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What kind of parent am I?

I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she changed my entire life. I know in the bottom of my heart that my husband and I can handle a child, but it is a daunting task. I spend the free two seconds that I have to write about my new life so I can reflect by reading it back to myself… so until next time!

It has been two years. I haven’t had a free moment since I gave birth. My daughter has been acting incredibly strange lately. She sits in a corner, rocks back and forth, hasn’t spoken a word since she was born, plus she has no interest in spending time with me, her father, or any of the other kids in play group. One of the other mothers told me to take her to a doctor because she isn’t normal. Did I do something wrong? Did I cause her to not be normal? Oh no…I don’t know if I would be able to live with myself. I made an appointment with the pediatrician for tomorrow morning and I am absolutely terrified of what he’s going to say. I followed all the baby books and listened to as much advice as I could retain.

What kind of parent am I that my child isn’t normal? What did I do wrong? I’ve heard of those refrigerator moms who were cold and distant from their kids. I pray that I didn’t completely screw up my kid. I don’t think I did but maybe I could have done more, maybe I could have been more “there”.

I think this process shows how many fears a parent can have with such an undetermined end. Autism is kind of an open ended diagnosis and there isn’t really a definitive answer to how to solve the problem and how to deal. I wish this was a hard topic to write about, but because of all the parenting passages I’ve read, including the passages for this week, I know how many problems parents have during the diagnosis process. There is an obvious learning curve that parents with autism have to learn on top of learning how to be a parent in general. The refrigerator mom passage really struck me because I didn’t realize how much someone could blame themselves for their children’s issues. And regardless of whether or not it is true, a parent will convince themselves that they are the cause of their children’s misfortunes. If I had more time to express this mother I would try to expand on how she learned about autism, how she altered her living styles and practices to fit her daughter’s needs and how to help other mothers realize that this disorder has nothing to do with parenting style.

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