Sunday, September 03, 2006

I've spent the majority of my life caring for children in one setting or another and considered myself adequately prepared to raise my own children. When that day finally arrived, unplanned for as so many of the best things and life are, I was overcome with the intense feeling of love, responsibility, and the desire to protect my children at all costs. Like most parents, I have struggled with the choices that I have made for my kids. I'm not sure if a day ever goes by when I don't question one decision or another. This is particularly true when it comes to my son, Gabriel. He is autistic, you see, and so all of the experiences I have had in the past, those memories of my own childhood that I might draw from, may not be relevant anymore. What does he need? What does he want? What will make his life better, his future brighter? I struggle with these questions, as I think many parents of special needs kids do, because I'm not sure of the answers just yet. So.. rightly or wrongly I've decided to look at him as an individual, as a child who has some amazing strengths as well as some weaknesses. I have decided to accept him for the person that he is rather than try to mold him into the person that society says he should be. I have given him the space to learn and to grow without the constant pressure to conform. I have decided not to put his life into the hands of "trained professionals" but to trust in my own instincts as his mother to always try to do the things that are best for him at any given time. I am looking inward as well as outward for the answers to my questions, hoping to find stories of inspiration from others who have walked my path as well as walked the path that is laid before my son. I wish to help Gabriel understand the world, but, perhaps more importantly, I wish to help the world understand Gabriel. A lot of important work is currently being done by a lot of passionate autism acceptance advocates, and while I may not have the ability to contribute to this effort in any meaningful way right now, I would at least like to share my story, and the story of my beautiful child.


At 1:10 PM, Blogger little bo peep said...

Beautiful. Can't wait to hear more.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger gabesmom said...

Thanks littlebopeep. I'm looking forward to writing more.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Soapbox mom said...

I cannot wait to read more! Oh wait, bopeep said that already, drat!
But I mean it!
You have always maintained a calm and soothing persona on that forum, I bow down to your cool head and writing abilities.
Kudos on your first post!

At 8:13 PM, Blogger S.L. said...

I can't wait to hear more. Sorry, felt I should keep that theme going. I'm new to this too, and am so grateful to have found this new (to me) group of moms & other folks who feel the same as I do.

"I wish to help Gabriel understand the world, but, perhaps more importantly, I wish to help the world understand Gabriel." WOW! That says it perfectly, it defines how I feel about my daughter perfectly. Really am looking forward to reading more from you.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Kev said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere GM :o)

Four entries on autism qualify you for a Hub application (he hinted).

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Joan Nash said...

Thank you for your blog and for writing about Gabriel. As a school psychologist I have had the privilege of working with many children with autism and asperger's. All of them have had their own special gifts, talents and challenges. Over the years I have developed a number of games and activities to help promote social skills and communication for children on the spectrum The kids love the games and their social skills and ability to communicate really improve. You can see the games at
Thanks and I'm looking forward to our next post.


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