When you have a child with autism, one of your greatest challenges is accepting that your family isn’t like others. Social media makes this even more difficult, because you’re presented with this painful reality every time you open your Facebook or Instagram app. This time of year, you see other families enjoying Easter egg hunts, going to church for Sunday services or exploring new places on Spring Break vacations.
Your family can’t do these things. And it hurts.
But what are you really missing? It’s not so much the actual activity you long for, but the memories your family aren’t making, right?
You need your own memories, and a great way to do that is to create family rituals.
When you get down to it, the family activities you’re missing are just rituals. Opening presents on Christmas Eve or summer vacations at the lake aren’t necessarily special because of the presents or the camping. It’s because families are experiencing recurring activities that become part of their family story.
So maybe your family can’t do what everyone else on Facebook is doing. Once you accept that your value as a family doesn’t depend on what other people think or whether or not you fit in, what everyone else is doing just doesn’t matter. What matters is that you creates rituals that build memories and tell your family’s unique story.
Heather Anderson is a blissfully happy autism mom and lover of life in Southern California who is on a mission to help autism parents rediscover their happy place.
Please join me on this beautiful autism journey. The Autism Oasis is a fun, supportive and educational community where your personal development is just as important as your children's. You are more than just a caregiver!