Does Motherhood+ Autism Son= Unhappiness?
Just as we teach our children to talk, walk and count, we are taught what happiness is, how to achieve it and, how it will equal success in our lives. Have you ever stopped to think why you may not be happy, what are you comparing happiness too, and how have YOU defined happiness. As a young girl happiness was defined to me as:
Get Married + Have Children = Happiness
What happens when you have a child with special needs, or in my case, a child with Autism, who has developmental and speech delays? The equation falls apart and, does that mean happiness = unhappiness? It can for some, but again it is all on your perception. What does this mean? First of all you have to stop defining happiness and, just be HAPPY. Surprisingly, this is not easy for many parents including myself.
I love Niam just the way he is, he has made me grow as a person.
Changing perceptions from taught Happiness, or external happiness, to internal happiness can be difficult. How can you go about doing it? Happiness should be internalized. You must internalize happiness, in other words, you have to be HAPPY FIRST. If my child has special needs or not, I am a happy person and thankful for what I have and not what I don't have. For me, this change of perception, has made my life so much more fuller and meaningful. I love and enjoy every moment of my life. I love to do random acts of kindness for other people, think about the good things, share my happiness in my Autism Wisdom blog, and think about what I have, a beautiful boy, who I love dearly, I rejoice in his achievements and, lend my hand in his difficulties. I will NOT allow the external definition of HAPPINESS to enter my world and, destroy my life. What I have is what I have, I love every minute of it, I am happy, with a positive attitude, I gravitate towards happiness, that is the secret of how I discovered my son's artistic ability and, how I am able to help him achieve more in life that maybe thought possible by a external definition, because I am ruled by an internal definition
I AM HAPPY + I AM THANKFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE = TRUE HAPPINESS
Right now I am going through a scary time with Niam and, it is this definition that is helping with my anxiety, fears, and all the feelings a parent feels for her child. Not perfect at this but I am trying. More on this at a later time.
Nina Jain, MBA, MSc.(Econ.)
President, Able2learn Inc.
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The Autism Speaks Canada blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks Canada’s beliefs or point of view.