Now is the Time to Tell You This…

autism_not_too_lateSo, last night I had a crazy dream. My husband and I were in the car driving through some incredibly beautiful mountains. The next thing I know, the mountains drop from below us and we are flying in the sky. We are still strapped into the car, which in my dream is a convertible, and we are sailing slowly in the windy, beautiful, and peaceful air.

In my dream, part of me is scared, and part of me feels so at peace. I hold his hand and say, “I am so grateful for you. I love you. This has been such a wonderful life.”

As the car nears the ground, a space opens up for us in the huge bumper-to-bumper traffic. My husband lands our car perfectly, and we continue to drive.

What does it mean?

I am sure I am going to receive many dream interpretations today. However, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what this all means to me.

First, I absolutely love my life. I am so grateful for my family, and I often feel like the luckiest woman in the world that I got to marry such an incredible loving man. He is so supportive, caring, trustworthy, smart, and handsome.

He is also the greatest listener. He allows me to share the joy I feel at the end of a day of working with parents and children. Of course, everyday is not perfect. There are those moments when I come home with tears in my eyes, because I had a challenging session, or I feel frustrated because I feel a little helpless. He just stands there and says, “I know it’s hard. But, you will figure out a way to reach that child. You always do.” (By the way, I never use the names of students, and always protect and respect a family’s anonymity).

The reason I am sharing this dream and story with you is because it reminded me of how important it is to say what is on my mind when I am feeling it. There is no reason to wait.

I am pretty amazed that I had this dream on the last day of 2015. It’s incredibly appropriate to remind myself to stop and think of what I am grateful for, right this moment, before we start another new year.

I am an optimist, and I often look for moments to see the bright side of situations and challenges. However, even I need reminding to stop what I am doing, be in the moment, and tell those around me how I am feeling.

So, that’s what I am going to do right this moment.

Here are 5 Things I Want You To Know:

  1. I am grateful for your strength and courage. I know that some days are more difficult than others, but as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you can do this. Just get up out of bed in the morning, show up for your child, take a deep breath, and remember that you’ve got this. I believe in you. I always have, and I always will.
  2. I love the heck out my students and their families who I get to work with daily.
  3. I am incredibly grateful that technology has afforded me the privilege to connect with you and provide you with helpful strategies so that life can be a little bit easier for you and your family.
  4. It’s never too late to start helping your child. If you learn something new and you think your child will benefit from that strategy or technique, go for it. There is no time like the present, and this very moment is the perfect time to help him or her progress.
  5. I am grateful for your support, love, and encouragement over the years. 2016 will mark TEN YEARS since I started my company. I have met so many incredible families and teachers, laughed with you, and cried many tears by your side. You and your children have taught me some of my biggest life’s lessons. You have allowed me to teach you about autism, and you have given me the gift of allowing autism to educate me.

Today and every day, thank you.

Happy New Year to you and your family,

Jen

Please leave a comment below. What message do you want to leave for others right this moment?

10 Comments
  • Crista McDonough
    Posted at 09:13h, 31 December Reply

    Just remember that even if s/he doesn’t always know it, your child is struggling in mighty ways and you have the ability to be a real-life super hero each and every day, battling right alongside your child in pursuit of the next goal, and teaching him/her that their worth as a human being will NEVER be attached to what anyone else may think, say, or do (this is true and important for NT children as well). Just show up, doing your honest best and that will ALWAYS be “good enough,” even when you feel like you’re failing (we ALL feel that way sometimes, right?).

    2016 is a brand new year with entirely untapped potential. Put the heart-breaking moments of 2015 in your rearview mirror (I know how hard this can be to do) and let the new year be a clean slate. Our kids are going to move mountains this year; we simply have to give them the strength and courage to do so.

    And don’t forget: Autism is NOT a tragedy — the tragedy is the ignorance so many people have and are willing to put on full display. The most beautiful works of art weren’t created in times of unburdened souls; they came through hearts that know the beauty of triumph. Your child IS a most beautiful work of art. Be triumphant! You’ve got this!

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 09:27h, 31 December Reply

      Wow Crista. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. Happy New Year!

  • Patricia Shepherd
    Posted at 13:50h, 31 December Reply

    Be grateful. We received my son’s autism diagnosis in 2015 when he was five (he’s six now). My husband and I were devasted at first, but as time progressed, the circumstances “forced” me to live in the moment. It forced me me celebrate all the accomplishments he’s made thus far (starting kindergarten in a mainstreamed classroom, verbalizing his feelings more, etc.). So often I get so caught up in the day-to-day stuff or in the future I don’t pause to appreciate what’s in front of me at that moment. I am grateful that my son has encountered so much love and support through his diagnosis. My hope for him is that this trend continues so much that he learns to recognize anything less from another human is unacceptable. 2016 will be a great year for us, and wish the same for all families going through the same thing..

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 14:43h, 31 December Reply

      Thank you for sharing Patricia. Support and love is so important. I wish you and your son nothing but the best in 2016.

  • Mariana
    Posted at 04:44h, 01 January Reply

    Thank you girls, all of you write such simple things and that is great. Yes we have to be grateful for everything we have, we have to live our lifes with smiles we have to dream and our dreams will come true definitely. Thanks that you are!!! Happy New 2016 Year!!!

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 08:38h, 02 January Reply

      Thank you Mariana and Happy New Year!

  • meme
    Posted at 18:42h, 02 January Reply

    I will always be so thankfull you are in atticus life you are a woundful person HAPPY NEW YEAR

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 21:36h, 02 January Reply

      Awe Sweet Meme! Thank you so much for your kind words. I love that Grandbaby of yours and always will!

  • Joanne Engelhardt
    Posted at 20:08h, 02 January Reply

    I have been a special education teacher for 40 years and teaching my students has been my passion. My students always taught me more than I could ever teach them. Their innocence , trust and honesty are a gift to the world. Their struggles make them strong and teach us about perseverance.. However, today I sometimes feel like a hypocrit because it is so much harder being on the other side. My first born grandson has been diagnosed with autism. He is now three and is non verbal. I want to use my skills and knowledge to help him, but I struggle to know what I can do other than to try and support my son and daughter-in-law. I wish public schools would offer workshops or training for families so they could learn how to reinforce the work they are doing. 2016 will be a year of learning all that I can about autism and I am praying for direction. So 2016 will be a year of hope, hope for my grandson , hope for all individuals struggling with autism. And hope for a cure or at least an understanding of why this is happening to our children.

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 21:39h, 02 January Reply

      Hi Joanne, Thank you for sharing. It is always more difficult when it is personal, so please don’t feel alone on this. SO many families feel at a loss when it comes to their own child or grandchild. I have worked with parents who are SLP’s, OT’s, Psychologists, Teachers, Pediatricians, and more. You know that I am here for you, and our community is here to support you. Cheers to a year filled with progress!

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