We had company a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed having a sister and brother staying at our new home and spending time with us. It was great to reconnect and share thoughts and plans for the future.
But when anyone comes to visit, be they family or friend, there is a heightened awareness and cognizance that our lives with a child with a disability are different. There are things we do that others may not understand.
For example, one of our rules with our son is that he has to get his chores done and then he can have his tablet. My sister rightfully wanted to spend time with my kids while she was there. So she announced that while she was in town, there would be no tablets.
There was one small problem — our son on the autism spectrum wasn’t around when she said this. So he was taken completely by surprise when later that day, my sister took the tablet from him when he had just been given it by my husband. A battle ensued between my sister and my son, who needs routine because of his autism.
Related: 10 Things to Know About My Autism
When I got him semi-calmed down, I gave him my phone for 20 minutes and set him in a quiet place.
People don’t often understand our choices and decisions. Often we make different choices than parents with children who don’t have disabilities. We shouldn’t need to justify our decisions to someone else — but all too often, we feel like we do. We are hyper-aware and think people are judging us for our decisions. And some people are. But it doesn’t matter. Those people don’t walk our path. They don’t understand the nuances that fill our days and how we are often playing by a different set of rules.
Be it because of health concerns, behavior issues or something else, our lives are different.
And that’s OK.