Having a child with autism is like living on an emotional roller coaster. Some days I feel like we're on top of the world - that we're making huge strides and that anything is possible. Other days I feel conquered and that we have so far to go. But most of the time we're somewhere in the middle just coasting along at a steady pace.
Having a child with autism is filled with frustrations and joy, just like with any other child, but magnified by 100. Daily life isn't easy anymore, just transitioning from one task to the next can cause a major meltdown. But you just learn how to roll with the punches (sometimes literally!) because in the next moment you might experience a major success. Bedtime is always a great example of this. Every night JD loves to play in the bathtub, but when it comes time to get out he gets really upset. Normally we end up having to pick him up out of the tub, wrap him in a towel and let him fall to the ground crying. Eventually he gets up and makes his way to the bedroom knowing that he's not going to win. This can be really frustrating when you do it day-in and day-out, but we know that what happens next is worth the fight...
After struggling to get his clothes on for bed as he cries "clothes on!" we close the door and read books and sing. He's in pure heaven. He'll belt out song after song in his cute little voice and we cheer him on because we know a year ago that wasn't possible. He's come so far. Within 30 minutes we've taken the roller coaster ride all the way around.
With the ups and downs, loops and spins, sometimes I feel like I can't take another day, but then JD will come up to me and say, "quaw - wannahug?" and I'm ready for another ride. :)