Dear Friends.. I am going to tag many of you, Yes I know I am taking you for granted :). Please remove tag if you want to. I wanted this story to reach out to as many people.
April 2nd is Autism Awareness and acceptance Day. Please wear blue and support the cause.. and share this story if you could..
This saree concludes my #100SareePact journey. Please know I am thankful to each of you for reading, commenting, reaching out to me and helping in many more ways than I can mention. I have learnt a lot, grew as a person and seen a different world with you.
Please know #thankyou #gratitude cannot even begin to describe what I feel today.
This blue Banarasi on a crisp sunny day is a storyteller of hope, optimism, parenting, life, support, help and our own struggle and wish to build a better life for our children.
Ashish and I were young parents. Ajey is 97 born and we welcomed Anand in 2000. Life was great, Ashish was extremely happy in his career and I decided to stay home to raise the boys. Boys were a delight to be with. Anand wasn’t much of a talker but it didn’t bother me because his brother was a late talker and when Ajey started talking it was hard to keep him quiet.
We moved to our home in 2003. A new town, a new home we started our life in unknown town with excitement and happiness.
Soon Anand started preschool. His teacher noticed him not being very social. And there our journey started. He was diagnosed with speech and language delay when he was 4. Finally we got the name “Autism” when he was 8.
I had just started working full time that diagnosis changed our life totally.
It took us sometime to figure out what was happening. It was one of the darkest times of our life for sure. We were in denial, frustrated, sad, heartbroken and angry.
But soon enough we made some decisions, decided to do what was the best for Anand, changed our life style and philosophy.
We read, studied whatever we could get, attended seminars and workshops, met parents and asked for help. Ajey was a wonderful older brother, who read and learnt about special needs.
In 2009 I went to India for my sister’s wedding I realized how difficult it was for Anand. People didn’t understand him and questioned our parenting skills. That trip made me stronger and I decided to tell our story. Hence the blog “momlovesanand.blogspot.com” was born. I started writing about our struggles and small victories. It was a very difficult decision to put our life in open to the whole world. But I was determined to make things better for Anand. That blog helped many people understand the complexity of Anand’s life and many reached out to us. Many wrote to me that I wrote about their life, many said the blog helped them understand the Autism world and many thanked me to give them courage to seek help with their struggles.
I want to tell you my story because I have been to every situation a special need mother could be. Today my mission is to educate parents about special need world, spread the awareness and acceptance for kids with special need.
I volunteer with many organizations and that makes me happy. I learnt mothers can do wonder if together. Please support each other, ask for help when needed and encourage your family to learn more about special need.
Today Anand goes to “co-taught” high school, enjoys music and makes friends. We still have our days when things are not so easy on any of us but we learnt to count the good days and move on with not so good days. Vacations are still difficult but not impossible, eating out is easier than before. We have learnt to accept “our Normal”.
Our life is much better because we want to find solutions and not hide our difficulties. Ashish and I take care of each other and "us". I pursue my hobbies, do what I enjoy. We share our concerns and household chores. When I go to workshops, class or a music gathering I know my boys are well taken care of with their dad. As a family we figured out what works for us. I am very lucky to have a great support system. our families are well informed and educated, the friends around us have taken time to understand our life. We seek help when needed and always there to help in anyways we can . That way we can make a better world for our children. Most importantly we are open to advise, help and suggestion. We are not hiding and accepting that our world in not "picture perfect" but we make it wonderful for us. We learnt to accept a new normal, our normal.
Today I urge you to add compassion, empathy, kindness and love in your life and see how beautiful this world is .. not only of others - for you too.