We Got This

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“Happy Mudder’s Day!”

Declan drew me the best picture for Mother’s Day.  A picture of him and I holding hands (with a line connecting our hands).


We have faces, we have legs, arms, hands.  I am bigger and have bigger hands.  And he used different colors – all the things I had never thought to look for in my other kid’s drawings and took for granted,  I see he is learning now.

I love the drawing AND that he can tell me about it!

“I drew a picture of you and me.  I like holding hands.”

It all makes me so happy!  I LOVE this picture for all that is there, and all it means.

I have spent a lot of time looking at it, and allowed it to spark my emotions and the journey we have taken together, so far.

One of my favorite pictures about autism:



The picture really sums up autism for me, very well!

On an internet search this week, I saw a different picture that had a mother and daughter and all the things that were said to them on their special needs journey.

So I looked back at the picture I love so much, made a copy and sent my mind adrift.

Our Autism Journey

Before Declan was 2, I never thought about autism much.  I was a typical mom with typical kids.  Then one day I wasn’t.  And then Catelyn was diagnosed and I really wasn’t.

Instead I was on this island, all alone, in a world I knew nothing about.

We went from a typical family to a special needs family.  We had to learn about this thing called autism.  We had to come to terms with autism.  We had to make accommodations in our house, in how we functioned as a family.  We had to help Declan through some hard times.  We had to help ourselves through those times.  We fought each other in confusion.  We were tired.

We were adjusting.

Eventually, we started to talk to others about what was happening to our family.

I sat and thought of all the statements said to me, my husband, Declan or Catelyn on our autism journey.

Not all the statements were mean, although some were.  Some statements were just uneducated.  And some were just things that were hard to think about.

I mentally looked at every face that said each one of the following statements.  And took the time to write them down.



The thing is, does Declan know he has autism?  Does he know he is different?

I don’t think so.

He DOES know that I am his mom, and on his journey in life I love him and will always hold his hand.  And he loves me for that.  And he likes holding my hand.  So he drew me a picture.

This was a good exercise for me, though.  Because I know that we have made an autism journey.  I hear the statements.  I meet with the therapists.  I see the looks from outsiders.

But they don’t matter.  Did I make Declan’s picture better by putting all these words on it?  Nah – I love his picture just the way it is.  All that needs to be said is in the original picture.

Because, of course, I love Declan and Catelyn, for all that they are.  And I will continue to hold their hands and smile and let them know:




16 thoughts on “We Got This

  1. Some of those statements I’ve heard myself. There are some really tough times but then there are incredible achievements too. That picture is an awesome mother’s day gift! You definitely got this!! 💖

    1. The statements were tough – a lot of them were especially tough because at the time, I was coming to terms with autism myself. I was having a hard time adjusting, and then I had to defend autism and an autism diagnosis. Such a hair pulling time, for so many reasons. You understand – you’re right. SO many incredible achievements. I think the picture is one too! Just a few months ago Declan couldn’t hold a pencil – now he almost has a pincher grasp! Thanks so much!! We got this!! 🙂

  2. People can be so rude and insensitive, it must have been really difficult for you at the beginning but you have taken the time to learn so much which is a credit to you, I doubt that there are few questions that you could not answer now 😉😊

    1. It was really hard in the beginning for so many reasons. Declan was having a hard time and we were having a hard time adjusting. Thank you! I have spent a lot of time trying to learn what my kids are going through so I can help understand and advocate for them. I guess I have learned a lot!

    1. I agree. I’ve heard a lot of minimizing statements through the years and all I can think is, “You have no idea….”

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