Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jamie: #imNOTkell​istapleton

#IamNOTkellistapleton by Jamie Halliwell-Bartley

I was outraged to hear the news of what happened to poor Issy at the hands of her own mother. I have 5 children with a variety of special needs, including 3 Autistic children. I spent the first few years of motherhood sifting my way through behavior I didn't understand, my husband and I were too young, and immature to understand the needs my oldest had. We took advice from "professionals" who wanted to make him a test subject. My husband wanted to leave, it was him or my son, never once was there doubt it would be him who left.

Fast forward 15 years, we met therapists who taught us we had to change ourselves, not our son. We had more children never worrying we may have another Autistic child. My husband grew up, and became the man our family needed. I became the advocate my kids needed, and I educated myself for them. My greatest resource is Autistic adults, willing to guide me in the right direction.

On the days that seem extra hard, we #putourselvesinIssysshoes, if our day is this hard, then what must theirs be like?

My youngest child was just days ago diagnosed with autism, and I walked into his doctor determined to be a rock, we knew what was coming, and I told myself it didn't matter, he is my beautiful baby regardless. My face betrayed what I was determined to show, and the doctor touched my hand, and said "I'm sorry." I immediately pulled myself together, looked her in the eyes, and said "I'm not, we have been here before we will survive, and thrive." The doctor smiled at me, but I didn't say it for her. I don't pretend to never fall short as a mother, but it is never because my child is different, it is my short comings, not theirs. #IamNOTkellistapleton, because my kids deserve the best of me no matter the circumstances. I may fail some days, but I learn, try again, and do better. That's is the least I can do for them. Our kids don't ask to be born, and they certainly don't ask to die, our job is to make sure they survive and thrive.

1 comment:

  1. "...we met therapists who taught us we had to change ourselves, not our son."

    My guide was my son's teacher, who had been through a difficult time in school, herself. But I also knew, in my heart, for years before that. How awful to be a child unwelcome in the world...