I've been staring at the artwork this morning. It has connected with me. It is the perfect image of what it means to be a neurodivergent family and live that truth as a family together.
This morning I woke to a few posts in my social media feeds about the 'new' muppet to hit Sesame Street, Julia. She's an autistic 4yo with red hair, green eyes, a stuffed toy, and a really, really big smile. She loves picking flowers and painting. I'm an autistic parent with three kids, including autistic almost-4yo twins. One of my twins has a lot in common with Julia.
Every day more families with autistic children are taking them out of school, out of therapy and out of 'special needs' programs. In natural parenting, homeschool, unschool, and gentle parenting groups online, I meet more of us than ever before, finding our place away from the mainstream where we have been hurt and our children attempted to be moulded in ways we don't want.
I became a mother not knowing I was autistic. Surprisingly, it was the first time I was truly aware of how different I am to neurotypical women. In my 20s, I moved cities and left behind high-school friendships. I made choices to work and build friendships in social justice communities. By day I could work with … Continue reading autistic women, motherhood and friendship
Michelle is joining other families for my blog series about neurodiverse families. Hooray! If you haven't met Michelle yet, she writes about neurodiversity, advocacy, respectful parenting, neurodivergent identity and lots more at Michelle Sutton Writes (and she's awesome!).
The thing I value the most about our family is that we are authentic, and completely ourselves with each other. There are no filters, or masks, or parts that we conceal when we are at home together. Sometimes this looks peaceful and still; sometimes loud, super stimmy, and joyful. And other times it can look angry, defiant and overwrought, or sad, anxious and uneasy. And that is completely ok. We are there to support each other, without shame or pressure to be something we are not. I hope our home will always be this safe place for our children.
I'm an autistic mother to two autistic children. My husband also shows many autistic traits, but not as many as the rest of us and so is like a bridge between the neurodivergent and neurotypical worlds.
My wonderful family of four consists of two children and two adults. All of us are neurodivergent, some of us are multiply neurodivergent. Autism, ADHD, depression, and anxiety are some of the terms that apply to us. We all have our own specific sensory and social needs and are constantly learning new ways to meet the needs of all family members.
I love that though we all have different needs, we understand each other. I would like to explore my own diagnosis with a professional at some point in the near future however at the moment it's kind of at the bottom of the priority list, just cause kids come first, you know...
Our family feeeeeeeeels life without filters. Everything is intense, tingly, fragile, loud, fast and silent and all at the one time. Our family is tight and strong and we outlast.