1,062 AUsome Moms

This is going to sound crazy for what I am about to write, get ready.  I have a stronger bond with several people I have never met.  Read the last sentence again. Yep, you read this correctly.  I know this is weird, but it’s true.  I wonder if this is what people say that use online dating?  I one could never attest to this because these search engines did not even exist 18 years ago when I got married.  When we started our journey with autism, I could not get my hands on enough resources, guides, people, support groups, forums, articles or anything.  I tried to finds local support groups specifically for autism in my community and there was no such groups unless it was a broader support group for all special needs.  I needed just autism. I needed support from parents who were in the same boat as we were and preferably in the same area.  Why was it so difficult to find parents of 2 – 4 year old children with an early diagnosis to bounce ideas, therapies, insurance questions, etc. with?  As the weeks went on, I started finding some resources.  I started filtering through what was helpful and positive and found an amazing discussion group called AUsome Moms.  This group of Moms make you feel comfortable to ask any type questions ( and I mean any type) and receive suggestions from real moms who have experienced it and not therapists and doctors.  Dads are not even allowed!  After observing the page for a few weeks or should I say stalking, I got the courage to ask my first question and BOOM! 10 plus responses from Moms who either experienced and were able to offer suggestions! 1,062 Moms to date to be exact!

Two years has passed now and this group has been my #1 resource and an incredible part of my everyday life.  I help others, I celebrate successes that some people cannot relate with or have an  understanding why we are celebrating and I seek advice for what new challenges we might be facing.  This is my Community, My Village, My Tribe, My AUsome Moms, My 1000 plus friends.

Almost exactly a year ago, the National Autism Association of North Texas hosted their annual Mom’s Day Event and I was one of the lucky few that attended. It was a total bonus because I was able to meet a few of these Mom’s who I had been chatting with for almost a year and put a face to the name.  Last Sunday, a year later I ran into these same Mom’s and hugged them like they were family and I had just seen them the weekend before. You see, your time can be very limited raising a special needs child, running from therapy to therapy or doctor to doctor or you may simply just live to far.  But even if it takes a year to reunite,  when you do get to there is no judging AND there is pure joy to be able to reconnect.

I just wanted to thank you. Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family, whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.  I recently read a phrase, When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of “Me, too” be sure to cherish them.  Because those weirdos are your tribe.

Thank you to all my AUsome Mom friends.

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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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