Autism parents – what will be your New Year’s Resolution for 2015?
Is there such a thing as a “new year” for parent’s of kid’s on the spectrum? Or are we all locked into a, “survive one more day” mentality where the same 24-hours just repeats itself day-after-countess-day until the delineation of weekday, weekend, month, season, holiday and year can seem almost foreign. New Year’s resolutions are often something different for parents of kid’s on the Autism spectrum; they’re rarely goals for ourselves but rather prayers for our kid’s mental development and/or our own survival. We can’t tell you how many coins we’ve both tossed into a fountain making the same wish over-and-over, year-after-year. We, and many parents we’ve talked to, look at our own respite as an act of selfishness. We put our own needs aside in favor of some form of noble sacrifice thinking it will somehow make a difference to somebody in the future, although we have no idea to whom.
Instead of caring for the relationships with our spouse, friends and family, we allow our personal and intimate connections to suffer a death of a thousand cuts.
Why? For what? It certainly doesn’t benefit us, them or our children. As we all know, the adversity we face is never ending, but there is no reason to self-impose a death sentence to your personal life. We, you and all of us still need to have a life of our own.
What if you were given a very special tool? A tool that would not only help your kids continue to develop in life but bring you joy as well? How would you value such a gift? We imagine, like us, you’d guard it with your very life; make sure it was properly maintained and cared for morning, noon and night – seven days a week, twice on Sundays.
If you’re wondering where to find it, all you have to do is check the nearest mirror.
This year we ask you to make one, we won’t say selfish, but selfless indulgence. Go shopping, fishing, to a movie whatever it is that makes you happy even if you just call a friend and talk about anything other than what’s going on at home. You deserve it – trust us, the problems and responsibilities we face will still be there when you get back. We have seen far too many marriages, families and friendships pulled apart or drowned in a bottle to remain silent anymore. It’s time to take a stand and make the one resolution that will help you, your family and your child. It’s not just their mental health and well being you have to look after – it’s yours, too. How can we care for them if we destroy ourselves in the process?
Say it with us, “For 2015, I resolve to….”
Happy New Year – with love from Melissa, Andy, Kennedy, Alex and Bella Areffi