Dear Erin…

This autism journey has definitely had it’s ups and downs. Some laughs and some tears. Some moments that will never be forgotten. But let’s journey back to the beginning. Those months leading up to and diagnosis day. Those months where you felt you were in this alone. Those months where you were unsure if you would every survive this mourning. Those months where everything changed in your world. If only you knew then what you know now…

Let’s start with November 6th, 2015. Yep, Alyssa’s birth. The scariest day ever. The day where you almost died after delivering Alyssa. The day where you almost left Joe to raise Courtney and Alyssa on his own. I start with this day because I know what scared you the most on this day. It wasn’t that you almost died and left Joe with two girls. It’s that you had just begun your fight of figuring out why Courtney was regressing and you couldn’t leave this world without others knowing what you already knew deep inside. Erin, it will be ok. You will all survive that day and soon enough you will be back to good health ready to be Courtney’s biggest advocate…and Alyssa’s.

Next, I went to tell you…be easy on Joe. He is going to struggle with this diagnosis at first. He is going to question all your expertise. He is going to deny that Courtney is anything but perfect. But Be easy on him. He needs time. He will get there. He will soon accept Courtney has autism and be one of her biggest advocates. Be easy on Joe and save your energy for other fights.

Oh Erin, it’s ok to grieve this diagnosis too. You don’t have to pretend you are always the strong one in this journey. It’s ok to let your guard down. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to question every part of the journey. It’s OK!

And Erin, it’s ok to ask for help. During this journey you are going to build a village that will be by your side through it all. Lean on them. Let them know when you need them to listen. Let them know when you need a shoulder to cry on. Let them know when you need them to fight with you. You have built this village so don’t forget to use them.

Dear Erin…this is going to be quite the journey but I know you are up for it. You will be the best mom Courtney and Alyssa can ever ask for.

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