I have been asked before, “if you could tell parents who have just received an Aspergers diagnosis one thing, what would it be?”
I can’t tell you just one thing. One thing is just too hard and I am not an expert. One thing doesn’t cover it all, not even close.
So instead I have a list; a list of what I would tell a parent who has just received a diagnosis – after we had shared a gin of course.
I want you to know it’s going to get better.
I want you to know that you don’t need to read everything, or listen to everyone.
It’s not your fault.
It wasn’t something you ate, or drank, or did, or wore, or watched, or thought, or breathed, or took, or gave your child.
It wasn’t anything you didn’t do either.
It isn’t your child’s fault either. They aren’t naughty, or disobedient, or bratty.
It won’t help if you smack them harder, yell louder or take away all their toys.
It’s ok to grieve and be sad. It’s ok to cry and feel frustrated and angry.
There will always be people who don’t understand. Sometimes those people will be your family and friends.
I want you to know there will be good days. There will be hard ones too, but the good days will come back.
There are many therapies and strategies out there. Not all of them will work for your child. That’s ok, you will find what will.
It’s ok to ask for help and have time out, away from your child and away from your partner too.
I want you to know you are not alone. There are many of us out there and we give bloody good hugs.
Your only job? To love your child.