Living in a world where different is celebrated


My son is different. Different is not always bad or weird. It’s not always special and heroic either. Sometimes different is just different.

There are pieces of parenting that are very much the same as parenting neurotypical children.  Some things about parenting children with autism are really different too.  For example, we attend crazy silly hours per week of Speech and Behavior Therapy, sometimes using pictures to communicate from his iPad and we make hard choices on therapy options and schools.  All at the same time, we are trying to appropriately navigate parenting to our 3 ½ year old who developmentally severely delayed in some areas well below his actual age but at the same time unlocking what knowledge he does already know that may be above or at his age.  It’s tough to unlock because he is non verbal but we continue to parent a little differently in how he learns to make these discoveries.

One amazing discovery a few weeks ago is he is might be my organizer and my great problem-solver!  They say that good eye coordination and problem solving for children starts with sorting.  Let me just tell you, he can sort many colors, numbers, patterns, animals, cars, food, you name it and he can place it in the right category!  He got to show off to a few friends of mine, Patti and Lacy before we went out to dinner last week.   And if you give him a sorting game on his iPad, he might be able to break a record on speed completing too!

I love questions, because it means people care and want to know more. I’ve realized that most people mean well, and I haven’t become disturbed with too many off the wall, did you seriously just ask me that?!– questions about autism. And there is nothing better than being at the park and listening to children strike up conversations with Cody and then you hear questions from little kids- because they are such a blank canvas for understanding different.  This is when I quickly jump in and start explaining to the parents and their child to help them better understand.  They are our future advocates, our world changers or whatever this generation will be called.

LOOK for those that stand out, share the beauty of different! Because the world is a better place when different is celebrated instead of feared or silenced.

Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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