Episode 107- Autism: A Mom's Journey
[00:00:00] You are listening to episode 107 of the peaceful mind podcast, autism, a mom's journey.
Welcome to the peaceful mind podcast, a place for creating the peace of mind. You need to be the best mom you are created by God to be. If you wanna bring more balance, more joy and more peace to your mother. This is the place for you. I'm your host certified life coach at Catholic mom, Danielle Thienel. In the name of the father of the son and of the holy spirit.
Let's get started.
Hello to everyone who's joining us this week. I could not be more proud or excited of the episode that you are about to hear, because there is so much to take away whether you're a mom who [00:01:00] has an autistic child or not. So recently my. Brother sister-in-law and their 18 year old son, Tyler, who is on this spectrum came for a visit.
And this was the first time we saw him in person since before the pandemic. So very exciting, fun trip, family time visiting with my parents and everybody. It was so great. And we also are always so grateful when they come, because we know that it is not easy to travel with Tyler, right. To take him out of his normal.
So we're just always so happy for this time that we get to spend with each other. So one of the days, my beautiful sister-in-law and I were talking about some of the events that have taken place in their life, which included a lot about Tyler, of course. And I was just struck by her strength, her clarity, her empowerment, the joy and peace that she had about it all.
And I [00:02:00] immediately asked. If she'd be willing to share her journey on my podcast, she has so much wisdom that I knew could help other moms. So to tell you the truth, I, myself learned so much from this interview that I didn't even know and realize, and it's gonna help so many others too. Now. Recorded it in my office and I didn't use any of my mics and the, the sound quality won't be that great.
But it doesn't matter because the content is so, so good. And if you hear some like banging or thumping, that would be my precious nephew. Tyler. He was making sure he was a part of the conversation too. And lastly, please, we all have something to learn from this episode because number one, my sister-in-law drops some truth bombs that all parents can benefit from.
[00:03:00] And number two, if it's not your child, who's on the spectrum. We all surely know someone who has a child. It. And I just want you to please share this episode and email me as well. If there was a particular part that was really helpful to you, and I'll be sure to pass that on to my sister-in-law Aine, because I know that it would just, you know, warm her heart to know that she was helpful to others.
So. Further ado here is my interview with my sister-in-law Azin about her journey with a son with autism. Hi everyone. I am here today in my home with a personal interview or an in person interview, I should say with my sister-in-law Azin hi
everybody. This is gonna be so fun.
I'm so excited to do this. I too, right.
We're gonna talk about a really important subject [00:04:00] today. And I just knew that all of you out there would would benefit. In fact, if one mom listens to this and benefits from it, because we want to talk about autism mm-hmm and my sister-in-law here. Ian, if you just wanna say, first of all, tell everyone how are we related?
Oh yeah. So I
am married. To your older brother, Keith
that's right now I have two older brothers. Yeah. And this, so Keith is the middle child and I'm the baby? Yes. Yes, but I, but he Mar she married my middle brother, Keith. Okay. And. Your family family.
So, yeah, Keith, myself we've been married now for 21 years may was 21 years and we have our amazing boy, Tyler who's 18, who just turned 18 in may, in fact as well.
And he is autistic among any many other things, wonderful things that he is. One of the things he is, is autistic.
Okay. So I really wanted you to come on [00:05:00] today for your perspective. I have been able to. Watch the journey, you know, for the last 18 years. And first of all, I just wanna tell you that you and my brother are amazing and Tyler is amazing and we love and adore him more than words could ever say.
But I know that there's a lot of other moms that might be on the early side of the journey of getting a diagnosis of autism for their child. And I just, I think you have so much wisdom. To share of what it was like at the beginning and, and where you've come to today. Yeah. And so I wondered if you would start by telling us about what we may call the beginning of it all.
Like, what was life like with a new baby or a toddler and then around the time of his diagnosis?
Yeah, for sure. And before actually I start talking about that. I wanna touch on what you said earlier. You know, this can really help a lot of people, or this can be impactful to a lot of people. Because I think we're now with the statistics statistics, where there are [00:06:00] with how many boys out of a hundred and how many girls out of a hundred are diagnosed on the spectrum.
If you are not yourself personally impacted you know, having a a son, a daughter, or a sibling that, that has autism. I know for a fact that many of you, not all of you either have a friend, you have a coworker. Have someone in the school system that your child goes to and is friends with that is somewhere on the spectrum.
So even if you yourself are not, there's someone in that circle. And if you know of that, someone, I urge you to have them listen to this. So if you've listened to it and I don't believe in coincidences, I think if you're listening to this, there's a purpose behind it. And so you're here for. For a reason.
And so please pass this on and maybe it'll be helpful to someone else that is impacted personally. So going back to your question about the beginning so yeah, you know, you get pregnant and you're excited as a young couple and like any other young couple. We had, you [00:07:00] know, full, we were full of joy and full of ideas of where we want.
We were seeing Tyler in terms of his childhood, his teenage years, college, so on and so forth. And it all started, you know, very typical. And honestly, with Tyler and I, and I tell people this quite often, you know, parents with children on the spectrum don't have the luxury of over inflating something because over inflating, like someone's accomplishments means that they may not get the right services.
So you become really realistic about. Your child's abilities really quick. So what I'm telling you is absolute fact it's, it's definitely not overinflated, not only was Tyler not displaying any signs of anything going on. He was actually ahead in a lot of ways. I mean, he used his letters can recognize them and audibly say what it was, you know, ARB out of order when he was eight months old.
Right. So we show him a tea and he would say, Or we would show him a w and he'll say w so he [00:08:00] was actually ahead in a lot of ways he walked, when he was supposed to, he sat up when he was supposed to, you know, all those things was going fairly well when we noticed something is around age of two, Two and a half when his not only was he not picking up new language, he was losing language.
So the things that he was saying when he was six months like mama, or you know, Aine, he would actually call me by my name. Cause he that's what he heard. Everybody called me. He started to lose that. And you know, the words were not increasing or decreasing. And so when we took 'em to the pediatrician and they said, you know, Probably be good for him to be seen and just get tested just to kind of see.
And at that time, he was so young that he wasn't necessarily diagnosed with autism. He was diagnosed with Hey, we know something is going on. We know there's a delay here. We just don't know what it is. And it's too early to actually give him a full diagnosis. So I think it was called PD. And yeah.
Can you tell
[00:09:00] us the thoughts you were having at this time, even when it wasn't diagnosed? Like, what were you thinking at the time about Tyler and what was going on?
I would say, you know, looking back, of course it was, it was denial. So I was like, no, he's a boy voice, you know, are usually delayed in speech.
Anyway, they're. You know as developed in their speeches, girls are at this age. It's it's okay. And, and fought it for a while. So when we heard, Hey, go take him somewhere was probably like November. And we didn't actually take him until like April. So there was these months of like, oh, there's nothing really.
But then when we took him and got this diagnosis, then it was like, okay, something is definitely wrong. And then I went into the mode of let me research as much as I can about this and my entire existence revolved around knowing what this is and what autism is. Cause I've never known it, didn't know anything about it.
And it consumed [00:10:00] me. It completely consumed me. And the more I read, the more depressed I became. And it seemed like we were now in a block hole. Our lives will be miserable. My son will be miserable. There's no end to this ever. And there's no point to life. I mean, it just was the more I read the worst thing that actually kind of got.
Yeah. And it was, it was a really, it was a really tough time in that sort of beginning days of just trying to find. What is going on and how, how do I now become this new mom to this child that has completely different needs that I ever thought that he would have. Right?
So then once that you've done the research and you've had these feelings of denial and depression, and then has, if you can kind of, and again, I know this was , you know, 16 years ago, somewhere around there and it's like, Can you, can you kind of imagine after it soaked in a little bit.
Yeah. And you fast forward a little bit [00:11:00] to the months, or maybe the first year afterwards, how did they, did they change then? Or was it, you know, what were your main feelings then?
Yeah. So then it sinks in and you say, okay, this is reality. This is not a dream. It's not a denial. And now I've gotta do something.
And how long did
that take in between the months?
How long did that take? I would say at least a good year. Good year. Okay. And I know that timeline is definitely different with different parents in different situations. Mm-hmm so let me also preface that, you know, my experience does not have to necessarily be your experience.
It doesn't, you know, not validate your experience. It just, you know, mine took a year. Somebody may take two years or three years and someone maybe couple of weeks. And it's all the same, you know, we're all made very differently, but mine was about a year and then it was like, action. Now, what do we do to fix it?
Cuz now I'm a mom and I fix things. You know, you have a booboo on your knee and we're gonna heal [00:12:00] it. Mm-hmm. . And, and this is an interesting sort of part of the journey because you now start to come across people that have really good intentions and wanna help you. And then you have people that don't have necessarily the greatest intentions and it's, you know, they're selling you, you know, snake oil to kind of, you know, a cure, you know, here's a cure for autism, right.
And we had to go all those paths. We had to go down all those paths. It was important. It was part of the journey and then go, okay, this didn't work, turn around, go a different direction. but now it was about, you know, do we put him on a gluten-free diet? Do we put him on a dairy-free diet? You know, and what I found out is that again, different things work with different people and, you know, someone else's journey is not my journey.
So no. So judgment right? In any of that, if a parent said, gluten fair, gluten root gluten free dairy free diet absolutely helps. And I did the same and it didn't. It didn't mean that I was doing something bad. It just didn't help. [00:13:00] Let me try something different that worked for your child. Didn't work for me.
That's okay. But this was the part that I was just like, action, action, action. We were going to Johns Hopkins university. We were going to the children's hospital. We were, you know, looking at all kinds of different therapies and measures and, you know, are there pills that can help 'em, you know, all these different things that mean this was now like, let's try to
Moment. Now this is probably gonna be a little sidebar than what I have planned to ask you here, but you just brought up something that I, I think that would help us, especially the,
the ones who, of
course we all know someone mm-hmm right. Who has someone on the spectrum? Mm-hmm but when this happens and I remember this is how it was for me too.
Yeah. Because at the time I also had. Two new babies. Yeah. Like cuz the, just as a side note, everyone, Tyler was born three weeks before my twins were born. So there was three grandchildren that came into our, my parents' life right. At the same time. But like you just said, you know, people try and help. Yeah.
And they [00:14:00] want to, but we just, we don't know what to say. Yeah. Like I guess this is just a little, I was just curious, like if we are someone. What did you wanna hear? Yeah. Or what would be some advice that we would say to other people that would maybe be comforting like that
you, this is such a great question and not very often asked, so I'm so glad you asked it.
Because this, you know what, when you go through something traumatic, like this is very similar to dealing with someone who's going through a grief. It's very, it's very similar. People are uncomfortable about the topic. Be not because they don't care about you or any of that. It's because they. Don't know, like you said, don't know what to say.
What is the right thing? We're gonna make it worse. I'm not gonna get better. If you are someone who is personally dealing with it now, looking back. Cause I didn't necessarily do this or know how to do it. Feel free and feel open because again, the family you have are good friends that you have around you.
Your community obviously love you and care about you. So feel free to openly talk to them and [00:15:00] say, right now it's not a good time. Or right now, I really need to talk to somebody about something, be open with your emotions and whatever it is that you're going through. And if you are ready to talk, believe me, they'll be ready to listen.
Mm-hmm but they're not always gonna be. Just knocking on your door because they don't know if you are available emotionally to have the conversation. And if you are someone on the outside of it in the, in the perimeter, right. Of someone who's going through it. What I would've loved to hear is maybe, I mean, today or texts, there were no texts back in the day.
Right. Texts are helpful. Is to just once in a while, send a text and say, Hey, just seeing how you're doing. You don't need to respond to this. Oh, just so that's so good. So it doesn't put the pressure on the person to necessarily have to respond, but if they're ready, they will. Ugh. That's so good. So that's, would've been just great, but again, I mean, at the time we didn't have the text capability, but it, [00:16:00] you know, that's kind of what I needed that we are here.
And also make sure you ask about them. Not necessarily, how is your child doing mm-hmm because believe me, the child is getting all the support and attention. It's usually the parents that are neglecting themselves and they're neglecting each other. So to just say, how are you? And again, don't need to answer.
Right. That's so
good. So good. So I'm just gonna piggyback on something that you just mentioned now and ask the question, because you said, you know, people you're neglecting yourself and each other mm-hmm right. So what was it like for you and your marriage at the time when you were at the early.
I get another really good question.
Often, often not asked
because I, I also know, like, you know, I would just get married to my brother. Yeah. I can say is difficult
in itself. sounds
great. Great. He's so great. No, I love him so much. He's wonderful. But now, now this adds too. So yeah,
go ahead. Well in the beginning, especially going [00:17:00] back to the beginning, all the focus, you know, talked about all the research and then all the action.
Like now we're doing things. All the energy, whatever was left after the work and the household stuff, and then paying the bills, you know, all the things that you have to do anyway to exist. And then this is now on top of it was going towards Tyler. The focus was Tyler. And what happens is because you only have so much time and so much energy is that we were not paying much attention at all to ourselves in the marriage.
And I do want to. Mention something that you said those those very many years ago when we first you know, got the diagnosis of autism with Tyler when he was about five years old is when we actually got the diagnosis, by the way. So it took a couple of years for him to actually be diagnosed with it.
We were talking, I think, on the phone about it. And, and you said, I just wanna tell you. That you know, marriage is hard anyway, it's work like anything else, you gotta put the energy towards it. [00:18:00] And the statistics, I think at that point in terms of divorce was something like 52, 50 3% in the United States.
And then you said with couples that have children with disability of any kind, doesn't matter, some, some disability it's over 70%. And then with parents, with children, with autism SP specifically. Over 90% and that hit me and, you know, you hear tidbits and it stays with you. And that stayed with me. And once I, you know, we were in it and we're doing stuff, I realized, I mean, it just was like, oh my God, this is what Danielle was talking about.
Marriages don't fail because you have a child on the spectrum or you have a child with disability or C child has any kind of health concern. Whether it's you know, something awful as like cancer or anything else that you're dealing with. It's because you stop caring for each other, you know, your focus goes somewhere else and we no longer will become testy [00:19:00] or become kind of, you know, you're angry at each other, angry at yourself and you're just taking it out on each other.
Cause that's all you got. And that's why these marriages fail. So Keith and I sat down and actually had an open conversation, an honest conversation, and we said, no, one's gonna know this experience better than us. They love us. They care for us, but they're always gonna be the perimeter on the outside, on the outside.
They're never gonna be inside this circle. It's me and you. So if we don't see things in each other and we. Hey, I'm here. if you need me, if we, if we don't do that for each other, this is gonna fall apart. And if it falls apart, we don't benefit cuz we no longer are together and we love each other and we're not here for Thailand.
The very person we're trying to help. We end up hurting more. So we made a pack. Only one of us can fall apart at a time. I love it.
So good. [00:20:00] Make note. When in fact we can all use that, right? Only one spouse is allowed to
fall apart. One person has to be there and present and ready to do it. So we made, we made that pack and we said, when we see the other person and, and to this day, we still do it and say, and of course the, when you hear someone say, okay, Hey, do you need, do you need a minute?
You know, It makes you angry. At least it would like make me angry. I'm like, I don't need a minute. I just need to solve this right now. It's like, you know, you don't, you know, punk bath,
honey, I got this. Right.
And, and we still do that for each other. And then at the end of the night, when things are calm and when Tyler would be asleep and things are okay, Then using that quality time, whether it's watching a movie watching something funny on TV anything like that to just say that's, that's done.
And now it's you and me, it wasn't. Let's get back on the computer. Let's go talk more about autism. No, mm-hmm, , we're gonna watch a funny comedy [00:21:00] or we're gonna do, you know and eventually when things got, you know, a little bit, you know, he got a little bit older, then it was date nights and we made a very conscious decision once a month.
And, you know, some people have the financial ability to, you know, hire someone to come and watch their, their kids. Some people don't, some people have that trusted person, you know, that is, you know, they can do it. And some people don't. And if you don't, if you are in a situation that I don't have the financial needs to hire someone and paying $20 an hour to watch my child, I am, you know, in a city where I don't really know anybody we're new.
I just can't leave my child alone for a long time. With someone. I understand that. So we say, well, what do I do when that happens? Like I said, at some point in the day, let's say, let's say it, you know, there are like now in like preschool, there's some sort of therapy session. Like Tyler will go to speech therapy for an hour.
Well, we would block that time off on our calendar for an hour. And just like, [00:22:00] let's go, let's go to Starbucks together, right. For 45
minutes. Do you hear that ladies and anyone listening? I mean, I, in my program and when I'm coaching, I'm always telling moms about self care and then how important it is and how you need to be filled up so you can better take care of your child.
And then now we, we see it and it, and it matters for your marriage too.
Yeah. Right? AB absolutely. Absolutely. So there is you just gotta get more creative. So, okay. I don't have all those things that are easy, but I mean, this child is somewhere for a little bit of time. Let's use that time. Yeah. So good.
Okay. So I actually, we had a conversation when we were hanging out the other day, which kind of sparked like, Ugh, We need to do a podcast on this because we can, you know, help someone out there because you were really open and raw with me about having had some nervous breakdowns yeah. During this time.
And I already asked your permission. Yeah. If I could [00:23:00] say this so hundred percent would you just share the experience of the
nervous breakdown? Absolutely. And I think being transparent is so important because I think oftentimes this experience, especially in the beginning can feel so lonely that you feel like you're the only person that's going through this.
And no one understands no one can ever understand. So being transparent, very transparent and raw, I think is important. Absolutely. I, I, I there's at least three. Nervous full nervous breakdowns that I can remember. right. And, and one of them, and I was, you know, very candid with you that I remember very, very vividly.
And I think we had just gone through something with Tyler. He had an episode of some kind where he just was uncontrollable and went through that, dealt with it, calmed them down to some sort of reasonable. And now I was in his room putting away some laundry. I was standing in front of his closet [00:24:00] and I just started to scream.
And it was just this primal yell that was coming out of me that I could probably never reproduce. If I tried and Keith ran into the room and I told him, don't touch me, don't touch me. I remember that. Get away from me. Don't touch me. And he didn't listen. Thank goodness. He just got behind me and just held me from behind really tired, grabbing my arm, just holding me.
And the next thing I know, I don't know how much time had passed. He was on the floor with me. I was in a fetal position crying and he was again on the floor in that same position, holding me. And just whispering into my ear. It's gonna be okay. It's gonna be okay. And I just finally just breathe through it, breathe through it, breathe through it and came out of it.
And those moments are not only real [00:25:00] and they can happen, but it's okay to have them. I can't stress enough that you have to feel your feels.
And we all know about that because I, I teach and coach on feeling the feelings like embracing uncomfortable feelings, not avoiding them or reacting or resisting, but actually leaning in and stepping into your feelings, stepping
into it a hundred percent.
You've got to go through the fire to get to the other side. There is no avoiding. Because avoiding it and pushing it in just means in a really inopportune time, it's gonna come out and it's gonna come out when you don't want it to come out. So have the feelings I would be in the car and he is six or seven years old.
And I'm trying to just teach him cuz I would use every opportunity. Every opportunity was in therapy session and he would be in a car and I would say 10 or green light memes. And he would say. Green light [00:26:00] means he would say nothing and we would say go, and this would happen for weeks. Even years. No. And nothing would be coming out.
There's no, there's no answers. No, he wouldn't. I mean, he wouldn't even say yes or no. Todd, are you hungry? There's no, there's nothing. Right. So you don't know, you're guessing. Oh no. I guess maybe he is hungry. I have no idea. I mean, keep and I, with some smile I'm like, I don't know should be for you. Oh yeah.
I'm hungry. So maybe he is, so then I would drop him off and then I would be in the car, try and come back home and I would just. Just cry. Just the stress of this is this how it's gonna be forever? You know that I'm gonna ask him a question. It's just not gonna no simple answer of yes or no. And, and it was important for me to be in that moment and cry it out.
Mm-hmm there would be moments that I swear to you. I would be looking up at the sky, whether I was home in my car and I would say God, no more today. I'm done with what I can take for today. For today. [00:27:00] My, my, my I'm done the list is full. Like one more thing, and I will be over the edge into some oblivion, like I we're done.
And, and he always answered
yes. As he
does as he always does. So, you know, the, the, the, the faith came into play. Quite often. Yes. Tell me more about that. You, well you know, if you're a person that believes as I do and believe that nothing is a coincidence, you don't get these things as a curse because, you know, God hates you.
You did something awful. I had to remember that because there were times that it would feel so dark that I would. I don't know, I must have not been a good person. Like, why did this happen to us? What did this happen to be? Why is this happening to him? This innocent child? I thought God was good. Like, why is this happening?
And then when I had a moment of clarity, it was, you know, really understanding how the [00:28:00] faith really works. And it is really about trusting the journey you're on trusting, why you're chosen and. We talked yesterday about this. And I had this moment, we were, we were out at the pool and everybody was out playing and I, you know, was just by myself getting a little bit of sun.
And I saw this couple walking into the pool with their, with their child. And if you. Or have a child with autism or know someone close. You can spot another child with autism really quick. Mm-hmm because you can see all, all of the characteristics are there. And this boy probably 16, 17 was going into the water with, with his parents and was a little scared.
And parents were trying to kind of help him and ease him into it. And something flashed in my brain. I actually started to tear up because it was like, oh my gosh, this just, this, this thing just came to me, which was. These kids are so innocent. They, they don't have the capacity for ill thoughts or ID.
They [00:29:00] just don't. So everything they are is so pure. Every love, every feeling, every everything is real. So they're the closest thing to an angel mm. That you can pass so special. So if I am given the gift or these parents, I saw given the gift to have an angel. Next to them. And you're trusted to take care of this gift.
Oh my God. Cause God
chose you to be the parent of this angel while here on
earth. Yes. He said you two are special enough and I'm gonna give you this pure soul. It's up to you. Can you, can you take care of this, this, this angel of mine that I'm giving to you as a gift. And I just started to tear up at that moment cuz I said, oh my God.
And then I looked up and I said, thank you. So it's not, it's no longer a curse. It's no longer why did this happen to me? And I did [00:30:00] something awful. It's almost like I did something right. Mm-hmm because with this experience, I feel like my soul got purified. I got better. I became a better person. I became less judgmental.
I became and not less of those awful.
And again, I'm like, I'm a little, you know, muffled for words here right now, because I'm, I'm in it. And just thinking about how good God is. Yes. And, you know, we just forget sometimes and we have to, you know, call back. And like you said, remember to call on our faith and see how he is there every step of the way.
Right. But for those listening, you would say, That was a journey to get to that place. Absolutely. Right. I
mean, I, I didn't get to feeling this way overnight year one, year two, even year three. Yeah. It, it came with tons of time and experience and being able to like see things clearly, but [00:31:00] hopefully why we do these talks or why we, you know, read books.
So we can get there faster. Mm-hmm , you know, why parents give us lessons or advice is so, because they don't want you to make the same mistakes. They're like, let's just get to where we wanna get to faster. And this is, I think I'm so thankful for you doing this is so that your listeners can maybe go, oh my God, I don't have to wait maybe 18 years to get
Right. But I know that there's gonna be someone listening who is on the early stages. Yes. It's also be like, it's just to give them hope and to be like, it's okay. Everybody might, you know, their journey might be of a different length than someone else.
Yeah. And this is a spectrum. So oftentimes I, I, I have heard, well And I should say this Tyler on the spectrum is somewhere in the middle.
Okay. He is not a high functioning autistic, a high functioning is more of a Asperger's, which they have like full conversation. But maybe their speech pattern may be a little bit more awkward. Or maybe the topics they wanna talk about is more concentrated. So [00:32:00] maybe you wanna talk about, you know, the weather, but he wants to talk about cars and then that's what you guys are gonna talk about.
where is that on the spectrum? And that's where like, and that's higher function, that's a high
functioning and then little more lower functioning on the other end of the spectrum is maybe someone they can't do. Selfcare. Can't brush their own teeth. Can't, you know, use the facilities maybe by themselves or shower by themselves, even some have difficulty with eating even.
And then some, but Tyler is some somewhere in that middle, so he doesn't have full speech, but he does have all the self care stuff that needs to happen. He can, you know, cut his own food and even follow a recipe a little bit. So there is definitely a spectrum here and I oftentimes talk to other people say, well, you don't understand me because you.
Son or your daughter is more higher functioning than my, that happens quite often, you know, in this community, you know, we always try to compare
our interesting yeah. Our, our, our
difficulties, right? Like I have more difficulty than you do. You know, we try to, we try to do that quite often, but. Even if [00:33:00] you have a child that is on the lowest of the low of the spectrum, where the, you know, the feeding is difficult and the and the self care is not there.
I am here to tell you that the minute you change your perspective about what you have and your particular situation, the minute your mindset changes, your life becomes easier. It just does because life in general is hard. I have a child with a spectrum on the spectrum. He's autistic. Some other mother out there is dealing with something else.
Maybe it's not a health thing. Maybe their kids are dealing with drug addiction. Maybe they got into an accident and now they're losing a leg and this person was supposed to be the greatest runner and had all the, you know, the stars had lined up and some accident happened. So everybody's got their own thing.
My thing is not any worse or [00:34:00] better than anyone else. When you start comparing yourself to the world, you realize, you know what, this is my thing, but life in general. Is just hard at the minute you accept that and say, yeah, my life was not supposed to be easy. Who said my life was supposed to be easy, by the way, you're hearing the clapping in the background that is Tyler,
Tyler he's having a good old time out
there saying to music.
So that's what's happening. So don't be, don't get into that. Well, mine is the worst and you know, every minute of my day is taken by, you know, taking care of my child. I hardly have time to go take a shower, hardly have time to brush my hair. And that is all true. And I'm validating every feeling you have, but the minute you say to yourself, okay.
Yes, this is my existence, but also this is an angel I've been given this opportunity to do something great. Then. You your, your mind changes your, your, your situation changes. Yeah. I
love all [00:35:00] these thoughts and that kind of leads me into what I just wanted to. I mean, you've already offered many for the listeners to grab, hold onto and decide that they wanna start and believe right now.
But the premise of this podcast is to give moms the tools needed to have a peaceful mind, which leads to a peaceful. Which drives us into more peaceful actions and creates our more peaceful life, which we're we're after we're all after. So you have 18 years of experience with Tyler and as I've watched over the years you and my brother have definitely moved to a more.
Empowered peaceful place about it all. So will you share with us, what are your thoughts now about and beliefs about you and your family with Tyler and about just having a child with autism in general that, that you, that is now your belief system that you know is true, that you didn't before that brings you joy.[00:36:00]
In your life right now?
That's such a great question. So Tyler as many kids on the spectrum may be lacking, you know, in certain areas. That other typical kids don't lack in. But when a brain starts lacking in one area, it compensates for that. So then there are other areas that just Excel. What we found throughout this journey is finding out what Tyler's specific interests are.
So there's, it's no longer about what my dreams were for my kid. It's what his dreams are for himself. So my ego had to go out the door. Right. It was about him and what he finds, you know, enjoyable what he wants to do, what his goals are. And as you know, if you're someone with a younger child, you know, you're looking at your five, six year old or, or they can't count to 10.
I don't know. You know, I don't know what you're talking about, but as they mature. These kids mature too. Their brains mature [00:37:00] too. So 15, 16 year old Tyler was a very different Tyler than when he was five years old. So even if he couldn't necessarily tell me, I would ask him to show me in pictures. I would ask him to write it for me.
So even if he doesn't have this, the, the strong speech capability, there's other ways to find out. And if you're in a school system, the school system supports that to find out what their, you know, what their strengths are, and then using those strengths to get them in, into programs that they're happier in and a happier Tyler is a happier us, so that the why we're sort of in more peaceful places, we've understood.
And we've completely now accepted title for who he is. Mm-hmm . That he's never gonna be anything, but he is today. This is not a cold that will, you know, with a few, you know, whatever medicines he's gonna get better. And frankly, this is not something that I wanna get. Is he, if he doesn't have a disease, this is autism is like, I don't know, having blue [00:38:00] eyes or, you know, brown eyes.
I mean, he is who he is. This is part of who he is. And I wouldn't want him to be anything else because he's got these other things that are so funny and makes us laugh, that we may not be there if he wasn't autistic. So I'm not trying to cure him anymore of some disease. It's not a disease who he is. We embrace him.
We're no longer embarrassed by him in public. We allow him to be who he is. He knows that, you know, if we are embarrassed, he becomes embarrassed. So we wanna embrace him the way he is. And if someone is uncomfortable with that, sorry about that. That doesn't mean we don't discipline stuff. I mean, there are moments in time that he can't be loud or he can't be clapping or he can't and that's okay.
And he understands that. So discipline is still there, but embarrassment is a different thing and we're not embarrassed by him. We are very proud of him and everything he's accomplished. To,
and what are some thoughts that bring you peace when you think about yourself, which I know that. Interview without me asking you wouldn't go there.
Yes [00:39:00] but because you know, and trying to be humble about it, but I want other moms to hear what it is that you now think and believe even if right now your brain is saying, I don't wanna like too my own horn and stuff, but we, I wanna, I want moms to celebrate themselves and be like, I'm an awesome mom.
I've worked my butt off for my child. Right. And so what are some thoughts you think about yourself and. What you've provided by keeping the marriage strong by showing up, being that advocate in the school system that you have for Tyler? Yeah, absolutely. Because you know,
the, the, the kids, especially with speech being the, the, the big component with autism speech, you know, social interaction and such.
You'll realize that you become the voice for your child, where they can't necessarily speak up for themselves and get what is, is their, you know, they deserve and they need to Excel. And you become that person. So, yeah, it's difficult sometimes, cuz you're always as a mom thinking I could have done this more.
I could have done that more. But again, along along the [00:40:00] way, what, you know, understanding what is gonna be most beneficial and putting your energy towards that. So the advocacy in school in terms of services for him and the right type of services getting involved when I thought, okay, the services we talked about is not being given to providing that support and love at home always has, was, was just really important.
Providing the love and support to my spouse when he felt like, okay, today, today is a bad day for me. Has really helped us get to a place of work. This is okay. This is our life. Yeah. And so
some thoughts, again, I can see about yourself. Yeah. About how you've handled it all. Okay.
That bring you peace. Oh.
I can think of a million. Okay. Tell me a couple to do well. Just like I have showed up every single day and that just, I have the, the whole fact that you've embraced mm-hmm and accepted him. Mm-hmm and, and how you [00:41:00] have called on God. Mm-hmm right. Yeah. I really want you to be like, I am a super
mom. Just say that all I know, which
is why I just wanted to bring it up.
It's important. Yeah. It's important for you to not just say, you know, this happened, but you created it. Yeah. You created the place you are today within your marriage. Yeah. You made the decision. I'm staying, I'm working it out. I'm gonna make it a priority. That is, yeah. I see what you mean. And you can see how far Tyler has come because you showed up and you, and there's been sacrifice, but you chose love.
Yes. And you chose to
stay. Yes. You chose to fight for him. Yeah. I mean, There are, there are many times that, you know, giving up seems easier and maybe having separate homes and having him part-time and then I can use the weekends or the days I don't have him to do what I wanna [00:42:00] do and same with, with Keith.
And this decision would be out of love because it would be like, oh, I love you. I want you to have some time to yourself. Mm-hmm. There are days that that seemed like, oh, that would be so much easier to do. Mm-hmm but what you forget
is like, now you're
alone, you know, with this child and you don't have the support system of the other person, you know, holding your hand and saying it's okay, it's actually so much better to stay in it.
Mm-hmm . And to, like you were saying, showing up, showing up every single day, every morning, And having the other person helps because if you are on, if you're having a day, that's just like, this is a bad day for me. Mm-hmm, being openly communicating that to your spouse and saying, I can't show up today. Can you show up?
And then, then being able to do the same for you. And again, it happens even today. We do that. Hey, I'm done for the day. Can you do it? And you can, at
least at the bare minimum, say I
[00:43:00] stayed in it. I stayed in it and you've gotta stay in it to make it better, better exiting. Isn't gonna help him. Isn't gonna help me.
Isn't gonna help my spouse gonna help the marriage staying in and working it out. Cuz it gets tough and life is tough.
So I feel like at this point we should do a little shout out to Keith,
my brother, your husband, and just talk about, he is
one type of a dad. Yeah. And person and everything like that.
So yeah, he does. Okay. So as I, as we wrap up, is there anything else that you wanna tell moms out there listening that we didn't talk about or cover today that you might wanna share?
Well, a couple of things. You are doing your best every day and you will be your worst critic. So please every night celebrate what you did that day.
So good. I love that.
Don't get bogged down with, well, I didn't do this and I didn't do that, but you okay. You didn't do these two things, but you did 10 other things. And some days that list is shorter and some days that list was very long, but [00:44:00] celebrate all of them and say, go to bed. I did so good today.
And these are the things we accomplished, or even if it was, you know, not a great day that day, the things you did to make it better, right. To celebrate that every day. I know, I know. I know your life doesn't look like everybody. Else's you see around you. The soccer moms, the PTA moms, you know, right now I'm watching my two beautiful nieces go off to college and that's not our story.
Right. And when you were pregnant, you thought that would be your story. You've even picked out a college for them. You know, I know I did. So your, your life doesn't look like the people around you, but if you start to. See your life as special in a different way. And looking, look at your child with abilities, maybe not yet discovered, not yet tapped into, but they're there.
And your mission [00:45:00] is to get in there and figure out what that is. You realize what you have is such a beautiful story. And that story doesn't have to be like everyone else's and, and frankly, it shouldn't what a boring world it would be. If we all were the same. Was that, that, what was that movie where all the houses were the same and all the couples looked all, remember what it was like.
So, and it was like such a boring story. I mean the whole
flavor of life. Right. I tell my mom's like, we, we're not robots, but, and we don't wanna be absolutely. Well, I just wanna I'm as I'm listening to you here now, I'm like, I want of, of course we wanted to touch on the subject and the perspective and.
Bring a little bit more peace to some moms out there who have children on the spectrum? Or of course we all know some, but I really, as, as we are finishing here,
advice that you have given is for all, like all of us moms for. [00:46:00] Any of our children, right. That's yeah. With accepting and embracing and, you know, and letting go.
And really, I mean, I just wanna say like, even through the filter, the lens of of just of any child,
it was so good. Well, you are awesome.
Thank you so much for doing this and for coming on the podcast, I know you're gonna help so many people and I love you so much.
I love you. I love you. Thank you for the opportu.
Really honestly, to have a platform to, to talk about it. So good. I love you. I love you too. Going on.
All right, everyone. That's what I have for you this week. I give you peace and love and I will talk to you again soon. Thank you for tuning in to today's episode of the peaceful mind podcast. Are you ready to take everything?
I teach you here and put it to work for your own life. To really learn how to have peace of mind, no matter what is happening around you. If so, I'd love to have you as a client, as your coach. This is where you'll get personal and [00:47:00] focus time on your own mind using life coaching tools, concepts, and proven life, transforming wisdom all through a faith-filled lens to learn more about how we can work together.
Come on over to daniellethienel.com there you'll see how to sign up for a free coaching consult and learn how to get started until next time please be with you always.