Stories from the Ledge

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

As parents of a child on the spectrum, we all know what it feels like to live and breathe autism 24/7. Each of us have experienced many embarrassing and stressful moments or had such awful thoughts that we never shared them with anyone, not even our spouse. At times we feel like we are walking a ledge, barely keeping our lives in balance. Sometimes we are teetering on the edge and struggling not to fall. During the worst times, I had thoughts of jumping off. But I couldn’t even seriously consider that, because who would volunteer to take over the impossible job of raising my son? There is no way to comprehend how much we love them, while at the same time feel so angry and alone. I hope you realize we all have these feelings. They are our membership dues for being in the A-Club.

Many of you sent in stories that express what it feels like when we’re on that ledge. Some of these stories here show the absurdities of life that only our kind of kids can cause. Some stories make us laugh. Some make us cry. And sometimes they do both. One mom told me I should call this section, “Things A Parent Should Never Have To Say To Their Child.” As in her comment to her son, “No, it’s never acceptable to wipe your butt on the dining room tablecloth even if we are out of toilet paper.” If what she said rings a bell for you, you know your child’s diagnosis is correct! I changed the names to protect the privacy of the families who sent them to me. Please check back, I will add more stories. On a particularly tough day, I suggest reading these stories and then say out loud, “Maybe my kid isn’t so bad!”

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