You see your child work hard every day. You witness his exhaustion after long days of school and therapy. You pick up the pieces after meltdowns. You are there to comfort, encourage and lift him up again. You do everything you can to allay his fears, calm his anxieties and provide a supportive environment for him.
Maybe he even blends in with his peers most of the time. Maybe his teachers tell you he is setting an example for his peers in class and the special education teacher finds it challenging to set new goals for him. Maybe they tell you that if they didn’t know he has autism, they wouldn’t even suspect it.
But you know. You’re there for the behavior, the sleepless nights, the intense anxiety, and the therapy. When he can’t hold it together anymore, you are his safety net.
Concert day arrives and you’re filled with anxiety for him, because you know how anxious he is to be up there. You see him walk to the front of the room. Amidst a sea of smiling children, you watch your child squirm in discomfort and stare at the floor. You can see him wishing he could melt into the background and you feel his anxiety.
In this moment, there’s nothing you can do to calm him, so you watch and pray and hold your breath until it’s over. Tears well in your eyes as you feel your child’s discomfort. Maybe you wish things were easier for him. Your heart is filled with pride, because you know it’s difficult for him to stand in front of a group of people as loud voices sing around him. You watch other parents find the best position for a picture, take video, and return smiles to their beaming children. You’re frozen in your chair, filled with emotion for your child who labors every day so he is able to stand there with his class.
To the mom crying at the school concert, I see your heart and I understand.