That one sentence would have made receiving a diagnosis so much easier had I just been more optimistic and determined versus scared and worried.

Do I still worry today? Absolutely. I worry about my son getting bullied, I worry about him being taken advantage of, and if the world will be kind to him. Do I worry about him being autistic? No, no I do not. He is going to be okay.

You see, autism is apart of my son and his neurology. It makes him who he is. It is apart of his personality and what makes him him.

Autism is not a disease. It is not a death sentence. Oakley is not ill.

He is healthy, he is happy, he is accepted, and he is loved beyond measure.

I’m often told I am too positive about autism. That my child isn’t severe like others. That he can talk.

I’m told autism isn’t sunshine and rainbows and in some situations, I can agree. Somde aspects of autism are very hard, especially when you can’t find a way to help your child. There’s co-morbid disorders like OCD and Epilepsy. My heart is with every family who has to take these conditions on- most of them with grace, optimism, patience, and love. Some of these families I admire very much.

No, my child isn’t severe, but lets not focus on labels. Just because my child is what a medical professional would consider a Level 1 on the DSM-5, doesn’t mean he doesn’t carry traits from Levels 2 and 3. My child’s struggles should not be overlooked because of his great strengths. I don’t speak of my child’s hardships often because I don’t see how it would benefit anyone. It certainly wouldn’t benefit him for me to share them. The obstacles he faces daily are intimate, private, and he is entitled to have his dignity. I will always respect and uphold that for him.

Back to the positivity.

What good would it do me to be negative about who my son is? What good what it do him?

I don’t want Oakley to see me sad about him being autistic. I don’t want him to think that autism is something bad. It’s not. It’s something that makes him different but that different isn’t wrong. In my eyes, his different is awe-filled, wondrous, exquisite, beautiful…

Today I write like our life is sunshine and rainbows, because quite frankly, it is. Amidst even the hard days and moments, Oakley brings all of the light and color into I and his daddy’s life and we couldn’t be more grateful. We certainly would not be the people we are today without all of the unique ways he has taught us to live life.

Oakley is adventurous, determined, brave, and has a love for life that you don’t see every day. He is our hero.

What I want for others to see when they hear me talk or write about autism, is what I wanted to see when my son was first diagnosed. I want them to see happy, hope, and that a life of having, raising, and loving an autistic person is going to be okay. In fact it will be more than okay.

It’s going to be everything wonderful you never could have imagined and more.

five year family

What Autism Means to Me

Five years ago, two months shy before my son’s third birthday, he was diagnosed autistic.

It’s a day forever etched into my memory. My husband and I had waited two weeks for the phone call to confirm what we already knew. Though, when I got the phone call, not much changed. I didn’t even flinch. I didn’t cry. Thoughts of the future I thought my son would have crossed my mind and then slipped away never to be grieved for.

I already knew my son was autistic. He had all the signs. Delay in speech, delay in fine and gross motor skills, trouble with transitioning, obsessions, food aversions, meltdowns, and stimming behaviors. I had accepted him and the diagnosis before it was put onto paper. I knew what I wanted autism to mean for my son and our family.

I wanted it to mean happy.

No matter how autism looked for our family. No matter the hardship and struggles, I’ve always been determined to make sure my son would be happy.

To me, autism is mysterious. It’s unpredictable in the sense that I don’t know what each day will bring for my child. I’m blind sighted by the heartbreaking moments and at the same time left in awe in the teachable moments that take my breath away.

To me, autism is wondrous. An awe-filled world one can’t begin to understand unless having been touched and loved by a person who is autistic. To love an autistic person is to be forever changed. My son has certainly changed me and he has changed me for the better.

To me, autism is hard. There are days I don’t know how to help my child. Days when it breaks my heart to see him struggle. But it is in these days, love and hope see me through and guide me to be of the upmost support for my son. His quiet when his world is loud. His calm when he can’t settle. His safe space in a world not made for him.

Autism is not typical.

It’s sleepless nights.

It’s the same meals and snacks eaten every day or multiple times a day.

It’s fascinations with certain objects.

It’s lining up items or stacking them on top of each other.

It’s bolting.

It’s not perceiving danger.

It can be self injurious.






Sounds we might not have ever heard, because only an autistic person can come up with them.

Autism is a different take on parenting.

Different approaches to discipline.

It’s routine and schedules.

It’s therapy appointments and fights for services and with insurance.

It’s IEP meetings.

You can see. It is anything but typical.

And to me, that isn’t such a bad thing. All of these not so typical things have taught me so much including, patience, strength, and hope.

Autism threw a curveball. Sure, it isn’t the life we imagined, but it is the life we never could have imagined in a million years. It’s a path of learning, loving, and getting to be taught by our own child(ren) which in itself, is a gift. It’s seeing life from a different angle and gaining a new perspective of what life is all about- like the stars, sun, and moon all being aligned and we can now make sense of the universe. It’s an epiphany. For me, at least, but I can attest to many parents who feel the same.

It’s a world where we know what it means when we say the small things are big things.

Saying a word or sentence.

Zipping a zipper.

Tying shoes.

Eating a new food.

Sleeping through the night.

Make a friend.

There’s so much more I could add to that list.

Yeah, things can be hard. Days will be hard and there will be some that are sad and heartbreaking, but never will there be a day where I will say that I would change my son.

I wouldn’t. I absolutely would not. Never.

Because in the midst of the struggles and the hard days, there are happy days, milestone days, progress days, days of celebration, days of laughter that makes my tummy hurt, days when I look at my son and think to myself, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

This is how it was meant to be. This is how HE was meant to be. He is happy, he is loved, and he is mine.


What is Perfect?

What is perfect?

Is it growing up in a house with a white picket fence?

Is it growing up in a well to do family?

Is it living a life with no pain, flaw, or sadness?

You could have all of that and still life wouldn’t be perfect.

Life is messy. It’s sad, it’s happy. There’s grief and pain.

But is the grief of losing someone the same as grief when receiving an autism diagnosis for your child?

No, in my opinion, I don’t believe it is. I have never grieved my living son. I have grieved close family members who have died.

Some would beg to differ on this subject. There are those who grieve the child they thought they would have. My child is living. He is healthy and he is happy. I’m not grieving a child that is alive.

Why as a society are we hung up on a perfect and normal life?

Why must our children be a certain way and when they’re born differently, that that is a cause to grieve? Why are we so quick to add a negative stigma to their differences instead of acknowledging that despite their differences, are still a worthy and perfect as they were born human being?

Before my son, Oakley, was born, before I even knew he was autistic, I would tell myself I will love this child no matter what. If he were to have special needs. If he were to come out as gay. If he didn’t want to get married or have children. I would love him and accept him. Was it hard in the days leading up to his diagnosis and after? Yes it was. It was an adjustment and a life we had to adapt to. It did not mean our life had ended. In fact, it had just begun and we had no idea the awe filled and breathtaking life we were about to embark on.

My life is far from normal. It isn’t perfect. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t blessed. My family is blessed beyond belief and we still aren’t perfect. It’s imperfectly perfect. If it hadn’t been for all of the imperfections and mistakes of our lives thus far, we wouldn’t have the blessings we have today.

One of those blessings is our son Oakley.

Oakley is seven years old. He is autistic. He is different from his peers. He didn’t develop typically.

And he is perfect in every way.


All I Want For Christmas

All I want for Christmas is autism acceptance.

That’s right. Acceptance for every autistic individual.

You’re probably thinking, that’s a lot to ask for and in a way it is. I know not everyone accepts autism. I know there are dark parts of the internet where people preach for cures. Books in libraries on cures and life threatening treatments. I’m not blind and I think it’s sickening. I don’t agree with these kind of people. Autism is neurological. It is as much part of a person as the air we breathe and the water we drink. There is no cure.

I want autism acceptance.

I want it for your child and for mine.

I want parents and caregivers to stop publicly humiliating their kids with their most intimate, private parts of their lives.

To quit downgrading and underestimating them.

To stop infantilizing them.

I want the complaining to stop about how one’s autistic child is the reason they (the parent) are so tired, depressed, and unhappy. The whole making your child feel like a burden is not okay.

I want the preaching for cures to cease.

I want autism to stop being referred to as a disease or sickness.

Even if for one day, which I will pray turns into every day, I just want all of the negative and ableist views to stop.

I want a world where I don’t have to worry about your autistic child and mine reading a book or blog about how horrible autism is to one person- that person being a parent or caregiver.

I want a world where they can hear and read about autism and think how beautiful and wonderfully made they are.

That just because they are different, doesn’t make them less.

I want a world where there is respect, kindness, and love for autistic individuals.

A world where they are safe and not probed and researched for cures.

A world where they can just be.

I want a world where awareness doesn’t cost an autistic person their dignity, but instead opens people’s eyes as to how life with an autistic child/adult can be happy.

How it is possible given the right tools and support, life can be good.

How when you presume competence and don’t set limits on your child, they will accomplish so much.

How if you allow yourself to completely and unconditionally accept and love an autistic person- whether it’s your own child, a family member, or another person’s loved one, you will be changed forever. And for the better.

For Christmas, I want autism acceptance.

I understand in order for that to happen, there needs to be awareness, but awareness is so much more than speaking of how autism is hard for the parent. It’s hard for the child or adult who is autistic. We need to make it more about them than us with an emphasis on their strengths. We need to bring awareness by instilling into parents of newly diagnosed children that it’s going to be okay, to not lose hope, keep finding the joy, and know that they will love their child no matter what. Their child is perfect as they were born and don’t need changed.

To bring acceptance, we need to continue to spread awareness with the upmost respect to autistic individuals.

It’s a paradigm shift. It isn’t the popular one, but it is the right one and every day it is shifting more and more. A shift I’m proud to be apart of and proud to know and surround myself with others who are like minded.

And maybe, just maybe one day, we will ask ourselves why it was ever done any other way.

That is the day I hope I am still alive to see. That is the day I dream about, hope for, grasp for..

It’s what your kid and my kid deserves.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

From my family to yours.


When I Stick Up For a Person Who Is Autistic

I see a lot in the world of blogging. Those who blog about autism is just a small corner of the world wide web and even there, I see a lot.

I see the autistic adult self advocates. The ones we should all be listening to. The ones who get it and knew what it was like to be autistic as a child. I find their knowledge and insight to be most helpful for me with my son- who will one day be an autistic adult. Their message is the one I want to respect and help spread for others to learn and understand.

I see the woe is me mommy bloggers. The ones who speak of nothing but the hard aspects of autism- which to an extent is okay if they’re doing it respectively. A lot of them don’t do it respectively. They infantilize their child, share intimate private details of their child’s continence, or speak of them in a less than human way.

I see the positive moms. Some of these moms have children who are at a Level 1 of the DSM5 Module and some of them have children who are at a Level 2 or 3. These positive moms speak of the hardships and the triumphs and do it all with grace, respect, and regard to their child’s dignity. They set the example of a much needed paradigm shift in how autism should be viewed and talked about.

You can clearly see there is a division in the autism blogging community, but it’s a division that is much needed.

I’m one of the positive moms. My son is seven years old and he was diagnosed as “moderately” autistic two months shy before his third birthday. There wasn’t a DSM5 module at the time, but if there were, I probably would have been told he was at a Level 2 with traits from Level 3. Today,  I would be told he is at a Level 1. The term “moderate” that he was labeled as did not define him. He has progressed and prospered in so many ways because he worked hard, because he was believed in, and was given the right tools and supports to thrive.

I’m one of the positive moms. What does this mean? It means I speak with hope. It means I choose joy.  It means I choose to not focus on the hard and see the good in every day. I speak about my child with respect and I don’t expose the most vulnerable and intimate moments of his life. I don’t infantilize him.

Do you want to know what happens when I speak against those who don’t respect their autistic child/adult child and/or autistic individuals as a whole?

I get called fake.

I get told I’m not being real.

I’m called names like “mean girl” and “mommy shamer”.

I’m accused of not understanding severe autism because I don’t have a child who is severely affected.

People tell me I spew “bullshit”.

Bullshit… because I stick up for autistic individuals?


These comments come from parents with autistic children. The same people who preach they want to learn and grow. Who claim they want to listen to autistic adults and respect their views.

Then they make a comment about how they talk to their six year old child like a toddler because their child couldn’t possibly understand otherwise.

Now that is bullshit.

Not only is that infantilizing, it’s demeaning, and it’s offensive to the autistic person. No matter their age. I promise you, they understand.

I think sometimes parents think because their child can’t verbalize words that they must not understand or be smart enough to comprehend what’s being said to them.

That simply isn’t true. Their verbal abilities do not define their intelligence. Read that again.

Their verbal abilities do not define their intelligence.

Don’t assume that it does. They know more than you think and give them credit for.

Presume competence.

Presume they are listening and they understand for one day, it may come to light that they knew all along how they were being thought of and spoken to.

What will you be saying then?



I’m Thankful God Chose to Give Me An Autistic Child

This Thanksgiving is bringing all kinds of feels for me. My son is seven years old and was diagnosed on the autism spectrum just a couple of months shy of his third birthday. The older he gets, the more bittersweet everything gets. The milestones, the memories of every day life, his growing independence, and his personality.

Time flies so fast when you’re loving every second of life, autism and all.

Yes, autism and all.

I love that my son is autistic. Sure, I don’t love things like the co-morbid condition of anxiety that can plague and consume his days. I do my best to ease that from him and make him as comfortable as possible. I don’t like anxiety- neither does he- but I love that he is autistic.

Autism makes my son who he is. Without it, he would be a totally different person. He wouldn’t carry all of the unique quirks and traits that make him him.

I’m thankful God chose to give me an autistic child.

I’m thankful that I get to see the world through a different lens every day. The lens my child grants me to see through and be in awe of.

I’m thankful that my autistic child has taught me to have a gentle heart. To understand that everyone is different and not all disabilities are physically visible.

I’m thankful that he’s taught me that simple is beautiful, and sometimes, better.

I’m thankful I now know what it means when I hear “The small things are big things”. It’s true and they are.

I’m thankful for this not so typical life. It’s different, but it isn’t wrong.

I’m thankful God chose to give me an autistic child.

Someone who teaches me about the world.

Someone to be my tour guide through this thing called life.

Someone to make me crazy about how picky and perfect he is about his food.

Someone who makes my heart jump out of my chest when he accomplishes something new, on his own time and in his own way.

Someone who I am in awe of every single day for the way his mind works.

Some who fills the house with the sounds of his stims, for without them, it would be too quiet.

I’m thankful God chose to give me an autistic child.

Because I’m a better person.

Because while some days can be hard, the days of joy are magnified because of the hard.

Because I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

Because I get to love and be a mama to the greatest kid on Earth. A kid who is loving, kind, smart, funny, outgoing, brave, courageous, and fearless.

Thank you, God.A_DSC_5894.jpg


What They Meant When They Told Me “It Could Be Worse”

It took me a long time to understand many things people have told me over the years and since my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Of all the things said to me, only one has stuck with me the most.

“It could be worse”.

I once wanted to bite the head off of anyone who told me this. Now, I embrace it and say it to myself daily whenever I complain about small things like the dishes not being done or not getting enough sleep.

My son being diagnosed autistic is one of the most significant times in my life. Everything was going to change. It meant that my son was going to lead a different life from his peers. It meant figuring out a world I knew nothing about.

It was scary at the time.

I remember being told a hundred times or more, “It could be worse”.

WHY did everyone say this to me? What did they know that I didn’t?

I was ignorant and naive. I didn’t know what they meant or what they were trying to tell me.

Then it hit me one day. It could be worse.

I think people tend to think that when somebody tells them “It could be worse”, their immediate reaction is to think that person is dismissing their pain or struggle.
That simply isn’t true. No one is telling you not to feel pain. Nobody is telling you not to feel. Maybe they just want you to count your blessings. Maybe that person didn’t know how to say it any other way, but when you stop to think about the bigger picture, you DO realize that it could be worse.

Let me put this into perspective.

Your child is diagnosed autistic. At first, it is scary not knowing what to expect. The life you envisoned is now turned upside down. There’s a part of you that is now scared for the future and what life will be like for your child when they’re older and you’re no longer alive.

These are all valid fears. Read that again.

Now I’m going to say what you probably don’t want to hear.

It could be worse.

Your child is alive. They are healthy. The life you envisioned for them will now be different, but it won’t be wrong. It can still be a good life full of joy. You will always be scared for the future and for when you are no longer here. That’s never going to go away. But what you can do is prepare and have peace of mind knowing you’ve done everything to control that aspect of this life.

It could be worse.

It’s autism.

You could be fighting life or death.

There are parents out there who have children battling cancer. Who are battling diseases like cyctic fibrosis and congenital heart defects.

This is what those people mean when they tell you “It could be worse”.

There are children with various disabilities in other countries who don’t have access to services, who are fleeing war and genocide.

This is what those people mean when they tell you, “It could be worse.”

There are children with various disabilities who right here in the United States, are homeless, hungry, and in poverty. Whose parents can’t find the means to provide and get the help they desperately need for whatever reason that is out of their control.

This is what those people mean when they tell you, “It could be worse.”

It was an epiphany when I put these things into perspective. To realize that I’m indeed so blessed. My family has a roof over their head, a place to lay their head down at night where we are safe. There is food in our fridge that is powered by electricity to keep the food cold. That same electricity is keeping our house warm in the winter and cool during the summer. We have working vehicles, health insurance, a retirement account, and cell phones that connect to the internet. I’m typing on a laptop. I am free in my country. The best part is, my child is healthy. He is receiving services, he goes to school, and he is happy. He is safe. He is deeply loved and cared for by all that surround him.

You guys, it could be worse.

We could not have any of these things.

At any moment, we could be struck with bad luck and in the blink of an eye, this could all change.

I don’t take any of it for granted.

This is what they wanted me to see when they told me, “It could be worse”.

I get it now.



How I Manage Self Care

Our doctors tell us self care is important. We hear it from our spouses, family members, and friends, but do they ever really get it? Do they ever really understand what it takes to get self care, especially when you have a child who is autistic or has special needs?

In my opinion, yes they do, because they need self care, too. If they’re not raising a child with special needs, it may be hard for them to understand that aspect, but still, nonetheless, we ALL need to take time to practice self care.

I don’t claim to know the key to a successful self care routine. I’m a hot mess most days, but I like to think of myself as an organized hot mess. I have lists, routines, alarms and reminders going off on my phone, and a plethora of things to do from  housework to going to actual work to taking my child to his therapy appointments, running errands, etc.  I thought I would tell you all a little bit of how I manage self care on my end. No, it’s not easy, but you have to do it!

  1. The very first point I’m going to speak on is sleep. Sleep is so, so important and if you have a child who is autistic, this may not be an easy thing to do. I know I really struggled with it for the longest time, but there came a time I had to suck it up and sleep when he slept and take naps when my husband or family could watch my son. Instead of catching up on house stuff or binge watching Netflix, I slept. Once my kiddo started school, that was a game changer because I could sleep during the day and still have time to run errands and get things done around the house. I know sleep isn’t easy for everyone to get. I understand your kids may not be in school yet or you may be a single parent or don’t have family to babysit. I know it’s hard, and my best advice would be just to sleep when your child sleeps. You hear that when your kids are newborns. You don’t think you’ll still be hearing it when you child is 3,4,5,6 years old or older, but I’m telling you, you got to do it.

2. Do something for you at least once a week. This can be anything. Like sleep. No, really, sleep, go for a walk, watch a half hour of your favorite show, paint your nails, go to the salon, call a friend on the phone, sit outside. ANYTHING big or little. I like to write, walk my dog, watch This Is Us, and message my friends back and forth on FB Messenger. We laugh a lot. Laughing is so good for the soul- make sure you are getting enough of it in life. I sit on my patio, I listen to music LOUD, or go for a drive. These things add up. Even if you’re with your kid or someone else, it truly helps. You have to have things for yourself to be happy. If you don’t do them, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. Your self care is your responsibility and nobody else’s.

3. Exercise. I can’t believe I’m giving advice about this subject considering I rarely exercise myself, but it is important. Exercise literally brings out the happy chemicals in our brains and makes us feel better. Maybe not while were doing it, but afterwards it does. I walk. That’s it. Outside in the fresh air with my dog. It’s good cardio and not only is it exercise, it is a form of doing something for ME! I love being outside and I love my dog. It’s a win-win.

4. This is the last of my points and probably one of the most important along with sleep. It is critical you eat right. Now, I’m no skinny Minnie by any means. In fact, I’m actually a little overweight, but I still do my best to eat good because it is important I live a long life to be able to care for my child. I need to maintain low cholesterol and not have a heart attack or stroke and unfortunately, the statistic for Americans having those two things in their lifetime is significant. So pay attention to what you feed your body. Eat your vegetables. Opt for a salad over a hamburger. Have a smoothie. Make good food choices so when the weekend comes, you can have that donut or fried chicken. Making good food choices has been the hardest aspect of self care for me because I love my carbs and sugary treats, but day by day I’m getting better and better at managing a healthy diet. I have more vegetables and fruit in my fridge than I ever have and I’m determined to keep it that way.

Self care is hard. It isn’t easy when we put so much before ourselves, but ask yourself, if it is so easy to promise your all to others, then why not yourself? It’s okay to put yourself first. There is no shame in that.


I Wasn’t Always Positive

A friend reminded me today that there was a time when we use to speak in a way that wasn’t so hopeful. In the beginning when autism was new and we were learning how to speak about it and view this new world. She got me thinking. I wasn’t always this positive.

It’s true.

When Oakley was diagnosed, I was a first time mom and had no idea what I was doing. I was tired, overwhelmed, and dealt with post partum depression pretty significantly. Throw autism in the mix and I was lost. I wanted people to understand, to help, and to offer their support and acceptance for my child. I wasn’t getting it from any but a few close family members and the thought of those who didn’t try made me unappreciative of those who did and bitter towards the ones who didn’t. I think a portion of my content in the beginning expressed this wrath and it wasn’t right. It was a mistake I’m embarrassed to admit today, but I learned and I promised myself to never let myself go that far off the edge ever again. That time in my life changed me and made me who I am today.

Today, I am strong. I am happy, positive, and full of good vibes. Or at least I try to be. That is the message I preach today and one I don’t ever plan on changing. Having a public Facebook page and blog has made me prone to other’s criticism about who I am. Some think because I’m so positive about autism and life, that I’ve never gone through anything hard so I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to be caught up in the feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and sadness or any tough emotion that comes with raising a child with special needs.


I’ve felt every single one of those emotions and I felt them deeply. Some I still feel. And not just because of autism, but because of every day hard things that life throws. I’ve experienced trauma, depression, anxiety… you name it. I shouldn’t have to justify my positivity with my hardships just so people can understand why I am the way I am. I guess that’s the world we live in.

You know what I also felt? Control and determination. I developed a drive to control my emotions, my mental health, and my life. When I carried onto the depression, anxiety, anger, and sadness, my body took a toll. I gained weight, I was fatigued, I slept all the time, never ate good, or exercised. I was a pity party and for me, it wasn’t okay. I was better than that.

A friend told once told me, “You have to heal your brain to heal your body”. I’ve never heard such truer words. My mind set had to get better to want to take care the rest of myself and starting with my brain had to be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. So here’s what I did.

  1. I let go.

All of that anger and bitterness I had towards people- I let it go. I was done asking for help. Done trying to get people apart of my son’s life to understand him. It was easier than I thought it would be and years later, I’m thankful I did what I did. Sometimes, you just have to let go of people who don’t make you feel good. This doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t mean those people were bad people. It just means you weren’t meant to have a meaningful relationship. And that’s okay.

2.  I stopped feeling sorry for myself

No one and I mean no one but yourself is going to pull yourself up. You have to do it for yourself first and then for your kid(s). Your mindset is your responsibility and no one else’s. Nobody is responsible to give you validation. You own your own validation of who you are. That’s where your control lies. Use it.

3.  I surrounded myself with the people and things that make me happy

Once I had cut the negativity from my life, it was so easy to see the blessings I was surrounded by. The people I wanted to be around, the joy I wanted to have, and the mindset I wanted to lead. Autism, depression, and anxiety were never my enemies. I was. I was the only thing in the way of living the life I wanted to live. If you want something, act on it. Don’t wait for someone to save you. Save yourself.

One day, the fog cleared. I knew who I was. I found my place in this world. My message about autism has nothing to do with my mental health and my writing needed to shift from that. This was about Oakley. This was about his struggles, his life, his triumphs, and the ever so awe-filled beauty that he brings to this world and to his daddy and I’s life.

My perspective changed. My writing changed. Not everyone supported it, but that didn’t matter to me. What mattered to me was I was creating an environment that was hopeful, positive, and respectful to my son and all autistic individuals.

My hope is that when someone comes across my page, they will see that and it will help them shape their perspective.

Because that is exactly who I needed when this journey began for me.



I am a Happy Mom to an Autistic Child and that is OK.

I am a happy mom to an autistic child and that is OK.

My son is eight years old. He was diagnosed on the autism spectrum two months shy before his third birthday. I’ve been through a wave of emotions since then, but I’ve always remained positive, accepting, and happy. It’s just in my nature of who I am.

This doesn’t mean everyone feels this way about their child’s diagnosis. Autism is hard, heartbreaking, and some days exhausting. No one wants to see their child struggle or hurt. I get that because I wouldn’t either. I in no way fault or condemn anyone who says this is hard. It is.

Acceptance is a process. There may be many stages you go through before accepting autism means a different life for your child. Angry, sad, or bitter. Some might say they even grieve. Whichever one you feel, I hope that in time you will find support, hope, and positivity. You would be amazed at what those three things can do for you mind set. Most importantly, when you have those things, your outlook may change, and you may begin to find that joy and positivity go a long ways on this journey. I know I have.

Some haven’t always enjoyed my positivity on autism. I think people question me a lot as to how I can be so happy when my child struggles in areas of speech, anxiety, eating, and sleep. The truth is, I do get sad about those things. Like I said before, I don’t want to see my child struggle. But, I can’t wallow in that sadness. I don’t want to. I don’t want to grieve because my child is living. He is here, alive, and he is healthy and happy. Once when he was two years old, he had two febrile seizures. They lasted minutes, but felt like hours. He was hospitalized for almost a week undergoing many tests and observation. It was the worst week of my life. I had a glimpse of what life might be like if my child weren’t here. While Oakley hadn’t been diagnosed yet at that time, that was it for me. Anything that came following those seizures has been nothing compared to what those were. Autism isn’t cancer. It isn’t a disease I’m fighting against. It’s a neurological condition that makes my child think, feel, and see differently. That is beautiful to me.

Like I said before, acceptance is a process. I don’t expect everyone to be where I’m at on this journey. What I do preach is respect for all autistic children and adults. That as we the parents maneuver our emotions, we think about our children and how they might feel with our words and feelings towards autism which is something that is apart of them. Your words, actions, advocacy- it all matters on how our kids are going to look at themselves. Their dignity, confidence, and happiness is the most important thing and believe it or not, that is all going to develop based on how we choose to see them and autism.

So, feel what you need to feel. It’s okay. Just don’t get stuck there. Find support, find your tribe, find the joy, and find the happy. It’s okay to be a happy parent to an autistic child. It doesn’t have to be sad. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.