I think few people understand, truly, how isolating autism can be to an entire family.
It's not just that no one understands autism - it's that, literally, leaving your house is a nightmare.
JT would freak out anywhere we went. Grocery stores. Restaurants. Doctors offices.
We're talking, full-on meltdown, screaming, kicking, biting, fight-or-flight mode type stuff. Long gone, inconsolable stuff. People staring at you and whispering stuff. People outright saying things about my parenting, about how awful my son was (yes, I had, on more than one occasion, people out loud refer to my son as 'bad' or worse).
It broke me eventually.
It was hard enough getting him out, let alone braving the people who were so cruel.
Lately, though, a shift in JT - a HUGE shift - made me get back up and try again.
JT is awesome, that's what.
He goes shopping with me, no fits. He goes to the zoo, no fits. He goes to restaurants, no fits.
Not perfect behavior, but oh my goodness MANAGEABLE.
We can go out - as a family! - and have a great time.
I've signed up for those cute little Lowe's and Home Depot classes. We're planning family weekends.
I've never known what it feels like to do family things and just enjoy them... It's fantastic.