Autism blog hop: Changing hopes and dreams

AUTISM FACT: Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

It’s in a parent’s nature to have dreams for their children. We imagine who they’ll fall in love with, what kind of career they might have, all the things they will achieve in their lifetime.

As the mother of a son with autism, I still have hopes and dreams. But they had to change when Camren was diagnosed with classic autism. Instead of hoping for the things I originally wanted for Camren when I was a young, pregnant mother envisioning a future for him, I hope for the things Camren wants. Instead of grieving for the life he won’t live, I celebrate the life he will live. Because i know it’ll be just as important, just as valuable as anything I imagined years ago.

I hope Camren finds happiness, in whatever form it takes. Whether that’s a traditional family, a close relationship with his brother, online friendships — or heck, even spending time alone, if that’s what he prefers.

I hope Camren finds fulfillment. I’m not sure what shape that will take. Maybe he’ll build websites or program software from home, or maybe he’ll work as a mechanic or engineer, putting together things, as he’s always loved to do. Maybe he’ll work a low-key job that doesn’t stress him out.

I hope Camren finds independence. I hope he learns the skills to take care of himself and live independently, because I won’t always be here to help him through life. I hope he can thrive in society, even though there are many aspects to life in the world that he doesn’t love. I hope that if he needs help, I’ll be here for him, or his father will, or his brother will.

I hope. That’s the point. I still hope, but I hope for Camren to have the life he wants, instead of the life I pictured for him. I hope I can be the mother he needs. Because regardless of where life takes him, I’ll be here as long as I can, cheering him on.

VIsit RJ Scott’s website to see other Autism Hop posts to raise awareness, and comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of my ebook, Love By Number.

LOVE BY NUMBER

Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the sum total of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a journey of a lifetime.

11 Comments

  1. Nica Flor

    April 25, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    I love how you say that you hope your son achieves his happiness and fulfilment in the way he wants, not what you hoped. My brother and I have sons, one month apart in age, and my nephew is on the Asperger’s spectrum, and seeing my son and his son together can be hard for my brother, at times. But he’s a really good dad, and I’m proud of him and how hard he works to make sure Gio is safe and healthy and happy, and he has come to terms with Gio’s diagnosis and his needs. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    1. DJ

      April 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Much of our difficulty as parents, I believe, is letting go of our own expectations and understanding that half the things we’re grieving are not even things our children want for themselves. It can be difficult for me, at times, when I see Camren with peers his age, so I understand how your brother feels!

  2. laurie

    April 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    i know it’s so hard for parents to let their kids live their own lives. my mom was one of those rare exceptions. was born with LD and ADD and she did try her hardest to be like you and let me be my own person. sure glad she did coz it ment i graduated from college and ended up running my own doggie daycare/boarding buisness

  3. H.B.

    April 26, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Thank you for taking part in the hop and for sharing about your hopes for Camren. I hope that he achieves this and more.

  4. ButtonsMom2003

    April 26, 2018 at 5:25 am

    I love your post, DJ. <3 Don't enter me.

  5. susana

    April 26, 2018 at 11:25 am

    thank you for the moving post, DJ. I hope your son achieves all your and his dreams too

    1. DJ

      May 5, 2018 at 1:34 am

      You’re my winner! I’ll email you.

  6. Trix

    April 27, 2018 at 3:02 am

    I think learning to let go of set expectations is good, not just for parents of autistic kids or even parents in general!

  7. Emily

    April 30, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Sounds like a cute book!

  8. Josie

    April 30, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I’m truly glad there is do much awareness for Autism. I have a 5yr old grandson on the spectrum. I love him. He is so smart and so special to our family. I thank God everyday for bringing him into our lives. I pray that when he grows up he will be healthy, happy, and have a wonderful life. I want him to have the very best life has to offer.

  9. Christy

    May 1, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Added to my TBR!

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