+This month marks 11 years since my daughter's diagnosis of autism. She is now 13. I love my daughter dearly and believe, on most days, I have come to terms with her diagnosis. I have accepted who she is and have accepted that life for her (and us) will never be the "ideal." But, I have to be honest with you... that doesn't mean there aren't still days when I wish things could have been different.
One thing I have come to realize, however, is that many other parents have similar feelings regarding their own “typical” children from time to time. As parents, we ALL have hopes and dreams for our children. And, when those dreams don't become a reality, it is sometimes hard to accept.
For me, it is extremely difficult when I see other girls my daughter’s age doing the things a typical 13 year old would do. I wish she could relate to other girls in a way that would bring her invitations to participate in their social gatherings. For other parents, they may wish their child could be great in sports, just like “dad” was; or, be an excellent student; or, be the social butterfly that mom is. Maybe some are frustrated that their child is involved with something that is not the "norm" for their family. Or, maybe they are dealing with a disability that limits their involvement in the things their family loves to do. There are many scenarios of how us parents wish our children could be different. And, there are many times we feel guilty for thinking this way.
One thing to remember, when those feelings of sadness or disappointment show up, is the importance of not dwelling on them. Dwelling on the negative only brings discontent and depression. What I have been trying to do is acknowledge my feelings are real and that I don't have to pretend they aren't there. Then, pray and express my feelings to God, because He is always there to listen. But, don't dwell on them. After acknowledging your feelings and expressing them to God, give them up and begin thinking about the positive things - the blessings God has given you. You may be surprised at how many things you can think of! Above all else, TRUST in the Lord, and KNOW that He will never leave you or forsake you.
In spite of any difficulties my husband and I face, I love my children dearly. They mean so much to me and are truly blessings from the Lord.
LOVE your children today, truly love them... for who they are, not for who you wish they could be.