I wasn't sure I wanted to write the overly patronising "letter to new mothers of special needs kid" thing but as I contemplated what my letter would entail I thought I'd got as much right as anyone else to force my opinions of what their journey will consist of so I thought I'd give it a go!
Your journey will be an emotional one. You are strong enough to cope but you will break down at times. These are the times you need to grab a bar of chocolate, maybe some wine, maybe a copy of Moulin Rouge and ball your eyes out...do it...Don't feel bad. Don't feel guilty. Life is a bitch, she is! This isn't fair. Yes, there are worse parents than you that this should have happened to. No, you didn't deserve this and neither did your kids. It's shit. It is, there's no other way to explain it. Your life will change dramatically from this point on and it won't be anything like you envisioned it. so go on, drink the whole bottle and get plastered. I binged ate on chocolate for the first year of my journey (and yes, i still do!) so go ahead and feel really sorry for you and your family because you are allowed too.Your life won't be the same, and it won't be what you had planned either so mourn the loss of that. And mourn the loss of the kids you thought you were going to have. DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT DOING THAT! This does not mean you do not love your children dearly. This simply means you have lost something you already thought you had. But life is never constant. Life does change. And even without the drama of autism life may never have been the way you planned it. Don't mistake a changed life for a ruined life. You can and will make new dreams but they will be harder to planned for because you won't be able to second guess a thing. But take time to create new dreams. Do it on a week by week basis and never look any further than the next season. It will take years to replace something you have created for (in my case) 34 years. Your new dreams won't come over night, but they will come.
As i said above, don't second guess a thing. You can't. I looked at my children a year ago and I writ them off. I did. I admit it now. I assumed a lack of ability. I assumed their future and consequently mine were filled with doom and gloom. Now I try not to do that. I'm a realist, yes, so I admit when something doesn't seem a possibility but i don't dare to assume what my kids can manage on a day to day basis. They will make a ass out of you! I believed Cody would never communicate with us. He can not offer a functional sentence but he can communicate just fine in his own way. He can now make choices - a simple task that would have melted his brain 6 months ago. Jesse is slowly moving out of her "little world" to understand things around her better. I was in despair even 6 weeks ago yet alone 6 months ago but you can not second guess a thing and you will only destroy yourself trying to do that. Just focus on the NOW, the RIGHT NOW. Not dinner time, or bedtime, or the following morning because its as likely to be the thing you never imagined for that throws the plans into chaos!