Written by: Renee Sellers
Dear Autism Mama,
I didn’t know then what I do now. I didn’t understand. I'm sorry that when your child was having a meltdown in the restaurant, instead of offering to help or extending compassion, I rolled my eyes, silently judging how in the world you could let your child act that way.
I’m sorry that when your child sat in the grocery cart long after expected I didn’t extend grace. All I could think about were the “rules” and how no one ever followed them like my children would.
I’m sorry when I thoughtlessly bragged about what my child could do when you were struggling to know why yours was so far behind in milestones.
I’m sorry when you said it was too hard to go to church, and I never asked why, but shrugged it off as another person always wanting to skip another Sunday.
And I’m sorry when I tried to help convince you that your child couldn’t possibly have a disability. That they would grow out of it. That everything would be fine.
I didn’t know.
And while that is somewhat not my fault, it somewhat is. We are so quick to extend judgment that we forget about grace. We forget that people DO struggle. That some people DO feel alone. And that having a child with disabilities IS hard.
I didn’t know then. But I do now.
I know how hard grocery stores are with meltdowns and eloping children. I know that milestones should be celebrated, whenever your child meets them. I know how hard it is to go to church when you have a child with additional needs.
And I know how hurtful it is when, in the thick of it, while waiting for a diagnosis, you’re desperately crying out for help from others, but everyone is trying to convince you nothing is wrong.
I am so sorry.
I know better now, but I hope to help other parents know better too. This life is tough and so many people assume our children just need some discipline. But truly, what they need is grace. Patience. And some compassion. Their parents do too. Sincerely,
Opal & Lucy's mama, Renee