To my husband who chose to stay:

That sounds so ridiculous to say out loud, some people are currently scratching their heads because why would I say that? I say it because it’s true.

Thank you for loving me when the diagnosis of autism consumed me and changed who I was.

I was no longer in my mid-20s trying to figure out how to be a first-time mom, I was an autism mom, and services for our son were my only priority. We said goodbye to date nights and weekend getaways and replaced our free time with conferences, research, and intake appointments.

Thank you for loving me through the grief, for promising me it will get better, and for loving our son for exactly who he is.

Thank you for working through the meltdowns, endlessly searching for trains, and thousands of trips to the carwash. 

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Thank you for holding my hand through evaluations, IEPs, for speaking up at doctors’ appointments, and asking questions at therapy. Thank you for being a voice for Jackson, my backup, and our voice of reason.

Thank you for never telling me I look tired, or run-down. Thank you for always calling me beautiful, for reminding me you love me, and for never saying you’re wearing that?.

Thank you for never giving up on our family, for giving me the strength to keep advocating, and for always believing in Jackson.

Thank you for standing with me when I want to try ALL of the therapies, remedies, and strategies, for never turning down a project over the years.

Thank you for letting me sneak in a nap when I’m too tired to carry on.

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Thank you for the adventures, for always calling the insurance, for giving the baths, and for keeping me going.

Thank you for never walking away, for keeping this chaos together, and for loving me through my toughest times. We love our “Dad-hee.”

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Amanda DeLuca

Amanda lives in Ohio with her husband and is a mom of two to Monroe and Jackson. Her son is on the autism spectrum and is what inspired her to begin her journey through advocacy in the IEP process. Amanda is a certified Master IEP coach and proudly serves families both locally and remotely to empower them to come to the IEP table with confidence while working collaboratively with their team. You can learn more about her IEP consulting business on her page: Advocate.Out.Loud- Amanda DeLuca. In her free time, she enjoys teaching at her dance studio and writing for her page Jackson’s Journey, Jackson’s Voice.