PIECES OF ME
The day I was told something is wrong with your child was the start of my journey. Our son, Preston, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. The fear of not knowing to now knowing his diagnosis did not bring me the relief I expected. The journey of accepting and understanding autism started with shame, guilt, and judgement I placed on myself. Parenting can be centered around non-stop judgement. I started to fix my focus on how to support Preston. No one could help our son better than me. He did not start speaking until the age of five. You do not realize the importance of communication until it is absent. Parents want to support and comfort their children. During this time, I discovered how to sit in helplessness. The walk into autism forced me to let go of what I knew and learn how to step into uncertainty. I found that change is the one constant you can count on in this lifetime. After I accepted that autism would be a part of my life from here on out; I wanted to really understand Preston. I learned how to parent our son a different way than our other kids. This helped me to meet Preston where he was at instead of where I expected him to be. This showed me how to trade my expectations for appreciation.
Autism guided me to finding my faith. I discovered how to trust that God brought autism into my life for a reason. Our son is a great teacher to me and the world around him. As I stepped into the autism lifestyle, it led me to live a more meaningful life full of awareness, acceptance, and a complete shift in perspective. The daily walk into uncertainty, celebrating small moments, remaining flexible, and not becoming a victim of judgment are some teachable lessons from autism that have helped me navigate through this one precious life. The choice to grow from the trials and tribulations I was facing daily brought me to my purpose. I believe purpose comes from God alone. My calling is to share my journey although I am still traveling. I struggled with finding acceptance for almost a year and a half. The earlier a parent can find acceptance and start to understand autism, the earlier the intervention can begin.
Pieces of me includes a beneficial toolbox of tips on self-care, anxiety, and academics to support parents along the journey. Autism is not a one size, fits all. Every child is unique. Each family dynamic is completely distinct. Every journey of autism is quite different. Every parent that has a child with autism comes to acceptance and understanding in their own timing. A puzzle can be a bit of a mystery but filled with wonder at the same time. There are many pieces needed to complete the puzzle. Every piece is necessary and fits somewhere. Pieces of Me is a faith filled parenting book demonstrating how the pieces of our lives are intentionally woven together to bring connection and find the blessings in the middle of the messy.