We’re all aware of how difficult Thanksgiving can be when your child has autism. Not eating any of the 38 different kinds of food on the table, becoming overwhelmed and melting down, hurting one of the other children or themselves, being fed food that they shouldn’t have by some other family member, having to leave early… the list goes on and on. Children can often struggle with these situations as it is but when they have autism, it can sometimes seem downright unbearable. Even, avoidable… as in, just not doing Thanksgiving with family anymore.
Now, this is going to seem/feel dark but honestly… this needs to be said.
You could have had a miscarriage. Your child could have been born with cancer, half a heart or some other death sentence right from the start. Your child could have died from SIDS. Your child could have been killed in a car accident or lost at the hospital or contracted a deadly disease somehow, like whooping cough.
Listen, this is not something to think about at Thanksgiving but then again, maybe it is. Because you need to stop hating that your child has autism at Thanksgiving. You need to stop looking at the struggles and frustrations as such a terrible thing and start being thankful for what you have.
You have a child where so many others don’t anymore. Many people, right now, are trying to find reasons to be thankful when it feels like their whole world has been destroyed because their baby was taken from them.
Be thankful for the meltdowns, for the strange diet, for the late nights, for the costly therapy sessions… be thankful… for your child.
Would life be better without those struggles? Certainly. I know many people wish more than anything that their child didn’t have autism but right now… there are people who simply wish they had their child, period.
Be thankful for what you have because there are people who wish they had the same.
A big family turkey dinner might not happen as planned but it will happen. Be thankful for that.
For today, even if just today, but hopefully for always, be thankful for the struggles.