This post is gonna be a little different from than normal. On the day to day, I usually blog about business, blogging, social media, and earning a side hustle, among other related topics.
LIFE AS AN AUTISM MAMA
I love to sneak in posts about mom life, as you’ll read in the Mom life section of the blog. Today I’m gonna share a little about my life as an autism mama.
LIFE IN THE BEGINNING
My little guy was a summer baby. He was born about a week late. My pregnancy was pretty normal. I had morning sickness, or as I like to refer to it, “all day sickness” but that’s pretty normal I hear. He was such a bundle of joy. He really was a good baby. Not much fussiness, not terrible crying, just a happy baby.
As he became a toddler we were noticing he wasn’t hitting all his milestones. As a new mom I was obsessed with all things mom so I’d frequent sites like Babycenter and read tons of stories about babies.
As I read these posts I kept thinking, my son isn’t doing those things. Everyone kept telling me that kids develop at different rates so I shrugged it off but at baby’s 15 month checkup, the pediatrician recommended early intervention to help him catch up.
We agreed and started the process of getting early intervention. Once all set up, we had an early intervention come 2x a week to do play therapy with him. It was cool. It was only an hour and he really loved the teacher.
Fast forward another 18 mos, our little guy was still in the early intervention program with his original teacher + a speech teacher. At age 3 he aged out of the program and proceeded to get a development test to start preschool.
His preschool development test revealed he had autism. What a shocker to us! It took a full week to digest it all. Well, it took me a week. Hubby took longer. He’s a sensitive bear.
We started him in preschool. He went 3 hours a day in the afternoon, at 3 years old. It was awesome. He absolutely loved preschool.
Today, at 4, he’s in Pre-K and he still loves school and loves his teacher. We’re super blessed because we live a good community with family close and access to tons of resources. I can’t help but think how things would be if we lived in another part of the world.
CHILD LIFE ACROSS THE WORLD
Given our special circumstances with our son developing and learning in a different way, we are still very lucky. I think about how life would be if we didn’t live where we do.
I mean, just the fact that he’s a boy gives him an advantage I think. I hate to say that but, boys don’t go through the same challenges as girls. Arranged marriage, limited education opportunities, sexualization, and more. Girls should be given the same opportunities as boys but sadly, this is not the case all over the world.
CARE is an organization I’ve learned about recently that is making a stand to change this. Their goal is to fight poverty by empowering women and girls. They aim “to cut poverty at the roots” by giving girls and women their lives’ back. (CARE.org) They work in 90 countries across the globe to help with issues like:
- Disaster relief
- Women’s empowerment
- World hunger
- Economic Development
Despite the challenges my little guy goes through, does the fact that he is a boy give him advantage over a girl? In certain parts of the world, the answer is yes, sadly. Girls’ education is so important and today that opportunity is taken away in various places across the globe.
Anzida is 14 years old. She was attending school until she reached the 2nd grade but left school, like many girls her age, to start working in the home.
She has been a student at CARE’s Udaan school, a school which caters to educating girls that were forced to drop out of school early. They offer an accelerated learning program, one which Anzida is enrolled in and hopes to continue studies there.
- She usually wakes up in the morning at 6 a.m. and goes to school
- After school she returns home and helps her mother with daily chores, some of which include fetching water for cooking and cleaning
- Once chores are done, she works on her school work until 9pm then eats dinner before going to bed
She says she has watched her parents suffer since she was younger and if she gets a job, she will take care of them.
GET ON BOARD: JOIN ME AND CARE SEND A LETTER OF HOPE
Does this issue strike a cord? How can you help support the issue? Sign a letter of hope and write your own message of support to students in developing countries.