The days, weeks, and even months following my son’s autism diagnosis, are a bit of a blur in my memory.
I remember trying different medicines.
I remember trying different diets.
I remember trying different therapies.
But the details of that time frame? They just blend into each other.
What I have very distinct, crystal clear memories of are the feelings – the fear, the stress, the anxiety, the hope, the intense love, and the unshakable sense that I was all alone.
I could find plenty of information about autism itself.
All the theories on how and why my son has it.
The varying beliefs that autism is a gift, that autism is a disease that must be eradicated, that autism is to be tolerated, that autism is to be fixed, that autism needs awareness, that autism needs funding – it was easy to find all kinds of information about autism.
But finding a resource for being a parent, loving a kid with an autism diagnosis? Not so easy.
I wanted someone to tell me their child had violent meltdowns too, and how they were able to deal with it.
I wanted someone to tell me they cried in the bathroom every day, because it all felt so daunting, so overwhelming.
I wanted someone to tell me that it was OK to just breathe, focus on my son, and that eventually, we would start to figure things out.
I wanted another mom to pour me a cup of coffee, and tell me there was hope.
I am honored to introduce you to my first book.
It is exactly the book I wish was around our first year, post diagnosis. It is the book I was searching for, but never found.
It is a compilation of all of my posts that address the day to day realities of parenting that first year, with a bit of new content as well.
This book is about our hearts, as parents of children with a new spectrum diagnosis.
My hope is to eventually publish a few hard copies as well – mostly to have available for moms when I speak. (I would also love to take a few to our developmental pediatrician for her to give to any families struggling with a new diagnosis.I think it would be awesome to leave with this book, along with all that diagnosis paperwork. )
My heart is to help mommas who need someone to encourage them, to tell them they are not alone, to celebrate their victories however small they may seem, to acknowledge the grief, and to assure them that there is so much joy, so much love, and so much hope ahead.
This book is a labor of love for the struggling, the overwhelmed, the terrified, the desperate, the defeated, and the shell shocked parent, trying to figure out this whole autism life.
It is an invitation to settle in, love our kids and enjoy the ride.
I pray this book helps. I pray it blesses. I pray it brings peace. I pray it instills courage.
I pray it speaks love.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.