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Gotta Love Autism’s Grannies… October 2, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Family, grandparenting, Parenting, special needs.
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What a wonderful day I had yesterday in the company of about 100 sweet older ladies.

I was the guest speaker at a local Homemaker’s Club, made up almost entirely of moms of grown children, grandmas, and even some great grannies. And what a wise, wonderful lot they were!  My own terrific mother-in-law was among them.

My lecture topic was Autism…what a surprise. But actually it was tailored to them and focused mostly on my Top Tips for Grandparents of Autistic Children.

Quick history: I am an only child and lost my parents 18 months apart, almost 15 years ago, during the “infertility years”…so they never became grandparents while on earth. My husband’s parents are wonderful and very involved in helping us as we raise our 2 children. We’d be lost without them.  But I sure miss my own great parents, especially my mom. And I wonder what my life would be like if she were here.

So many grandparents want to help, but either don’t because they don’t know what to do… or they try, but do the wrong thing (and then suffer the wrath of the stressed out mom). So, using my “expertise” as the mother of an autistic child, I set out to give them some pointers.

Much to my surprise, about two-thirds of the ladies’ lives had been touched by autism. I was expecting only a handful when I posed that question before beginning my presentation. They were so eager and thankful to be educated about autism, to discuss theories on possible causes and therapy options, and to hear my suggestions on how they can help. You could have heard a pin drop during the hour-long talk. Heads were nodding. Tears were flowing.

I truly had them at “hello”.

Much more important than their warm applause was the way so many of these loving women approached me afterwards to share their own stories and offer me support

Sometimes my life is so overwhelming… and I get so caught up in my own day-to-day challenges and feel so isolated.  But not yesterday.

Yesterday, I experienced the rare and wonderful feeling of making a difference in the lives of many other families. Autistic families.

And I felt the love of lots of autism’s grannies… including a very special granny up above. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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