Today’s My Challenge is from Echo a mom blogger who writes about the joys and tears of home schooling two children, one with autism and one with a diva issue.
My biggest challenge and my greatest love…
When Kerri asked me if I would be willing to participate in this series, I was ecstatic. I think that opening up and sharing our struggles and challenges is a great way to help each other grow as parents.
My son. My handsome, smart, charming and stubborn son is on the Autism Spectrum. He has PDD-NOS (formerly diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome). He is extremely high functioning, but also has a lot of sensory processing and social interaction issues.
My daughter. My gorgeous, intelligent, dramatic and independent daughter is NT (Neuro-Typical). She has hit all of her milestones and continues to grow and progress.
My biggest challenge is also my greatest love, raising my two children. Raising a child on the spectrum is hard for anyone, add in sibling rivalry and it can be complete chaos. I have to navigate so many issues, that at times, I feel like I am nothing but a referee.
Try dealing with the emotions of an over dramatic 8 year old when he realizes that his 3 year old sister is faster than him. Try dealing with his frustration when his 3 year old sister starts riding her bike and he cannot.
Imagine trying to get your strong-willed 3 year old to stop touching her brother a certain way. Imagine trying to break up a fight between a 3 year old and an 8 year old because the 3 year old took her MegaBlocks back.
Feel the heartache when you watch one child achieve something that the other could not. Feel the confusion because you don’t want to treat them differently, but you have to because of age. Feel the frustration when your 8 year old constantly yells at your 3 year old and your 3 year old constantly pushes your 8 year old’s buttons.
My children are my greatest love and I would not change either of them. However, trying to raise them together, equally is truly my greatest challenge.
When Echo sent me her post she wondered if it was “right” for the series. After reading it I replied it was freaking awesome. I think all of us with multiple children have the challenge of raising them the same but different. Add in a disability and YIKES it can sometimes (most times) seem overwhelming.
Thank you, Echo for sharing your challenge today. You can read more about Echo at Mad Mommy where she shares everything from the 100 lb challenge to home schooling.
What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at email@example.com
I was reading replied the same way Kerri. Seriously, Echo you are amazing to me and couldn't even imagine the half of it. So, glad you did share more here today and huge thank you again to Kerri for this awesome series! 🙂
I agree – I can't imagine how difficult it would be to raise another child along with my son and see his frustrations. It would be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. So, yes, a huge challenge and thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us. Kerri, kudos on this great series!
I've spent more time with adults on the Autism Spectrum than children, but I do understand a tiny bit of what you are feeling. I've read your blog for awhile and I will say this, it is obvious that you love your kids. It may not feel like you're doing so equally at times, but they both need your attention in different ways. Anyone who reads your blog can tell that you love both of your kids very much. You are an awesome mom and one of the things I respect the most about you is how you are trying so hard with your son. Most of the adults I know that are on the Autism Spectrum did not have parents who interacted with their kids or even tried. They sheltered them and literally just gave up. They may not be the 'same' as other kids, but there is so much potential there. I know several adults who are on all parts of the Spectrum that live full lives- working jobs, living independently and everything. Keep it up mama, because you're doing something most parents can't handle- which is why you were chosen to do it. 🙂
This is fabulous, wonderful, and amazing! I think that you are amazing at handling the trials and tribulations that are motherhood. Watching the fun that you give to the kids, the education that you provide them, and the all around ability to grow in their own awesomeness! Proud to call you my friend, twinsie!
Thank you so much for having me, Kerri! I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this series!
Thank you so much, Janine! Your words seriously warmed my heart!
You said it exactly right. It is completely heartwarming and at times, heartbreaking.
Aww, thank you so much, Sarah! I couldn't imagine allowing my son to sink into Autism. I always say that my son has Autism, but Autism doesn't have my son. I want him to know that he is just as important and has just as many, if not more opportunities available to him as anyone else!
It is hard work, but I think it is absolutely worth it! I am so honored and proud to be your friend as well, Twinsie!
Aw!! I so love Echo! And this series! (and you too, Kerri)
Echo, sometimes I so wish that Tucker had a sibling. Although it sounds like it can be very frustrating, their interactions must be wonderfully uplifting to witness. You're one awesome mama! xxoo
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I love you too, Kristi! It is definitely a challenge, but it is worth it. My boy shows so much love for his little sister that it amazes me! You are quite a spectacular mama yourself! ❤